VMware View provides many features to help you conserve storage and reduce the amount of processing power required for various use cases. Many of these features are available as pool settings.

The most fundamental question to consider is whether a certain type of user needs a stateful desktop image or a stateless desktop image. Users who need a stateful desktop image have data in the operating system image itself that must be preserved, maintained, and backed up. For example, these users install some of their own applications or have data that cannot be saved outside of the virtual machine itself, such as on a file server or in an application database.

Stateless desktop images

Stateless architectures have many advantages, such as being easier to support and having lower storage costs. Other benefits include a limited need to back up the linked-clone virtual machines and easier, less expensive disaster recovery and business continuity options.

Stateful desktop images

These images might require traditional image management techniques. Stateful images can have low storage costs in conjunction with certain storage system technologies. Backup and recovery technologies such as VMware Consolidated Backup and VMware Site Recovery Manager are important when considering strategies for backup, disaster recovery, and business continuity.

You create stateless desktop images by using View Composer and creating floating-assignment pools of linked-clone virtual machines. You create stateful desktop images by creating dedicated-assignment pools of either linked-clone virtual machines or full virtual machines. If you use linked-clone virtual machines, you can configure View Composer persistent disks and folder redirection. Some storage vendors have cost-effective storage solutions for stateful desktop images. These vendors often have their own best practices and provisioning utilities. Using one of these vendors might require that you create a manual dedicated-assignment pool.

You can standardize on stateless desktop images for task workers so that the image is always in a well-known, easily supportable configuration and so that workers can log in to any available desktop.

Knowledge workers must be able to create complex documents and have them persist on the desktop. Power users must be able to install their own applications and have them persist. Depending on the nature and amount of personal data that must be retained, the desktop can be stateful or stateless.

These users can check out a View desktop and run it locally on their laptop or desktop even without a network connection.

Kiosk users might include customers at airline check-in stations, students in classrooms or libraries, medical personnel at medical data entry workstations, or customers at self-service points. Accounts associated with client devices rather than users are entitled to use these desktop pools because users do not need to log in to use the client device or the View desktop. Users can still be required to provide authentication credentials for some applications.