You can create desktop and application pools to give users remote access to virtual machine-based desktops, session-based desktops, physical computers, and applications. You can also choose Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS), VMware PC-over-IP (PCoIP), or VMware Blast to provide remote access to users.

RDS hosts are server computers that have Windows Remote Desktop Services and Horizon Agent installed. These servers host applications and desktop sessions that users can access remotely. To access RDS desktop pools or applications, Horizon Client 3.0 or later is required.

There are three main types of desktop pools: automated, manual, and RDS. Automated desktop pools use a vCenter Server virtual machine template or snapshot to create a pool of identical virtual machines. Manual desktop pools are a collection of existing vCenter Server virtual machines, physical computers, or third-party virtual machines. In automated or manual pools, each machine is available for one user to access remotely at a time. RDS desktop pools are not a collection of machines, but instead, provide users with desktop sessions on RDS hosts. Multiple users can have desktop sessions on an RDS host simultaneously.

Application pools let you deliver applications to many users. The applications in application pools run on a farm of RDS hosts.

Farms are collections of RDS hosts and facilitate the management of those hosts. Farms can have a variable number of RDS hosts and provide a common set of applications or RDS desktops to users. When you create an RDS desktop pool or an application pool, you must specify a farm. The RDS hosts in the farm provide desktop and application sessions to users.