Storage design considerations are one of the most important elements of a successful View architecture. The decision that has the greatest architectural impact is whether to use View Composer desktops, which use linked-clone technology.

The external storage system that VMware vSphere uses can be a Fibre Channel or iSCSI SAN (storage area network), or an NFS (Network File System) NAS (network-attached storage). The ESX/ESXi binaries, virtual machine swap files, and View Composer replicas of parent virtual machines are stored on this system.

From an architectural perspective, View Composer creates desktop images that share a base image, which can reduce storage requirements by 50 percent or more. You can further reduce storage requirements by setting a refresh policy that periodically returns the desktop to its original state and reclaims space that is used to track changes since the last refresh operation.

You can also reduce operating system disk space by using View Composer persistent disks or a shared file server as the primary repository for the user profile and user documents. Because View Composer lets you separate user data from the operating system, you might find that only the persistent disk needs to be backed up or replicated, which further reduces storage requirements. For more information, see Reducing Storage Requirements with View Composer.


Decisions regarding dedicated storage components can best be made during a pilot phase. The main consideration is I/Os per second (IOPS). You might experiment with a tiered-storage strategy to maximize performance and cost savings.

For more information, see the best-practices guide called Storage Considerations for VMware  View.