VMware View offers the ability to create and provision pools of desktops as its basis of centralized management.

You create a virtual desktop pool from one of the following sources:

A physical system such as a physical desktop PC or a Windows Terminal Services server

A virtual machine that is hosted on an ESX/ESXi host and managed by vCenter Server

A virtual machine that runs on VMware Server or some other virtualization platform that supports View Agent

If you use a vSphere virtual machine as a desktop source, you can automate the process of making as many identical virtual desktops as you need. You can set a minimum and maximum number of virtual desktops to be generated for the pool. Setting these parameters ensures that you always have enough View desktops available for immediate use but not so many that you overuse available resources.

Using pools to manage desktops allows you to apply settings or deploy applications to all virtual desktops in a pool. The following examples show some of the settings available:

Specify which remote display protocol to use as the default for the View desktop and whether to let end users override the default.

Configure the display quality and bandwidth throttling of Adobe Flash animations.

If using a virtual machine, specify whether to power off the virtual machine when it is not in use and whether to delete it altogether.

If using vSphere 4.1 or later, specify whether to use a Microsoft Sysprep customization specification or QuickPrep from VMware. Sysprep generates a unique SID and GUID for each virtual machine in the pool.

Specify whether the View desktop can or must be downloaded and run on a local client system.

In addition, using desktop pools provides many conveniences.

Dedicated-assignment pools

Each user is assigned a particular View desktop and returns to the same virtual desktop at each login. Users can personalize their desktops, install applications, and store data.

Floating-assignment pools

The virtual desktop is optionally deleted and re-created after each use, offering a highly controlled environment. A floating-assignment desktop is like a computer lab or kiosk environment where each desktop is loaded with the necessary applications and all desktops have access to necessary data.

Using floating-assignment pools also allows you to create a pool of desktops that can be used by shifts of users. For example, a pool of 100 desktops could be used by 300 users if they worked in shifts of 100 users at a time.