VCP5-DT Objective 3.1–Configure Automated Pools Using Linked Clones

Objective 3.1 – Configure Automated Pools Using Linked Clones

For this objective I used the following resources:

  • VMware View Administration documentation
  • VMware KB Article Differences Between QuickPrep and Sysprep


Identify Floating vs. Dedicated Assignments

  • Dedicated Pool – In a dedicated assignment pool, each user is assigned  to a desktop. Users receive the same desktop each time they login.
  • Floating Pool – In a floating assignment pool, users receive different desktops each time they log in.


Identify Persistent Disk Settings

Identify the Disposable Disk Settings

The blueprint has each of these broken out separately, but as each option is configured on the same screen (see below) I thought I would tackle them together.

  • Persistent Disk – Allows you to store Windows user-profile data on a separate disk. Using a persistent disk allows you to preserve users data and settings even during View Composer tasks (refresh, recompose, and rebalance). Another added feature is the ability to detach and reattach the persistent disk to another virtual desktop. Note, this can’t be used as a migration tool from Windows XP to Windows 7. Persistent disks can only be reconnected to the same source/destination OS.
  • Disposable Disk – Use a disposable disk when redirecting the guest OS’s paging file and temp files. The disk size needs to be larger than the page file size of the guest OS.


Identify Pools Settings



  • Enabled. After being created, the desktop pool is enabled and ready for immediate use
  • Disabled. After being created, the desktop pool is disabled and unavailable for use, and provisioning is stopped for the pool. This is an appropriate setting if you want to conduct post deployment activities such as testing or other forms of baseline maintenance.
Connection Server Restriction
  • None. The desktop pool can be accessed by any View Connection Server  instance.
  • With Tags. Select one or more View Connection Server tags to make the desktop pool accessible only to View Connection Server instance that have those tags. You can use the check boxes to select multiple tags.
Remote Desktop Power Policy Determines how a virtual machine behaves when the user logs off of the associated desktop
Automatically Logoff After Disconnect
  • Immediately. Users are logged off as soon as they disconnect
  • Never. Users are never logged off
  • After. The time after which users are logged off when they disconnect. Type the duration in minutes
Allow Users to Reset Their Desktops Allow users to reset their own desktops without administrative assistance
Allow Multiple Sessions Per User Allow a user to connect to multiple desktops in the pool at the same time.
Delete Desktop After Logoff Select whether to delete floating-assignment, full virtual machine desktops.

  • No. Virtual machines remain in the desktop pool after users log off.
  • Yes. Virtual machines are powered off and deleted as soon as users log off
Delete or Refresh Desktop on Logoff Select whether to delete, refresh, or leave alone floating-assignment, linked-clone desktops.

  • Never. Virtual machine remain in the pool and are not refreshed after users log off.
  • Delete Immediately. Virtual machines are powered off and deleted as soon as users log off. When users log off, View Manager immediately puts virtual machines in a Deleting state.
  • Refresh Immediately. Virtual machines are refreshed as soon as users log off. When users log off, View Manager immediately puts virtual machines in maintenance mode to prevent other users from logging in as the refresh operation begins.
Refresh OS Disk After Logoff Select whether and when to refresh the OS disks for dedicated-assignment, linked-clone desktops.

  • Never. The OS disk is never refreshed
  • Always. The OS disk is refreshed every time the users logs off
  • Every. The OS disk is refreshed at regular intervals of a specified number of days. Type the number of days
  • At. The OS disk is refreshed when its current size reaches a specified percentage of its maximum allowable size. The maximum size of a linked clone’s OS disk is the size of the replica’s OS disk. Type the percentage at which refresh operations occur.
Default Display Protocol Select the display protocol that you want View Connection Server to  use to communicate with View Clients

  • PCoIP – The default option wherever it is supported. PCoIP is supported as the display protocol for virtual-machine desktops and physical machines that have Teradici hardware. PCoIP provides an optimized PC experience for the delivery of images, audio, and video content for a wide range of users on the LAN or across the WAN.
  • Microsoft RDP – Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) uses RDP to transmit data. RDP is a multichannel protocol that allows a user to connect to a computer remotely.
Allow Users to Choose Protocol Allow users to override the default display protocol for their desktops by using View Client
Windows 7 3D Rendering You can select whether to enable 3D graphics rendering if your pool comprises Windows 7 desktops that run on vSphere 5.0 or later, PCoIP is the selected protocol, and the Allow users to choose protocol setting is set to No.When you select this feature, you can configure the amount of VRAM that  is assigned to desktops in the pool. You can select at most two monitors for your View desktops. The maximum resolution of any one monitor is set to 1920×1200 pixels. You cannot configure this value
Max Number of Monitors If you use PCoIP as the display protocol, you can select the maximum number of monitors on which users can display the desktop.
When the Windows 7 3D Rendering setting is not selected, the Max number of monitors setting affects the amount of VRAM that is assigned to desktops in the pool. When you increase the number of monitors, more memory is consumed on the associated ESX hosts.
When the Windows 7 3D Rendering setting is selected, you cannot change the maximum resolution of any one monitor. The resolution is set to 1920×1200 pixels.
Max Resolution of Any One Monitor If you use PCoIP as the display protocol and you do not select
the Windows 7 3D Rendering setting, you should specify the
maximum resolution of any one monitor.
When the Windows 7 3D Rendering setting is not selected,
the Max resolution of any one monitor setting affects the
amount of VRAM that is assigned to desktops in the pool.
When you increase the resolution, more memory is
consumed on the associated ESX hosts.
When the Windows 7 3D Rendering setting is selected, you
cannot change the maximum resolution of any one monitor.
The resolution is set to 1920×1200 pixels.
Adobe Flash Quality Determines the quality of Adobe Flash content that is displayed on Web pages.

  • Do Not Control. Quality is determined by We Page settings
  • Low. This setting results in the most bandwidth savings. If not quality level is specified, the system defaults to Low.
  • Medium. This setting results in moderate bandwidth savings
    • High. This setting results in the least bandwidth savings
Adobe Flash Throttling Determines the frame rate of Adobe Flash movies. If you
enable this setting, you can reduce or increase the number of
frames displayed per second by selecting an aggressiveness

  • Disabled. No throttling is performed. The timer interval is not modified
  • Conservative. Timer interval is 100 milliseconds. This setting results in the lowest number of dropped frames
  • Moderate. Timer interval is  500 milliseconds
  • Aggressive. Timer interval is 2500 milliseconds. This setting results in the highest number of dropped frames


Identify Provisioning Settings

Setting Description
Enable Provisioning Instructs View Manager to create (provision) desktops for the pool
Stop Provisioning on Error Desktop provisioning (creation) will stop if an error is encountered during desktop creation
Virtual Machine Naming
  • Desktops can be provisioned by manually specifying a list of desktop names or by providing a naming pattern and the number of desktops to be created in the pool.For manually specifying desktop names follow these guide lines:
  • Type each desktop name on a separate line
  • A desktop name can have up to 15 alphanumeric characters
  • You can add a user name to each desktop entry. Use a comma to separate the under name from the desktop name
  • To leverage automated deployments View uses a “token” to apply a unique number to identify each desktop. You can place the token anywhere in the desktop name.
  • For example, if you type amber-{n:fixed=3}, View Manager replaces {n:fixed=3} with a three-digit number and creates these desktop names: amber-001,amber-002, amber-003, and so on
Max Number of Desktops The maximum number of desktops that will be provisioned for the pool
Number of Spare (Powered On) Desktops Number of desktops that will be available and “idle” to accept in coming connections
Provision Desktops on Demand Desktops will be provisioned “as needed” as users connect
Provision All Desktops Up-Front All desktops for the pool are  provisioned (see Max Number of Desktops)


Identify vCenter Server Resource Settings

View Composer leverages vCenter for it provisioning operations. By default vCenter is configured to allow “Max concurrent provisioning operations” at 8 and  “Max concurrent power operations” at 5. The options can be modified in View Administrator by going to View Configuration –> Servers –> Highlight your vCenter and click “Edit”. Under “vCenter Server Settings” click the “Advanced’ icon and modified the settings as needed:


Identify Guest Customization Settings (e.g., QuickPrep, Sysprep)

Note –  Information taken directly from VMware KB Article Difference Between QuickPrep and Sysprep

QuickPrep is a VMware system tool executed by View Composer during a linked-clone desktop deployment. QuickPrep personalizes each desktop created from the Master Image. Microsoft Sysprep is a tool to deploy the configured operating system installation from a base image. The desktop can then be customized based on an answer script. Sysprep can modify a larger number of configurable parameters than QuickPrep.

During the initial startup of each new desktop, QuickPrep:

  • Creates a new computer account in Active Directory for each desktop
  • Gives the linked-clone desktop a new name
  • Joins the desktop to the appropriate domain
  • Optionally, mounts a new volume that contains the user profile information

This table lists the main differences between QuickPrep and Sysprep

Function QuickPrep Sysprep
Removing local accounts No Yes
Changing Security Identifiers (SID) No Yes
Removing parent from domain No Yes
Changing computer name Yes Yes
Joining the new instance to the domain Yes Yes
Generating new SID No Yes
Language, regional settings, date, and time customization No Yes
Number of reboots 0 1
Requires configuration file and Sysprep No Yes


Happy Studying!


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