Horizon View Composer Linked Clone Explained

On this post, we will discuss Horizon View Composer Linked clones in details, Before we start with linked clone lets see some of the benefits of Linked Clone:

  • Reduce storage requirements
  • Desktop provisioning is faster than full cone
  • Provides single image management, etc

View Composer enables administrators to rapidly clone and deploy multiple desktops from a single base or golden image, called a parent virtual machine that shares a common virtual disk. After the desktops have been created, they remain indirectly linked to a snapshot residing on the parent virtual Machine.

When we deploy a linked clone first time a desktop clone is created, a uniquely identified copy of the parent virtual machine (called replica is also created.  After the replica is created Horizon view start creating linked clone machines.

Note: All the desktop clones are anchored to the replica, not to the parent virtual machine.

Linked Clones

Linked clone VM’s will always refer back to its parent in order to fully functional. It will continue to read from a disk name replica disk, it basically a copy of a snapshot of the parent virtual machine.

The linked Clone disk has the potential to grow to the same size as the replica disk, however, we have a control of limiting the size which it can grow.  when we deploy linked clone keep in mind that, all the linked-clone virtual machines are going to read from only one replica, and therefore, it’s important to host the replica on a fast storage (SSD would be the best option) that can deliver the number of IOPS required. Depending on your desktop pool design, you will probably have more than one replica and typically more than one datastore.

View Composer permits the centralized management of desktops which provides a seamless user experience. Tasks like resetting each system to its default configuration, balancing storage, installing software, and applying service packs are greatly accelerated by this type of deployment.

View Composer uses either the VMware QuickPrep or Microsoft Sysprep to personalize each deployed desktop. Although QuickPrep is similar to Microsoft Sysprep and is much faster, it does not generate a new system ID for each linked-clone desktop.

Note: View Composer can be installed on the same system that hosts vCenter Server or on a separate virtual machine. For best performance, you must install View Composer on a separate standalone virtual machine.