With VMware View Composer, available with the Premier version of VMware View 4, streamlines the provisioning, management and deployment of virtual desktops with Linked Clone technology.
Linked Clone technology enables newly-provisioned virtual machines to contain pointers to an original, golden-image virtual desktop for all common data. These linked clones enable multiple desktops to be instantly created from the single master image with ease.
In addition, these linked desktop images can reduce storage requirements by sharing common data across desktops. Also, sharing common Linked Clone data enables disk cache to be utilized, optimizing boot times, especially when many users are trying to boot using the same golden image.
To help further optimize resource utilization, user data and the Linked Clones can be placed on separate disk tiers. Linked Clone images can be easily moved between LUNs with a simple mouse click, to rebalance your data center resource, and add more storage as space runs out, or easily migrate data storage to a newer array and migrate older disk storage.
As desktop images end up growing in size, they can be instantly restored to the state of their linked clones, reducing storage requirements and making it easy to remove change that need to be undone. The Linked Clone technology included with VMware View Composer also includes Storage Over Commit which helps IT departments handle growing disk space requirements of their virtual desktop environments, by managing how aggressibly virtual machines can allocated to virtual free space. This technlogy further improves performance by increasing utilization of disk cache and existing storage capacity.
Administrator can choose to have fully persistent Linked Clones which will grow over time, and can be refreshed as needed, or have desktops refresh on every boot. Even if the desktop images refresh on every boot, user settings and data can be redirected by a separate user data disk. In addition to preserving personalized user data regardless of how often the desktop image gets refreshed, IT administrators can move users or groups of users to new master golden images almost instantly.
IT administrators can use the original golden image utilized by the Linked Clone technology to test updates and patches to the operating system and applications. Once the changes have been qualified, then the administrators can update the image at the top of the golden image snashot tree and then refresh all the links in the desktops that use the golden image, isolating user data and setting so they persist through the update.