VMware Horizon 7.12: Linked Clone setup - pt.5

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In VMware Horizon, a Linked Clone desktop is a copy of a virtual machine that shares virtual disks with its parent VM saving space compared to a full VM.

Because a Linked Clone accesses software on shared virtual disks it must always have access to the disk used for cloning.

 

Blog Series

VMware Horizon 7.12: installing Connection Server - pt.1
VMware Horizon 7.12: installing View Composer - pt.2
VMware Horizon 7.12: configuration - pt.3
VMware Horizon 7.12: Instant Clone setup - pt.4
VMware Horizon 7.12: Linked Clone setup - pt.5
VMware Horizon 7.12: connect to virtual desktop - pt.6

 

How Linked Clones work

Starting from a snapshot of the master VM, the cloning process creates a replica VM to use for cloning. The Linked Clone shares virtual disks with the replica VM and changes are stored in a diff disk or redo disk limiting the physical disk space used while the installed software is still accessed on the shared virtual disks.

Even with hundred of linked diff disks from one replica, this approach reduces the total storage required.

 

Create the master image

Create a Windows 10 (to take benefit of Blast protocol) virtual machine used as master image using a specific configuration:

1 - Set the Networking with the DHCP.

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2 - Join the VM to the AD domain.

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3 - Install the required applications.

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Run the VMware OS Optimization Tool

Run the VMware OS Optimization Tool on the created master image to optimize and improve the VM performance. Select the OS in use and click Analyze.

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Select the recommended optimizations reported by the analysis.

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Click Optimize.

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The master image is being optimized for the seleted OS.

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After few seconds the optimization process completes.

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Install the Horizon Agent

Run the Horizon Agent installer on the master image.

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Click Next to begin the installation.

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Accept the EULA and click Next.

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Select IPv4 as protocol to use then click Next.

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Select VMware Horizon View Composer option and click Next. Note that you cannot install both View Composer and Instant Clone features on the same machine.

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Click Install to install the agent.

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The agent is being installed in the system.

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When the installation has been completed, click Finish to exit the wizard.

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Click Yes to reboot and complete the installation.

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After the VM has rebooted, take a snapshot of the VM from vSphere Client.

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Configure a Linked Clone pool

When the master image is ready, you can start configuring the appropriated pool. Linked Clones require a working Composer Server to be generated.

 

Create a Linked Clone pool

Access the Inventory > Desktops area and click Add.

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Select Automated Desktop Pool option and click Next.

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Select the View Composer Linked Clones option and click Next.

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Select Floating as user assignment option. This option allows a user to logon to any desktop that is available within the desktop pool.

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Specify the desired Disk size for the Disposable File Redirection then click Next.

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Specify the desired Storage Policy Management then click Next.

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Provide an ID and a Display Name for the pool then click Next.

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Specify the Virtual Machine Naming (for example lc-vdi-{n:fixed=3}), and how to Provision Machines.

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Specify the Max Number of Machines to provision an the Number of Spare. Click Next.

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Enter the master image information then click Next.

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Specify the Desktop Pool Settings and click Next.

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Specify the Remote Display Protocol to be used during the connection. Keep in mind VMware Blast is available only for Windows 10 Enterprise edition. Enable also the HTML Access option (requires the Blast protocol) to allow the access via browser. Click Next.

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Specify the desired Advanced Storage Options and click Next.

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Specify the Domain and select the appropriate AD Container by clicking the Browse button to place provisioned VMs. Click Next.

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Click Submit to save the pool configuration. Enabling the Entitle Users After Adding Pool option you can specify who can actually access provisioned virtual desktops.

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Entitle users

Click Add to specify users and groups that can use the selected pool.

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To make the search easier, insert part of the name in the Name\User Name field and click Find. Select the desired user or group then click OK.

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Click OK to save the selected group.

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The Linked Clone pool has been created successfully.

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Once provisioned, virtual desktops can be found in the vCenter Server inside the folder specified during the pool configuration.

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In Active Directory, VMs are placed in the OU selected during the configuration.

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Part 6 will cover the procedure to connect to the virtual desktop to test the access and if everything works as expected.signature

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