Horizon 7 Instant Clones:
Horizon 7 Instant Clone is the long awaited technology build on VMware Fork technology that was presented at VMworld 2015. It require vSphere 6.0 U1 to clone a virtual desktop. VM’s now can be providioned in seconds.
Instant Clones are ideal for deploying pools of non-persistent “floating” desktops. Equally, when used with VMware User Environment Manager and VMware App Volumes, Instant Clones can rapidly provision a persistent desktop experience
- Instant clones do not relay on VMware Composer
- A running , powered on VM(CP-Parent) is quiesced and cloned
- Clones share the disk and memory of the Parent VM for reads – space and memory efficiency
- The guest OS is customized, joins the domain, and is ready for user login as the desktop fully powers on
Instant Clone Desktop Components:
- Golden Image: Windows 7 or 10 optimized image with Horizon agent with Instant clone option enabled
- Snapshot: Snapshot of the golden Image
- CP-Template: Template is created from the snapshot of Golden image
- CP-replica: Full clone of the CP-Template that is thin provisioned.
- CP-Parent: Parent will be created on each ESXi and always powered on. Using this VM Instant clones will be created using VMFork technology
- Instant Clones: These VM’s will create in seconds and will be recreated (Deleted and Created) once user log off.
- vSphere 6.0 Update 1 or later.
- Virtual machine hardware version 11 or later.
- Horizon Enterprise License
There are some limitations in the this release. For example, only floating desktops are supported. No dedicated desktops in this release. Also no RDSH or Apps support, only VDI. The scale is up to 2000 desktops with single vCenter, single vLAN only.
- 3D rendering / Nvidia GRID is not available and there is a limited SVGA options.
- As a Storage options – there are VSAN or VMFS datastores . Virtual Volumes, VAAI, NFS or local datastores not supported.
- Desktop personalization using AppVolumes User-Writeable Drives and UEM.
- Storage vMotion of the Instant Clone
- Only single-user desktops are supported. RDS hosts are not supported.
- Only floating user assignment is supported. Users are assigned random desktops from the pool.
- Instant-clone desktops cannot have persistent disks. Users can use VMware App Volumes to store persistent data. For more information about App Volumes, see https://www.vmware.com/products/appvolumes.
- Virtual Volumes and VAAI (vStorage APIs for Array Integration) native NFS snapshots are not supported.
- Sysprep is not available for desktop customization.
- Windows 7 and Windows 10 are supported but not Windows 8 or Windows 8.1.
- PowerCLI is not supported.
- Local datastores are not supported.
- IPv6 is not supported.
- Instant clones cannot reuse existing computer accounts in Active Directory.
- Persona Management is not available.
- You cannot specify a minimum number of ready (provisioned) machines during instant-clone maintenance operations. This feature is not needed because the high speed of creating instant clones means that some desktops are always available even during maintenance operations.
- Parent VMs are tied to VMware ESXi host they are on and cannot be migrated or powered off through the vSphere (web) Client. This prevents an ESXi host from entering maintenance mode. Follow KB2144808 to put an ESXi host in maintenance mode.
To read more about Instant Clone technology check out this VMware Blog post.
I hope you find this useful. Thanks for reading.