Deploy Automated Desktop Pools

An Automated Desktop Pool contains one one or more dynamically generated desktops that are automatically created and customized by View Manager from a vCenter virtual machine template. There are two types of desktops:

  • Persistent: An user is assigned an dedicated desktop, who contains the users settings, documents and applications. This assignment happens the first time a user connects and is than used for all the user sessions.
  • Non-persistent: When a user connects, they are assigned a different desktop from the pool every time they connect. There is no persistent data between sessions.

When we want to create a Automated Desktop Pool, we have to create a Virtual Machine Template in vCenter. To do so, right click on a Virtual Machine and select “Convert to template” or “Clone to Template”.
When you have a template, you must create a Customization Specification in order to deploy automated desktops.

Configuration

  1. In VMware View Administration, select on “Desktops and Pools” and click on “Add”.

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  2. Select the “Automated Desktop Pool” type and click on “Next“.

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  3. Select the Desktop Persistence. In my case: Non-persistent.

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  4. Click on the vCenter server who hosts the template. Notice that “Use linked clone technology to create desktops in this pool” is grayed out. To use this feature you will have to configure this on your vCenter server (PROVIDE LINK!!!!)

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  5. Provide a Unique ID (Example: Corporate Desktops), Display Name (Example: Standard Desktop WilmsenIT) and a description.
    If you don’t provide a Display Name, the Unique ID will be used.

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  6. Provide the Desktop/Pool Settings:
    • State: Enabled (After being created the desktop is automatically enabled and ready to use), Disabled (After being created the desktop is not enabled. This is useful if you want to to post deployment tasks.)
    • When VM is not is use: Do nothing (VM remains on), Ensure VM is always powered on (if the user shutdown the desktop it’s immediately restarted), Suspend, Power off.
    • Automatic log off after disconnect: Never, Immediately or After (time in minutes when the desktop is logged off).
    • Power off and delete virtual machine after first use: This is for Non-Persistent Pools only. When a users logs off, the Virtual Machine is deleted.
    • Allow users to rest their desktop: User can without administrative assistance reset their desktop.
    • Allow multiple sessions per user: This is for Non-Persistent Pools only. This enables users to make more connections to multiple desktops at the same time in the same pool.

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  7. Configure the desktop provision properties:
    • Provisioning: Enabled (The desktop in the Pool will be immediately created upon completions of the deployment procedure or after a desktop is deleted), Disabled (The desktop in the pool will not be immediately created upon completion of the deployment procedure or after a desktop is deleted.).
    • Number off Desktops: Specify the number of desktops created in this pool. This setting is disabled if you select  the “Enable Advanced Pool Settings” check box in the “Advanced Settings” Panel.
    • VM naming Pattern: By default, a prefix is used to identify all desktops in a pool as part of the same group. The prefix can be up to 13 characters in length and a numeric suffix is appended to this entry in order to distinguish each desktop from others in the same pool.
      You can override thsi behavior by entering a name that contains a token representing the pool number {n} (Example: Finance-{n}-Desktop). You can add a fixed length token {fixed=3} (Example: Finance-{n:fixed=3}. The output can be: Finance-001 or Finance-002).
    • Stop provisioning on error: This stops the provisioning of new virtual machines when error occur (for example no disk space left).
    • Advanced Settings: Enable this option if you want to configure random provisioning. Give the number of “Minimum Desktops“, “Maximum Desktops” and “Availible Desktops“.

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  8. Select the Template who you wanne use. Make sure that the correct version fo Sysprep is installed on vCenter for this Template. After selecting the Template click “Next“.

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  9. Select the Place were the Desktop Pool will be created.

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  10. Select a host or a cluster where the Virtual Machine will run and click on “Next“. (Only Clusters of 8 hosts or less are supported and shown).

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  11. If you have a recourse pool, select it and click on “Next“.

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  12. Select one or more datastores where to store the Desktop Pool and click on “Next“.

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  13. If you want to use a specific Customization Specification select “Use this customization specification” and click on the Customization Specification you have created. If you want to customize the desktop manual select ” None – Customization will be done manually“.

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  14. Review the summary and if agree click “Finish”.

Now we are ready to automatically deploy desktops for our users.

About Michael
Michael Wilmsen is a VMware training/consultant (no specific order) with more than 15 years in the IT industry. Main focus is VMware vSphere, Horizon View and Site Recovery Manager with a deepdive to performance. Michael is VCDX 210, VCAP 4/5 certified, has been rewarded with the vExpert title from 2011, is a PernixPro, Nutanix Tech Champion and a Nutanix Platform Professional.

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