HomeVirtualizationVDIVDI-LAB-2018 – Part 12 – Deploying a linked-clone desktop pool

VDI-LAB-2018 – Part 12 – Deploying a linked-clone desktop pool


Finally! Let’s add the first desktop pool to our environment. This is the easiest part of the whole series (if you followed the proper configurations, notes, and pieces of advice).

This is part 12 out of 12 of the VDI LAB series. Check out the introduction first.

The ultimate VDI deployment guide (from scratch) with VMware vSphere 6.5 and Horizon View 7.3 – 2018. 😉

1. Prerequisites

  • Windows 10 template created in part 11 of this series (with the snapshot).
  • VMware Horizon, vSphere infrastructure, and Datacenter infrastructure. All provided through the VDI-LAB 2018 series.

2. Desktop pool creation.

Note: I prepared this VDI-lab configuration planning for a linked-clone desktop pool, this is the popular and effective option to deploy VDI, but of course, it will depend on the target, desktop, and user needs.

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Note: In this lab, the creation of the desktop pool, is targeting a Login VSI test, so the deployment is done based on their requirements.

@Horizon Administrator

  1. From the inventory (Left panel), go to Catalog / Desktop Pools, click Add… (You can see I already have a desktop pool created named “Linked”).
Part12 Image01
  1. Select Automated Desktop Pool. Click Next.
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  1. Select Dedicated. Click Next.
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  1. Select View Composer linked clones. Click Next.
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  1. Type and ID for this desktop pool. Click Next.
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  1. Many options are available in this step. Let’s leave this as default unless special requirements. Click Next
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  1. From Virtual Machine Naming, select User a naming pattern. The naming pattern explanation is in the left-panel, check it out! Here, I also decided to create 20 VMs up-front. Click Next.

Note: For me is important having a clean pattern and organize well the desktops, I always use a 3 digits pattern for up to 1,000 desktops, otherwise the VMs organization will be messed up.

Part12 Image07
  1. Select whether redirect or not Windows profiles and disposal files to another LUN or NFS datastore. For this example, I decided not to redirect. This may impact performance and is important when considering storage capacity management. Click Next.
Part12 Image08
  1. VMware VSAN shouldn't be available unless you use it. For the next two option, I only check the second one, the first one is not needed based on our previous decision in step. Click Next.

Note: I am checking to place the replica in a different datastore with the purpose of troubleshooting and performance test, if you have an extra datastore, I suggest doing the same (for labs).

Part12 Image09
  1. From vCenter Setting, let’s follow all the steps from 1 to 7, click Browse under all the items and configure as necessary. First, click Browse… under Parent VM.
Part12 Image10
  1. Select the Golden VM created in part 11 of this series. Click OK.
Part12 Image11
  1. Click Browse… under Snapshot. Select the snapshot (in the image below, I have two snapshots) and click OK.
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  1. Click Browse… under VM folder location. Select the default folder or any that had been created before. Click OK.
Part12 Image13
  1. Click Browse… under Host or cluster. Select hosts that will provide the computing power of this desktop pool (I am selecting my cluster). Click OK.
Part12 Image14
  1. Click Browse… under Resource pool. Select a resource pool, if any, or just select the host or cluster of the previous step.
Part12 Image15
  1. Click Browse… under Linked clone datastore. For this example, I am selecting 2 out of my 5 LUNs available in my infrastructure. Select based on your resources and click OK.
Part12 Image16
  1. Click Browse… under Replica disk datastore (This option is available based on your decision in step 9). Select the datastore for the replica and click OK.
Part12 Image17
  1. Review the vCenter setting and click Next.
Part12 Image18
  1. Form Advance Storage Setting, pay attention to the Blackout Times, add if necessary. Storage acceleration and disk reclamation may impact the performance of the (tested) VMs. Click Next.
Part12 Image19
  1. Due to the use of linked-clones, select Use QuickPrep. Click Next.

Note: Notice AD container, it is pointing to the Computer folder in our active directory. If this folder doesn’t have the right permissions, Horizon Composer won't be able to create the VMs. Check out part 7 (section 5) of this series.

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Part12 Image20
  1. Review the configuration and decide whether or not entitle the user now. This is not really important and could be done later. Click Finish.
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  1. From Inventory / Catalog / Desktops pools, we’ll see the new desktop pool deployed.
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  1. Form Inventory / Resources/ Machines, we’ll see the VMs deployed (20 in my case). From here, we can see the DNS associated with the VMs, which is related to our Active Directory. Initially, only the first VM will be powered up.
Part12 Image23

@vSphere Client

  1. From VMs and Templates tab, we’ll see the VMs deployed under the desktop pool ID we provided in step 5.
Part12 Image24

With this final post, we have completed the most important steps (not all of them) to deploy and configure a linked-clone desktop pool under vSphere 6.5 (and 6.7) and Horizon 7.

Juan Mulford
Juan Mulford
I have been active in IT for over fourteen years now. I am a solutions architect, working with storage, virtualization, and VDI solutions. For the past ten years, I have been living and working in Taiwan.


  1. Im trying to deploy a new Horizon instance on a Hyper Converged VRail cluster, i did all the steps but when I’m going to provisiong the vm’s always get an error of Exception Truncated Fault. Can you help me with some questions that I have?

    • Hi Emilio, not sure about this issue, but it seems to be related to blocked ports. Make sure that ports 902 and 443 are open for the network along vCenter and View Composer. I can't remember if other ports are required for this operation.

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