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We are in the process of looking at different desktop solutions including view.

After reading the documentation there are a couple things I am not clear on.

  1. In order to use offline desktop you can't have a linked clone, but from what I understand you need to have a linked clone to update the image on the fly (recompose) So is there something built into view to update non-linked clones, or do you have to use the traditional MS methods. (aka WSUS, Group policies, ect...

  2. What is the recommend way to backup the enviroment? With COW files I am assuming there is the same issue as with lab manager, where the only real solution is to backup the entire LUN? Is there a better solution out there?

  3. How is MS licensing effected by linked clones? If you have one base image and 5 links off of it. Is that 6 MS licenses or 1?

Thanks in advance.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I'm new to View as of 4.0, but I've been evaluating it for the last few weeks and finally have a production-ready system. Here's what I know:

  1. To update View desktops on-the-fly (when they get shut down and re-privisioned by View Manager), you'll need to use linked clones pointing to a specific snapshot of a base image. For updating non-linked clones, you'll have to rely on your own tools, or manually clone the base image to a new VM, then update the desktop source in View Manager accordingly.

  2. View doesn't include anything to help back up your environment. In my particular case, almost every virtual desktop is a disposable linked clone, so I really only need to worry about backing up the base image, which is pretty trivial. If you have data inside the virtual desktops that needs backing up, your best bet might be to run backup software inside the VM.

  3. To the best of my knowledge, you'll need a volume license for Windows, since (in your example) 5 people may be using a clone of the same base image. That's 5 people using Windows, despite the origins of the bits, so Microsoft will want to be paid for each in-use license. View integrates very well with Active Directory, so you may be able to do some scripting magic upon joining the domain or user login.

When it comes down to it, most of what View does is automate the cloning process and assist in basic machine setup (joining a domain, doing a DHCP renew, etc). It is rather wild, though, to see a system provisioning, configuring, and powering on VMs all by itself.

Lastly, setting up a View Security Server is very helpful if you're dealing with clients using the VMs over the internet through firewalls.

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  1. You can have linked clone, but you must have a dedicated pool

  2. IMHO best solution is manage the user profile, bring it on a share and backup it

  3. MS license is per instance (see VDA or SA)

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