VMFork (Instant Clone) and Horizon View Integration

In my opinion Project Fargo a.k.a VMFork or Instant Clones is one of the coolest technologies announced last several years. You can find a lot information out there, that’s why I am not going in deep details about it and how it works. As a VDI engineer I am more curious of what level of intergration it has with VMware Horizon View at this stage of developing. VMware Fork is all about Instant VM clones, which is capable of applying OS customization (what else we may want for fast provisioning of virtual desktops).  At this point the linked clones which are officially supported by Horizon View are those created by View Composer. Provisioning is fast, but if we can get it instantly instead of waiting for them several minutes … why not.

Currently Instant Clones  are available only through PowerCLI and the PowerCLI extension V2 which you can download from VMware Flings website.

In my lab environment I have installed VMware PowerCLI 6.0 on Windows Server 2008R2, small vSphere 6 infrastructure, Horizon View 6.1.1 VDI and Windows7 x64 with installed latest View Agent. After downloading the zip file from the website above, unzip it and put it on C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\Infrastructure\vSphere PowerCLI\Modules

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Verifying if everything is fine could be done by typing Get-Command -Module VMware.VimAutomation.Extensions 

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 Let’s start first with enabling instant clone for my Windows 7 VM which is already with a pre-loaded View Agent.

After that we need to prepare a simple script like this:

This is a very basic experiment. If you want to try it as a PoC, it is better to have pre- and post- scripts prepared and run during the Instant clone VMs creation.

Here are our newly created Instant Clones

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After that we need to create a Manual Pool in the Horizon View 6 and include all Instant Clones as a desktop sources, so we will be able to entitle those to particular users.

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I’ll select Floating assignment since it is easier for managing.

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We must use vCenter Virtual Machines as sources (Instant Clones)

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Type ID and Name

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Select all Instant Clones and add them to the Manual Pool

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W7_VDI_IC1 was used from another pool and that’s why it does not appear in the list. Wait for 5-10 minutes so the View Agent will establish connection to the Connection Server and try to connect to it via Horizon View Client

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Double click on the pool and you should be able to login on your Instant Clone Desktop.

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Also you can check the connection in the View Administrator

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Looks like the experiment is successful even though it is not officially supported. I am looking forward to see Instant Clones integrated with Horizon View in the future. It is definitely something which I would use in the future for my customers.

 

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Nikolay Nikolov

VDI Engineer
Nikolay has 9 years work experience in IT and 5 of them in the Virtualization technologies mainly based on VMware products. Currently works as VDI Engineer at MSD IT Global Innovation Center and he is an ex-member of VMware CoE at IBM. He holds VCIX6-DCV, VCIX6-DTM and VCP on DCV, DTM, NV and Cloud, Nutanix NPP certificate and also Master Degree of Computer Systems and Networks. Honored with vExpert 2015/2016 by VMware and Nutanix Technology Champion 2016/2017.

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About Nikolay Nikolov

Nikolay has 9 years work experience in IT and 5 of them in the Virtualization technologies mainly based on VMware products. Currently works as VDI Engineer at MSD IT Global Innovation Center and he is an ex-member of VMware CoE at IBM. He holds VCIX6-DCV, VCIX6-DTM and VCP on DCV, DTM, NV and Cloud, Nutanix NPP certificate and also Master Degree of Computer Systems and Networks. Honored with vExpert 2015/2016 by VMware and Nutanix Technology Champion 2016/2017.
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One Comment

  1. I was looking for integration:) Very good resource, thank you very much..

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