VMware Instant Clones Overview

Wondering what all this talk of VMware Instant clones is about, here is a good place to start


Leverages vmFork tech in vSphere 6.0U1 and above

  • Running parent VM is quiesced and “forked”
  • Clones customized and powered-on
  • Clones share disk and memory with the parent vm for reads
  • Disk space and memory efficiency
  • 1 clone per second created on average

Just in-Time Desktop Features:

  • Floating VDI Pools only
  • New guest customisation – no reboots required.
  • AppVols support
  • Up front and elastic provisioning

*Elastic provisioning has been in Horizon View for a while but has not really been attractive because of the length of time it took for the desktops to customize,  now this time is down to 3-5 seconds it could be really beneficial and useful.

*Guest Customization Improvements – The cloning operations put more load on the vCenter than in standard vComposer operations but because there are no reboots during guest customization the overall load on vCenter is less

*Priming and Push are some of the new terminology in Instant Clone tech.  The ability to Prime upfront and schedule the pool creation is really cool especially as the priming takes the majority of the time.  Priming is includes template creation and parent creation, basically all the writes,  this can take 20-40 minutes.  The scheduled Push pool creation takes only seconds per VM.

There are limitations so we won’t be ditching the composer server just yet:

  • No dedicated pools
  • No 3D Rendering
  • No sysprep support
  • Limited SVGA support – currently max 2 fixed monitors
  • No RDS or Application Pools
  • No VVOL or VAAI NFS support
  • No Persistent disks – use writable volumes
  • No reusable computer accounts
  • No Powershell
  • No Multi-VLAN support in a single pool

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