Horizon 7 offers the ability to create and provision pools of desktops as its basis of centralized management.

You create a remote desktop pool from one of the following sources:

  • A physical system such as a physical desktop PC or an RDS host
  • A virtual machine that is hosted on an ESXi host and managed by vCenter Server
  • A virtual machine that runs on a virtualization platform other than vCenter Server that supports Horizon Agent.

If you use a vSphere virtual machine as a desktop source, you can automate the process of making as many identical virtual desktops as you need. You can set a minimum and maximum number of virtual desktops to be generated for the pool. Setting these parameters ensures that you always have enough remote desktops available for immediate use but not so many that you overuse available resources.

Using pools to manage desktops allows you to apply settings or deploy applications to all remote desktops in a pool. The following examples show some of the settings available:

  • Specify which remote display protocol to use as the default for the remote desktop and whether to let end users override the default.
  • For View Composer linked-clone virtual machines or full clone virtual machines, specify whether to power off the virtual machine when it is not in use and whether to delete it altogether. Instant clone virtual machines are always powered on.
  • For View Composer linked-clone virtual machines, you can specify whether to use a Microsoft Sysprep customization specification or QuickPrep from VMware. Sysprep generates a unique SID and GUID for each virtual machine in the pool. Instant clones require a different customization specification, called ClonePrep, from VMware.

You can also specify how users are assigned desktops in a pool.

Dedicated-assignment pools
Each user is assigned a particular remote desktop and returns to the same desktop at each login. Dedicated assignment pools require a one-to-one desktop-to-user relationship. For example, a pool of 100 desktops are needed for a group of 100 users.
Floating-assignment pools
The remote desktop is optionally deleted and re-created after each use, offering a highly controlled environment.

Using floating-assignment pools also allows you to create a pool of desktops that can be used by shifts of users. For example, a pool of 100 desktops could be used by 300 users if they worked in shifts of 100 users at a time.