With View Composer, you can configure OS data and user information on separate disks in linked-clone virtual machines. View Composer preserves the user information on the persistent disk when the OS data is updated, refreshed, or rebalanced.

A View Composer persistent disk contains user settings and other user-generated data. You create persistent disks when you create a linked-clone desktop pool. See "Worksheet for Creating a Linked-Clone Desktop Pool" in the Setting Up Virtual Desktops in Horizon 7 document.

You can detach a persistent disk from its linked-clone virtual machine and store the disk on its original datastore or another datastore. After you detach the disk, the linked-clone virtual machine is deleted. A detached persistent disk is no longer associated with any virtual machine.

You can use several methods to attach a detached persistent disk to another linked-clone virtual machine. This flexibility has several uses:

  • When a linked clone is deleted, you can preserve the user data.
  • When an employee leaves the company, another employee can access the departing employee's user data.
  • A user who has multiple remote desktops can consolidate the user data on a single remote desktop.
  • If a virtual machine becomes inaccessible in vCenter Server, but the persistent disk is intact, you can import the persistent disk and create a new linked clone using the disk.
Note: Persistent disks must be reconnected to the operating system that was used when they were created. For example, you cannot detach a persistent disk from a Windows 7 linked clone and recreate or attach the persistent disk to a Windows 8 linked clone.

Horizon 7 can manage persistent disks from linked-clone pools that were created in View 4.5 or later. Persistent disks that were created in earlier versions of Horizon 7 cannot be managed and do not appear on the Persistent Disks page in Horizon Administrator.