Horizon 7 provides many features to help you conserve storage and reduce the amount of processing power required for various use cases. Many of these features are available as pool settings.

The most fundamental question to consider is whether a certain type of user needs a stateful desktop image or a stateless desktop image. Users who need a stateful desktop image have data in the operating system image itself that must be preserved, maintained, and backed up. For example, these users install some of their own applications or have data that cannot be saved outside of the virtual machine itself, such as on a file server or in an application database.

Stateless desktop images

Also known as nonpersistent desktops, stateless architectures have many advantages, such as being easier to support and having lower storage costs. Other benefits include a limited need to back up the virtual machines and easier, less expensive disaster recovery and business continuity options.

Stateful desktop images

Also known as persistent desktops, these images might require traditional image management techniques. Stateful images can have low storage costs in conjunction with certain storage system technologies. Backup and recovery technologies such as VMware Consolidated Backup and VMware Site Recovery Manager are important when considering strategies for backup, disaster recovery, and business continuity.

There are two ways to create stateless desktop images in Horizon 7:

  • You can create floating assignment pools of instant clone virtual machines. Folder redirection and roaming profiles can optionally be used to store user data.

  • You can use View Composer to create floating or dedicated assignment pools of linked clone virtual machines. Folder redirection and roaming profiles can optionally be used to store user data or configure persistent disks to persist user data.

There are several ways to create stateful desktop images in Horizon 7:

  • You can create full clones or full virtual machines. Some storage vendors have cost-effective storage solutions for full clones. These vendors often have their own best practices and provisioning utilities. Using one of these vendors might require that you create a manual dedicated-assignment pool.

  • You can create pools of instant-clone or linked-clone virtual machines and use App Volumes user writable volumes to attach user data and user-installed apps.

Whether you use stateless or stateful desktops depends on the specific type of worker.