When you create an instant-clone desktop pool, you can configure certain options. You can use this worksheet to record your configuration options before you create the pool.

Before creating an instant-clone desktop pool, take a snapshot of the parent VM in vCenter Server. You must shut down the parent VM in vCenter Server before taking the snapshot. The snapshot is the master image for the clones in vCenter Server.


You cannot create an instant-clone desktop pool from a VM template.

Table 1. Worksheet: Configuration Options for Creating an Instant-Clone Desktop Pool



Fill In Your Value Here

User assignment

Select Floating or Dedicated.

In a floating user assignment, users are assigned random desktops from the pool.

In a dedicated user assignment, each user is assigned a particular remote desktop and returns to the same desktop at each login. Between each login and logout, the computer name and MAC address is retained for the same desktop. Any other changes that the user makes to the desktop are not preserved.

vCenter Server

Select Instant clones and select the vCenter Server that manages the instant-clone VMs.

Desktop Pool ID

The unique name that identifies the pool in Horizon Administrator.

If you have multiple Connection Server configurations, make sure that another Connection Server configuration does not use the same pool ID. A Connection Server configuration can consist of a single Connection Server or multiple Connection Servers

Display name

The pool name that users see when they log in from a client. If you do not specify a name, the pool ID is used.

Access group

Select an access group for the pool, or leave the pool in the default root access group.

If you use an access group, you can delegate managing the pool to an administrator who has a specific role. For details, see the role-based delegated administration chapter in the Horizon 7 Administration document.


Access groups are different from vCenter Server folders that store desktop VMs. You select a vCenter Server folder later in the wizard.


If set to Enabled, the pool is ready for use after provisioning. If set to Disabled, the pool is not available to users. During provisioning, if you disable the pool, provisioning stops.

Connection Server restrictions

You can restrict access to the pool to certain Connection Servers by clicking Browse and selecting one or more Connection Servers.

If you intend to provide access to desktops through VMware Identity Manager, and you configure Connection Server restrictions, the VMware Identity Manager app might display desktops to users when those desktops are actually restricted. VMware Identity Manager users will be unable to launch these desktops.

Category Folder

Specifies the name of the category folder that contains a Start menu shortcut for the desktop pool entitlement on Windows client devices. For more information, see Configuring Shortcuts for Entitled Pools.

Automatically logoff after disconnect

  • Immediately. Users are logged off when they disconnect.

  • Never. Users are never logged off.

  • After. The time after which users are logged off when they disconnect. Type the duration in minutes.

    The logoff time applies to future disconnections. If a desktop session is already disconnected when you set a logoff time, the logoff duration for that user starts when you set the logoff time, not when the session was originally disconnected. For example, if you set this value to 5 minutes, and a session was disconnected 10 minutes earlier, Horizon 7 will log off that session 5 minutes after you set the value.

Allow users to reset/restart their machines

Specify whether users can reset the virtual machine or restart the virtual desktop.

A reset operation resets the virtual machine without a graceful operating system restart. This action applies only to an automated pool or a manual pool that contains vCenter Server virtual machines.

A restart operation restarts the virtual machine with a graceful operating system restart. This action applies only to an automated pool or a manual pool that contains vCenter Server virtual machines.

Allow user to initiate separate sessions from different client devices

With this option selected, a user connecting to the same desktop pool from different client devices gets different desktop sessions. The user can only reconnect to an existing session from the same client device. When this setting is not selected, users are always reconnected to their existing session no matter which client device is used.

Default display protocol

Select the default display protocol. The choices are Microsoft RDP, PCoIP, and VMware Blast.

Allow users to choose protocol

Specify whether users can choose display protocols other than the default.

Do not allow users to choose a display protocol.

3D Renderer

Select 3D graphics rendering for desktops.

3D rendering is supported on Windows 7 or later guests running on VMs with virtual hardware version 8 or later. The hardware-based renderer is supported (at minimum) on virtual hardware version 9 in a vSphere 5.1 environment. The hardware-based renderer works on vSGA technology. The software renderer is supported (at minimum) on virtual hardware version 8 in a vSphere 5.0 environment.

On ESXi 5.0 hosts, the renderer allows a maximum VRAM size of 128MB. On ESXi 5.1 and later hosts, the maximum VRAM size is 512MB. On hardware version 11 (HWv11) virtual machines in vSphere 6.0, the VRAM value (video memory) has changed. Select the Manage Using vSphere Client option and configure video memory for these machines in vSphere Web Client. For details, see "Configuring 3D Graphics" in the vSphere Virtual Machine Administration guide.

3D rendering is disabled if you select Microsoft RDP as the default display protocol and do not allow users to choose a display protocol.

  • NVIDIA GRID vGPU. 3D rendering is enabled for NVIDIA GRID vGPU. The ESXi host reserves GPU hardware resources on a first-come, first-served basis as virtual machines are powered on. See Preparing for NVIDIA GRID vGPU Capabilities. You cannot use vSphere Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) when you select this option.

    You can select either PCoIP or VMware Blast as a display protocol with NVIDIA GRID vGPU for an instant-clone desktop pool.

  • Manage using vSphere Client. The 3D Renderer option that is set in vSphere Web Client (or vSphere Client in vSphere 5.1 or later) for a virtual machine determines the type of 3D graphics rendering that takes place. Horizon 7 does not control 3D rendering. In the vSphere Web Client, you can configure the Automatic, Software, or Hardware options. These options have the same effect as they do when you set them in Horizon Administrator. Use this setting when configuring vDGA and AMD Multiuser GPU Using vDGA. This setting is also an option for vSGA. When you select the Manage using vSphere Client option, the Configure VRAM for 3D Guests, Max number of monitors, and Max resolution of any one monitor settings are inactive in Horizon Administrator. You can configure the amount of memory in vSphere Web Client.

  • Disabled. 3D rendering is inactive. Default is disabled.

If you need to change the 3D vSGA or 3D software settings for instant-clone pools, you must change these settings in the master image in vCenter Server. Use vSphere Client to edit these settings for the master image. Verify that the master image is powered off before you edit these settings. After you change the 3D vSGA or 3D software settings in vCenter Server, you must take a power-off snapshot with the new 3D vSGA or 3D software settings. After the new snapshot completes, you must resync the instant-clone desktop pool to use the new snapshot. For more information, see the VMware Knowledge Base (KB) article " How to change SVGA settings for Instant Clone Pools" https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2151745.

HTML Access

Select Enabled to allow users to connect to remote desktops from a Web browser. For more information about this feature, see Using HTML Access, available from https://www.vmware.com/support/viewclients/doc/viewclients_pubs.html.

To use HTML Access with VMware Identity Manager, you must pair Connection Server with a SAML authentication server, as described in the Horizon 7 Administration document. VMware Identity Manager must be installed and configured for use with Connection Server.

Allow Session Collaboration

Select Enabled to allow users of the desktop pool to invite other users to join their remote desktop sessions. Session owners and session collaborators must use the VMware Blast protocol.

Adobe Flash quality

Select the quality of Adobe Flash content on Web pages.

  • Do not control. The Web page settings determine the quality.

  • Low. This setting consumes the least amount of bandwidth. If no quality level is specified, this is the default level.

  • Medium. This setting consumes a moderate amount of bandwidth.

  • High. This setting consumes the most amount of bandwidth.

For more information, see Adobe Flash Quality and Throttling.

Adobe Flash throttling

Select the frame rate of Adobe Flash movies. If you enable this setting, you can reduce or increase the number of frames displayed per second by selecting the throttling level.

  • Disabled. No throttling is performed.

  • Conservative. Timer interval is 100 milliseconds. This setting results in the lowest number of dropped frames.

  • Moderate. Timer interval is 500 milliseconds.

  • Aggressive. Timer interval is 2500 milliseconds. This setting results in the highest number of dropped frames.

For more information, see Adobe Flash Quality and Throttling.

Stop provisioning on error

Specify whether Horizon 7 stops provisioning desktop VMs if an error occurs and prevents the error from affecting multiple VMs.

Naming pattern

Specify a pattern that Horizon 7 uses as a prefix in all the desktop VM names, followed by a unique number.

For more information, see Using a Naming Pattern for Automated Desktop Pools.

Max number of machines

Specify the total number of desktop VMs in the pool.

Number of spare (powered on) machines

Specify the number of desktop VMs to keep available to users. For details, see Naming Machines Manually or Providing a Naming Pattern.

Provision machines on demand

Min number of machines

Provision all machines up front

Specify whether to provision all desktop VMs when the pool is created or to provision the VMs when they are needed.

  • Provision all machines up front. When the pool is created, Horizon 7 provisions the number of VMs you specify in Max number of machines.

  • Provision machines on demand. When the pool is created, Horizon 7 creates the number of VMs based on the Min number of machines value or the Number of spare (powered on) machines value, whichever is higher. Additional VMs are created to maintain this minimum number of available VMs as users connect to desktops.

Select separate datastores for replica and OS disks

Specify whether to store the replica and OS disks on a data store that is different from the datastores that the instant clones are on.

If you select this option, you can select the options to select one or more instant-clone datastores or replica disk datastores.

For more information, see Storing Replicas and Clones on Separate Datastores for Instant Clones and View Composer Linked Clones.

Parent VM in vCenter

Select the parent VM in vCenter Server for the pool.

Snapshot (default image)

You can specify the number of monitors and resolution for your instant-clone desktop pool by setting those parameters in the parent VM and taking a snapshot. The required vRAM size is calculated based on your specifications. Select the snapshot of the parent VM to use as the master image for the pool. The instant-clone desktop pool that is created is based on the snapshot and inherits those memory settings. For more information about configuring video memory settings in vSphere Client, see the vSphere Single Host Management guide in the vSphere documentation. For more information about changing the resolution for your instant-clone desktop pool, see the VMware Knowledge Base (KB) article http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2151745.

The snapshot lists the following details:

  • Number of monitors

  • VRAM size

  • Resolution

VM folder location

Select the folder in vCenter Server for the desktop VMs.


Select the vCenter Server cluster for the desktop VMs.

Resource pool

Select the vCenter Server resource pool for the desktop VMs.


Select one or more datastores for the desktop VMs.

The Select Instant Clone Datastores window provides high-level guidelines for estimating the pool's storage requirements. These guidelines help you determine which datastores are large enough to store the clones. The Storage Overcommit value is always set to Unbounded and is not configurable.


Instant clones and Storage vMotion are compatible. When you create an instant-clone desktop pool on a Storage DRS data store, the Storage DRS cluster does not appear in the list of datastores. However, you can select individual Storage DRS datastores.

Replica disk datastores

Select one or more replica disk datastores on which to store the instant-clones. This option appears if you select separate datastores for replica and OS disks.

A table on the Select Replica Disk Datastores page of the Add Farm wizard provides high-level guidelines for estimate the farm's storage requirements. These guidelines can help you determine which replica disk datastores are enough to store the instant-clones.


Select the networks to use for the instant-clone desktop pool. You can select multiple vLAN networks to create a larger instant-clone desktop pool. The default setting uses the network from the current master image.

A table on the Select Networks wizard provides the networks, ports, and port bindings that are available to use. To use multiple networks, you must unselect Use network from current parent VM and then select the networks to use with the instant-clone farm.

vGPU Profile

The vGPU profile for the pool is the vGPU profile of the snapshot you selected. The pool inherits this profile. This profile cannot be edited during the pool creation process.

After a pool is provisioned, you can publish the image to change the vGPU profile.

Mixed vGPU profiles on a single vSphere cluster (containing any number of ESXi hosts) are supported.

For vCenter Server version 6.0, only single vGPU profiles with performance mode are supported.

For vCenter Server version 6.5 and later, use the following guidelines for multiple vGPU profiles:

  • You can use multiple vGPU profiles with the GPU consolidation assignment policy.

  • A mixed cluster of GPU enabled and non-GPU enabled hosts is supported.

  • Using a mixed cluster of some hosts with GPU consolidation assignment policy and some hosts with GPU Performance assignment policy is not recommended.

To get better performance from a single profile for all vGPU desktops, see the VMware Knowledge Base article https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/55049.


Select an Active Directory domain. The drop-down list shows the domains that you specify when you configure instant-clone domain administrators. See Add an Instant-Clone Domain Administrator

AD container

Specify the Active Directory container's relative distinguished name.

For example: CN=Computers

In the Add Desktop Pool window, you can browse the Active Directory tree for the container. You can also copy, paste, or enter the path for the AD tree for the container.

Allow reuse of pre-existing computer accounts

Select this option to use existing computer accounts in Active Directory when the virtual machine names of new instant clones match the existing computer account names.

When an instant clone is created, if an existing AD computer account name matches the instant-clone virtual machine name, Horizon 7 uses the existing computer account after resetting the password. Otherwise, a new computer account is created. When the instant clone is deleted, Horizon 7 does not delete the corresponding computer accounts.

The existing computer accounts must be located in the Active Directory container that you specify with the AD container setting.

When this option is disabled, a new AD computer account is created when Horizon 7 creates an instant clone. If an existing computer account is found, Horizon 7 uses the existing computer account after resetting the password. When the instant clone is deleted, Horizon 7 deletes the corresponding computer account. This option is disabled by default.

Power-off script

Specify the path name of a script to run on the desktop VMs and the script parameters before the VMs are powered off.

Post-synchronization script

Specify the path name of a script to run on the desktop VMs and the script parameters after the VMs are created.