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VMware Horizon 7 Instant-Clone Primer—A Behind-the-Scenes Look

In our quest for instant gratification, we have discovered that for some things, “instant” turns out to be a bad idea after all. Instant coffee and instant mashed potatoes, for example, are over-processed and not very tasty—not worth the convenience. But for other things, “instant” is a really great idea—think instant messages and instant clones.

VMware End-User-Computing Technical Marketing is happy to announce the publication of a new white paper, VMware Horizon 7 Instant-Clone Desktops. You might have read in other blog posts and articles that instant clones represent a key technical advance. With this paper that reveals secrets of the underlying technology, you will understand why.

The Instant Clone Technology included in the View component of the Horizon 7 Enterprise Edition uses the vmFork feature in VMware vSphere 6.0 Update 1 to

  • Clone a virtual desktop in memory from an existing running virtual desktop.
  • Customize the OS without rebooting it.


It turns out that so many of the configuration headaches we deal with when creating full-clone and linked-clone desktops simply disappear now that we can clone a virtual machine (VM) more rapidly. Why bother to refresh, rebalance, and recompose a VM when you can just recreate it in seconds?

And for just-in-time desktops, you can combine instant clones with VMware App Volumes and VMware User Environment Manager to create disposable desktops that retain user customizations, personas, and user-installed apps from session to session. Users experience a stateful desktop, while the enterprise realizes the economy of stateless desktops.

Besides detailing the benefits of and use cases for instant clones, this white paper, VMware Horizon 7 Instant-Clone Desktops, takes you on a deep dive into Instant Clone Technology. Learn about the behind-the-scenes processes that the instant-clone engine performs to make desktops appear instantly after the provisioning phase starts.