7.3. Setting Up Cloning

Next, you need to set up cloning so that the pool can be automatically filled with the required number of desktops. As part of this you also perform the configuration to enable the cloned desktops to join a Windows domain.

Click the Cloning tab for the pool, as shown in Figure 7.14.

Figure 7.14. Cloning Tab

The image shows the Cloning tab for a pool.

In the Desktop Cloning group, select Enable Automatic Cloning and, if you want, change the name in the Name Pattern (see Figure 7.15). The name pattern is used to generate the name of the cloned virtual machine. This is also the name of the computer that is registered in the Windows domain.

Figure 7.15. Desktop Cloning Group

The image shows the Desktop Cloning group with cloning enabled.

In the Cloning Metrics group, you configure the number of desktops in the pool, as follows:

Figure 7.16 shows a completed example.

Figure 7.16. Cloning Metrics Group

The image shows the Cloning Metrics group with settings for configuring the number of desktops in a pool.

It is best to start to start with a small pool, because you can increase its size later once you are sure the pool is operating in the way you want. Once cloning starts, Oracle VDI clones a number of desktops equal to the preferred size setting. As desktops in the pool get used, Oracle VDI uses the free desktops setting to determine whether more desktops need to be cloned, but the number of desktops in the pool never exceeds the maximum size setting. When desktops are no longer in use, Oracle VDI automatically reduces the number of desktops to the preferred size.

In the Cloned Desktops group, select the template you imported into the pool from the Template drop‑down list. The template you select does not have to be a template in the pool, it could be a template in another pool for the same company.

In order to deploy desktops that are cloned from a template, some kind of system preparation is required. You can use the Microsoft Windows System Preparation tool (known as SysPrep) or Oracle VDI Fast Preparation (known as FastPrep). SysPrep requires additional preparation in the template, which includes installing the Windows Deployment tools in the template and running the sysprep program to remove the unique information (such as the computer name) from the template. FastPrep is faster than SysPrep because it does not require this additional preparation, and it simply updates the computer name. In the Cloned Desktops group, click Create next to System Preparation. The Create System Preparation File window is displayed.

In the System Preparation drop-down list, select Oracle VDI Fast Preparation making sure that you select the option that matches the operating system of your template. In the remaining fields, enter the required details as follows:

Figure 7.17 shows a completed example.

Figure 7.17. FastPrep Configuration

The image shows the Create System Preparation File window.

Click OK to complete the FastPrep specification. The Create System Preparation File window is closed. A message is displayed to say that the system preparation file has been successfully added.

In the Cloned Desktops group, you can use the Machine State to specify the state you want the desktop virtual machines to be in immediately after they are cloned. Select Running from the drop‑down list. If the virtual machines are powered off (the default), the desktops do not consume any system CPU and memory resources. You can use the Available Running Desktops setting to specify the number of running desktops that Oracle VDI keeps running for when users log in. If you provide running desktops, users are able to log in and start working quickly because they do not have to wait for the virtual machine to boot. Figure 7.18 shows a completed example.

Figure 7.18. Cloned Desktops Group

The image shows the Cloned Desktops group, with the template selected that will be used for cloning and the state of the cloned virtual machines set to be running.

The settings in the Desktop Recycling group control what happens to the desktops when they are no longer in use. When a desktop is no longer in use, it is automatically recycled by Oracle VDI. What happens to the recycled desktop is controlled by the Policy setting, as follows:

A desktop is recycled, when it remains unused for the period of time configured in the Idle Timeout field. In Chapter 9, you see desktop recycling in action. To make recycling happen quickly, change the Idle Timeout to 3 minutes. Figure 7.19 shows a completed example.

Figure 7.19. Desktop Recycling Group

The image shows the Desktop Recycling group. The idle timeout is reduced to three minutes and desktops are reset to their snapshot.

Click Save. A message is displayed to confirm that the settings have been applied, and after a few moments, the top right hand corner should show that there are some jobs running, as shown in Figure 7.20.

Figure 7.20. Cloning Tab With Running Cloning Jobs

The image shows the Cloning tab. A message is displayed to confirm that the pool settings have been updated.

In the top right-hand corner of Oracle VDI Manager, select Jobs Running. The Jobs Summary window is displayed. You should see that the jobs that are currently running are the desktops being cloned in the pool, as shown in Figure 7.21.

Figure 7.21. Cloning Jobs in the Jobs Summary Window

The image shows the Jobs Summary window with cloning jobs running.

Close the Jobs Summary window. Click the Desktop tab. As the desktops are cloned, they are listed in the Desktops table. Initially the Desktop State column shows the desktops as Reserved. This indicates that Oracle VDI is working on the desktop, in this case, probably running the Oracle VDI fast preparation. The virtual machine state might change depending on the virtual machine state you selected on the Cloning tab. Eventually the Desktop State column shows that the cloned desktops are Available, as shown in Figure 7.22.

Figure 7.22. Desktop Tab

The image shows the Desktop tab. Cloning has completed and two desktops are listed. The virtual machines are shown as running and the desktop state is shown as available.

The Available state means that the desktops are ready to be used.