Administrators can provision the desktops in an automated pool by manually specifying a list of desktop names or by providing a naming pattern and the number of desktops they want in the pool. These two approaches offer different advantages.
If you name desktops by specifying a list, you can use your company’s naming scheme, and you can associate each desktop name with a user. If you provide a naming pattern, View Manager can dynamically create and assign desktops as users need them.
You must use one of these naming methods to provision automated pools that contain full virtual machines or linked clones.
You can provision the desktops in a pool by providing a naming pattern and the total number of desktops you want in the pool. By default, View Manager uses your pattern as a prefix in all the desktop names and appends a unique number to identify each desktop.
The VMware View Administration Guide has detailed explanations on page 119 about how to work with the Naming Pattern in a Desktop Name. Another option is to go to the online documentation.
However, couple things seem to be left out of the documentation.
How does the automated naming convention work with View desktop VMs? What if an administrator wants to change the number appended?
VMware View appends a number such that you cannot specify the next number. View will always continue from the last number. For example:
- If you have VMs numbered 1-10 and you delete anything other than the last VM (delete 1-9) it will continue from the last number, i.e. next one provisioned is numbered 11.
- If you have VMs numbered 1-10 and you delete VMs including the last one (delete 5-10) as long as you do not use the option to “remove from View only” it should start at the lowest number present, i.e. next one provisioned is numbered 5.
Can I use underscores in the computer names for VMware View desktops when creating a VMware View desktop pool?
From a naming convention perspective there is nothing that will prevent you from using underscores to specify computer names. However, in doing so may get administrators into trouble with Windows Sysprep.
If you run into this issue do the following:
1 – Reconfigure the parent virtual machine or template and ensure that:
- The name is less than 15 characters
- There are no underscores in the name
2 – Release the virtual machine’s IP.
3 –Shut down virtual machine.
4 – Take new snapshot.
5 – Recompose the pool or provision a new virtual machine.
See this KB article for known issues with customizing desktops when underscores are involved: http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2009820