Don’t dismiss the huge benefits of Linked Clones!











Did you know that the quote ‘With great power comes great responsibility” is not an original quote crafted by Ben, the uncle of our Spidey friend? In fact, the quote was first coined by François-Marie Arouet (Voltaire) in 1832.

It has come my attention that VDI and DaaS administrators, consultants and architects have started to heavily lean towards persistent desktops for new rollouts after reading my article entitled “Open letter to non-persistent VDI fanboys…”.

In my article I claim that non-persistent desktops, Linked Clones and alternative image and app management solutions are not a requirement any longer for the large majority of use cases since now we can utilize fully provisioned persistent clones without the capacity and performance penalties. Look at what companies like Pure Storage, EMC XtremIO and Atlantis Computing are doing in this space.

While that may be true and I stand behind my opinion, I have to say that going persistent for all use-cases is just plain non-sense.

Non-Persistent (also known as Floating Pools) powered by Linked Cloning technology are a special category of VDI, where desktops are refreshed at some point in time, usually after user logoff, returning to its pristine state.

Desktops in this pool model are assigned to the user at logon time and every time the user re-connects he/she may or may not get the same virtual desktop. It is also possible to refresh or delete virtual desktops after first use, ensuring every user always get a clean and functional desktop.


Some of the benefits of Linked Clones include:

  • A full clone can take several minutes to be created if the files involved are large, while creating Linked Clones generally take only couple minutes to get ready.
  • Linked Clones lower the barriers to creating new virtual machines, so you might swiftly and easily create a unique virtual machine for each task you have.
  • Linked clones are easier to share. If a group of people needs to access the same virtual disks, then the people can easily pass around clones with references to those virtual disks.
  • Linked Clone provides simplified disaster recovery given that only user data and profile must be shipped across to different locations.
  • Linked Clones provide inherently added security, as the virtual desktops can be constantly re-pristined.
  • Linked Clones help to reduce storage growth through use of Space Efficient Virtual Disks and improve performance through use of Content Based Read Cache.
  • Linked Clones can be deployed using the host-based SSD approach; without shared storage array.
  • Linked Clones provide single image management approach for similar users.


If you want to learn more about why and when you should choose Floating and Linked Clones pools you should read my article “Floating Pools are the way to go….

My recommendation to the people making architecture decisions is that you ought to be sensible to different technologies and approaches, and choose the architecture that best fit your environment and use-case requirements.


This article was first published by Andre Leibovici (@andreleibovici) at


  1. Agreed completely. Agreed with you on this regarding the persistence debate as well:
    As you said in the debate and here, it’s all about use case. Anyone who advocates only one model for all use cases doesn’t understand the technology or users for that matter.

  2. Agree as well! The choice of persistent versus non-persistent desktops, will be driven by the business and technology use cases. The choice of storage options will also have a play in the decision making.

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