VMware View is a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solution. VDI is the name originally coined by VMware and now used generally for the concept of removing a users operating environment (operating system, applications, file and data) from their local machine and storing it on a remote system, with the user permitted to access their information on the remote system.
VMware View Composer can provide the provisioning functionality for the VMware View solution, including options to rapidly provision using linked clones.
A linked clone can be made from the parent image by taking a snapshot, with all the files available on the parent when the snapshot is taken being available on the linked clone. The linked clone isn't a full copy of the parent image, that is an exact copy of the all the files used, but merely a pointer to the parent image.
The linked clone image is available as long as the parent image is available, as soon as the parent image is deleted the linked clones cease to function.
Any changes made after the linked clone has been created to the parent image, do not get recreated on the linked clone and likewise any changes made to the linked clone do not get propagated to the parent image.
The VMware View Manager includes the VMware View Connection Server along with View Agent, View Portal, View Client and View Administrator.
When a user launches the View Client, a connection to the VMware View Manager takes place where authentication credentials are input and authorization is granted subject to the required user rights being held. Microsoft Active Directory is the typical authentication provider used.
Successful authentication results in a list of desktop pools available for the user being presented, which when selected launches an RDP session to the available Desktop Virtual Machine.
The hypervisor technology used in the VMware View's solution is based on VMware flagship enterprise server virtualization platform, ESX, which comes in two versions, ESX and ESXi.
VMware ESXi was originally a reduced version of VMware ESX, that allowed for a smaller 32 MB disk footprint on the Host. With a simple configuration console for mostly network configuration and remote based VMware Infrastructure Client Interface, this allows for more resources to be dedicated to the Guest environments.
There are two variations of ESXi, VMware ESXi Installable and VMware ESXi Embedded Edition. It also has the ability to upgrade to VMware Infrastructure 3 or VMware vSphere 4.0 ESXi.