VMware View – Reset, Refresh, Rebalance, Recompose, Rehuh?

For the past few months I've been playing around a little bit with VMware View, seeing what it is all about, what it has to offer and trying to find a place for it.  One of the great features that I love about View is the linked-clone functionality where I can spawn multiple desktops off of one parent virtual machine and do this in a very fast amount of time.  After playing around with some of my desktops I found that there was still quite a few tweaks and applications that I wanted to install on the parent VM, so I went ahead and updated the parent, took my snapshot, and went to the the View Manager to find out how to update the rest of the "linked" desktops.  This is where I ran into the option to Reset, Refresh, Rebalance, or Recompose.  So which one was it?  Well it's actually recompose that I need to perform, but for the record, this is what each option does….

Reset

  • Pretty self explanatory really, a reset within View is the same as a reset within vSphere.  Basically does a hard power off on the VM and brings it back up.  This functionality can actually be performed (if you allow it) by the end user.

Refresh

  • When refreshing a desktop or a pool of desktops, you are basically bringing that VMs delta disk back into sync with the parents currently selected snapshot.  Meaning, if you have went to the parent made changes and created a new snapshot that you wanted to deploy (which is what I had done) and then perform a refresh it will not apply those changes.  It doesn't change which snapshot you are using, only refreshes the desktops back to the currently selected one.

Recompose

  • Similar to a refresh, however this is the function that allows you to chose a new snapshot within the parent VM, or a completely new parent VM for that matter.  This will peal through and provision that new replica VM and update all of your pooled desktops to reflect the changes made within the parent.

Rebalance

  • This option is quite a simple one.  Basically it just has a look at your configured datastores and desktops and moves them around on different datastores in order to best utilize the space allocated.

So, hopefully this helps anyone who stumbles across this article looking to find the differences between these options.  If anything it will help me remember them by writing this….Again, I'm new to View, so I certainly could be wrong on this, but from what I've read I think I'm ok.  As always, comments, concerns, questions, answers, words of wisdom…put'em in the boxes below…

  • Manny Sidhu

    Hey Mike, great article! You may want to add that rebalancing a pool will also refresh linked-clone. As a result, user profiles and/or data are also obliterated unless persistent disks and/or Persona Mgmt/Roaming Profiles are in use.