Overview of RDSH Farms

A farm is a group of Windows Remote Desktop Services (RDS) hosts. You can create published desktops associated with a farm. You can also deliver a published application to many users by creating application pools. The published applications in application pools run on a farm of RDS hosts.

You will work with application pools in Module 3 of this lab.

RDSH Farm Types

Farms simplify the task of managing RDS hosts, published desktops, and applications in an enterprise. You can create manual or automated farms to serve groups of users that vary in size or have different desktop or application requirements.

A manual farm consists of RDS hosts that already exist. The RDS hosts can be physical or virtual machines. You manually add the RDS hosts when you create the farm.

An automated farm consists of RDS hosts that are instant-clone virtual machines in vCenter Server.

Instant Clone RDSH Farms

The Horizon Connection Server creates the instant-clone virtual machines based on the parameters that you specify when you create the farm. Instant clones share a virtual disk of a parent VM and therefore consume less storage than full virtual machines. In addition, instant clones share the memory of a parent VM and are created using the vmFork technology.

When you create an application pool or a published desktop pool, you must specify one and only one farm. The RDS hosts in a farm can host published desktops, applications, or both. A farm can support at most one published desktop pool, but it can support multiple application pools. A farm can support both types of pools simultaneously.

Additional Information on Horizon Instant Clone Technology


  • Leverages vmFork in vSphere 6.0 U1 and later
  • Cloning and customization done without reboots of the guest OS
  • Provision RDSH farms and desktop pools


  • Rapidly provision RDSH servers
  • Expand or shrink existing RDSH farm in seconds
  • Streamlines, rolling maintenance operations

Want to learn more?

The first three minutes of the video provides a technical overview of Instant Clone technology.  


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