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VMware's Project Fargo gives users desktops on the fly

VMware's Project Fargo lets you copy an already-running virtual machine and deliver it to users, giving them fast access to nonpersistent desktops without taking up much disk space.

What is Project Fargo?

SAN FRANCISCO -- IT administrators looking for a faster way to clone and deliver VMs  may have gotten their wish.

VMware debuted and revealed some details about its cloning tool, Project Fargo at VMworld 2014 here this week.

Project Fargo, currently in tech preview, lets you quickly spin up linked clones from a virtual machine (VM) that's already running instead of using disk images. Rather than having a gold master image stored on a virtual hard disk, the base desktop is an actual running VM. When you need to give a user that same desktop, you can just clone that VM instead of booting up a whole other one.

Factoring in VMware's CloudVolumes acquisition with Project Fargo means users can get their apps and data almost as quickly as they receive their desktops. CloudVolumes uses containers to store applications and individual user data. There's one container for the application itself, and then each user's data has its own separate container.

The nonpersistent desktops that users receive through Project Fargo are destroyed at log off, and all the application data is backed up to the CloudVolumes containers. So Fargo is not only a fast way to deliver desktops and data, it takes up even less storage space than the traditional way of delivering nonpersistent desktops.

This was first published in August 2014

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