Note: In vSphere 6.0, instant cloning is achieved through private APIs and is not currently available through the v Sphere Web Client.
‘Instant Clone’ also known as VM Fork or Project Fargo, gives admins the ability to rapidly clone and deploy virtual machines, as much as 10x faster than the traditional way of cloning. A new virtual machine is “instantiated” by forking off an existing virtual machine in both memory and disk space, whereby reads come from the source machine but changes or writes are placed into files dedicated to the new virtual machine. This allows for new instantaneous cloning because data is not being copied. The child virtual machine starts where the parent virtual machine left off, so there is no boot process, this should be noticed—it is instant on. Instant cloning is able to provision up to 64 VMs on a single host in under six seconds, making it nearly 13 times faster than prior vSphere releases. While initially being targeted for the VMware Horizon suite, this technology and performance will be valuable to many things including containers within virtual machines.