We want an available pool of linked clones that people can take out of the pool, do whatever testing/troubleshooting they need to, and then delete the VM. This is exactly what happens in a VMware View floating pool, but we need server OSes. Is this something vCloud Director can do?
vCloud Director is more about managing multiple vCenters and vSphere resources and pooling their resources, not so much VM's themselves.
I think what you're looking for is VMware Lab Manager, which can do exactly what you're referring to. Create templates of VM's, deploy them as linked clones, set auto-destroy-lease times. You can even group several templates together as a 'Configuration' which can also be cloned at will.
That's funny because we have a current deployment of Lab Manager. It's really hard to motivate myself to get up to speed with LM because it's EOL'ed.
Yah, I'm gonna miss LM
vCD can do it, tho in a slightly round-about way.
Essentially, instead of a 'Configuration' or a single VM template, you would create a vApp and add it to the Catalog.
Users with appropriate priviliges can see the shared Catalog and in vCD 1.5 those vApps can all be linked clones.
Typically a vApp is for multiple VM's, but there's nothing stopping you from only having 1 VM in a vApp.
I just talked to the big kahuna and the rub we are having is that our users do not want to wait for the provisioning/cloning process, because they are doing inbound phone troubleshooting. That's what's great about the floating pool in View, it's really fast to connect to. I thought we could do this same thing in LM if we provisioned a bunch of VMs up front and when an agent starts troubleshooting they would change the share permissions from everyone to just them. After they are done, they would delete the VM and provision a new one or possibly script the provisioning. It's a little clunky, but I'm not sure how to get what we want a more efficient way.
I guess this could be LM or vCD.