VMware App Volumes Storage Group Improvements with 2.10

Several months ago I wrote a blog post on how VMware App Volumes can be deployed in a multi-site deployment. You can find the blog here.

With the release of App Volumes 2.10, for more information on the release see the information here, there has been a great improvement of the way App Volumes handles Storage replication. In this Blog I will explain how the new storage replication works and how to configure your storage groups to take advantage of this improved feature.

The main change that has happened when when looking at configuring storage groups and datastore’s is the ability to make datastore’s non-attaching. What does this mean, well basically a non-attaching datastore would be a place to create AppStacks but those AppStacks would never be attached to a desktop from this datastore.

The non-attached datastore would then be a member of a storage group or a number of storage groups. These storage groups would then replicate the AppStacks from the non-attached storage to all the other datastore’s with in the storage group.

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Now how will this look when deploying App Volumes to multiple sites here is a high level architecture of how this could be deployed. As you can see from this diagram at least 1 vCenter from each site will need access to the non-attached datastore.

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How to create the New Storage Group

First create the non attachable storage

With in the App Volumes Manager click on Infrastructure, Storage then select the storage to be non-attachable then click Make As Non Attachable.

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Now create a Storage group

With in the App Volumes Manager click on Infrastructure, Storage Groups then click Create Storage Group

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Give the storage Group a Name. Then select the required options. When choosing the datastore’s make sure to include the datastore’s that will be used to attach the AppStacks from as well as the non-attachable datastore. Click Create.

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As you can see from the image below I have created 2 Storage Groups one for each site and the Non-Attached storage, NFS2, is included in each Storage Group.

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Now all you need to do is create AppStacks on the non-attachable storage and they will automatically be copied to all the other datastores in the storage groups.

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VMware Horizon Cloud Pod Architecture Dedicated Desktops

Earlier this week I posted a blog about using Home Sites with in VMware Horizon Cloud Pod Architecture. You can find the blog here. In this blog I want to talk about the effects of using dedicated pools with in Cloud Pod Architecture and how that will affect desktop assignments as this is also something I get asked about on a regular basis.

Just as when creating desktop pools with in Horizon View when you create a Global Pool using Cloud Pod Architecture you have the option to create a Floating or dedicated pool assignment. It should be noted that if the Global Pool is dedicated then on local pools with dedicated assignments can join that Global Pool, this is just the same if the Global Pool has floating assignments then only local pools with floating assignments can be part of that pool.

Now let’s look at how dedicated pools will affect the user in the following scenario’s.

The first time a user logs in to a global pool the user is assigned a desktop. In the picture below on the left as the user first logs in from Site A they are assigned a desktop with in Site A. Even when the user logs in from Site B they still get the same desktop from Site A as you can see from the picture on the right.

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Now let’s see what happens if Site A goes off line. As Site A is off line the user no longer has a dedicated desktop and so the connection broker on Site B thinks this is the first time the user has logged in. At this time the user is assigned a new dedicated desktop as you can see from the picture below.

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Now what happens when Site A come back on Line. As you can see from the picture below the connection broker has an issue as the user now has 2 desktops assigned to the one user with in a single Global Pool.

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Instead of getting a desktop the user will see the following message

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In order to fix this issue, an administrator must log in to the Horizon Console and remove the user entitlement from one of the desktops with in the Global Pool.

I hope this helps explain how dedicated desktops will affect users and your designs when using Cloud Pod Architecture.

 

 

VMware Horizon Cloud Pod Architecture Home Sites

As VMware Horizon View deployments start to get much larger in numbers more and more people are starting to look at using Cloud Pod Architecture as a way to deploy their environments. Over the last few weeks this has lead to me getting a number of questions around how do Home Sites work.

The first thing you should know about Home Sites is they can not be assigned through the UI of the connection broker and currently must be done using the lmvutil command via a command prompt. For more information on assigning Home Sites you can see the commands here.

OK so what do Home Sites mean to our users. Lets first look at what happens when a user is NOT assigned a Home Site.

In the diagram below on the left the user connect from Site B so is directed to the connection server on Site B as there is capacity for the user in Site B the user is then assigned a desktop.

In the diagram on the right Site B is Off Line so the user is directed to the connection server on Site A and then assigned a desktop from the Global Pool on Site A

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Now let’s look at what will happen if the user has a Home Site assigned to them.

As you can see in the diagram below on the left the user has been assigned to a Home Site on Site B. When the user connect the user is directed to the connection server on Site B and then assigned a desktop from the Global Pool on Site B.

Now in the diagram on the right the user is connecting from Site A and although they connect through the connection server on Site A they are still assigned a desktop from Site B (their Home Site)

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Now let’s look at what happens when the users Home Site is down or off line.

As you can see from the diagram below if the users Home Site is down or off line the user is NOT assigned a desktop.

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As you can see assigning a user a Home Site can have consequences if the Home Site goes down or off line, this is defiantly something you should keep in mind when using Cloud Pod Architecture.

 

User Environment Manager 8.7 Working with Horizon 6.2

With the release of VMware User Environment Manager 8.7 VMware added a number of new feature, all of which you will find in the VMware User Environment Manager Release Notes.

However, in this blog, I would like to call out two new features that help when deploying User Environment Manager alongside VMware Horizon 6.2. VMware’s EUC teams did a great job in my opinion getting these two great features added or enhanced to work with Horizon 6.2 in the latest releases.

You can read the rest of my post and find out what I will be doing on VMware.com. Click Here

2016 vExpert Program Now Open for Enrollment

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Open enrollment is now open for the 2016 vExpert program.

If you feel that you should be a vExpert and are willing to give back to the VMware community then I would encourage you to apply and join this great community of people.

To apply today click on the following link to the vExpert Blog. You can also recommend a colleague who you think should be joining the program.

https://blogs.vmware.com/vmtn/2015/11/vexpert-2016-applications-are-now-open.html.