Update to How CPA Home Sites Work with Horizon 7

Several months ago I wrote a blog on how Home Sites work with VMware Horizon 6 Cloud Pod Architecture (CPA), you can find the blog here.

With the release of VMware Horizon 7 the way CPA handles Home Sites has been updated so the users with a Home Site will always receive a Desktop or App even if their Home Site is down.

Lets first review what would happen if a users Home Site was down. As you can see in the diagram below the Connection Brokers would return an issue that their Home Site was not available and the user would not be connected to a desktop.

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Just as with Horizon 6 with Horizon 7 when the users Home Site is available then the user will always receive the desktop from the Home Site as the diagram below shows.

 

Here is where we see a change. Now with Horizon 7 if a users Home Site is off-line then the user will still receive a desktop this time from one of the other sites within the Global Pool. As shown below.

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Once the Home Site comes back on-line the next time the user logs back in they will automatically be given a desktop from the Home Site once again.

 

Veeam NFC Storage Connection is Unavailable

I am currently doing some testing in my lab around backing up App Volumes, more to come on this in the new year, and I needed a backup solution to do my testing. I decided to use Veeam Backup and Replicate 8 as being a vExpert I get a free 1 year NFR license to use the product. Thanks Veeam for this benefit.

The product was easy to setup but when I came to make my first back I kept getting the following error.

NFC Storage Connection is Unavailable

After a couple of google searches I found the following KB article here. Having read through the article I started to look at the log files. The log files can be found on the Veeam server is this location.

%ProgramData%\Veeam\Backup\Backup_Job_Name

After looking at the logs I didn’t have any of the issues mentioned in the KB article but I did notice the following errors.

ERR |Failed to initiate NFC session. Target host: [10.0.1.200]. VI connection ID: [vcenter.delboyshome.com]. Storage MOID: [200-Local].

[22.12.2015 20:04:44] <  1592>      ERR |SSL error, code: [336151568].error:14094410:SSL routines:SSL3_READ_BYTES:sslv3 alert handshake failure

[22.12.2015 20:04:44] <  1592>      >>  |SSL_connect() function call has failed.

[22.12.2015 20:04:44] <  1592>      >>  |Failed to establish connection with the SSL server.

[22.12.2015 20:04:44] <  1592>      >>  |Cannot initialize new SSL connection.

[22.12.2015 20:04:44] <  1592>      >>  |Authd handshake has failed.

[22.12.2015 20:04:44] <  1592>      >>  |NFC session with the specified ticket [52 fc d5 d8 27 e2 4a 73-57 79 e2 13 85 b7 60 e8] is unavailable. Target host: [10.0.1.200].

[22.12.2015 20:04:44] <  1592>      >>  |Cannot connect to NFC session. Target host: [10.0.1.200]. Storage: [200-Local]. VI SOAP connection ID: [vcenter].

After some more goggling around I found that in ESXi 6.0U1 SSLv3 is now disabled by default and would need to be re-enabled, on all of my hosts, or at least on the host doing the backup specifically, SSLv3 would need re-enabling for post 902.

Thankfully the issue and easily be fixed. To fix the issue you can follow the simple steps in this KB from VMware found here.

 

 

 

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.

Picture10

 

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.

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

VMware User Environment Manager Demo

At VMworld this week I co-presented on the “Managing Users: A Deep Dive Into VMware User Environment Manager – EUC4630” session. As part of the session I showed a quick 7 min demo of User Environment Manager.

This Demo included showing the User Environment Manager configurations and a couple of cool things you can do with User Environment Manager. After the session a couple of people asked me to share the video for further reference. Below you will find the Video Demo, I hope you find it useful.

Also make sure you check on my White Paper of configuring User Environment Manager in 60 minutes or Less Here.

VMware Horizon 6.2 Top New Features for Hosted Applications

This week at VMworld VMware announced the latest version of Horizon, 6.2, with this release comes a number of new features. Here are 3 new features that were added I feel will make a big difference when deploying hosted applications.

View Composer for RDSH Servers

The View Composer has been around for a number of years now with great effect when deploying linked clone desktops. Well now this technology is  available for RDS hosts. Using the composer to deploy your RDS host will give you the following benefits

  • Automated built out of RDS server farms
  • Faster deployment of RDS Hosts using the View Composer technology
  • Storage savings due to the sharing of the base OS disk by the RDSH clones in a farm

Load Balancing RDSH Pools based on Usage

New load balancing enhancements have been added to make sure the users are being assigned to the best available RDS Hosts in the application farm. The load balancing can be configured to utilize either CPU utilization or Memory utilization. Horizon View administrators will able to configure the Application Farms to utilize either the CPU or Memory option depending on the applications in the Farm.

Cloud Pod Architecture support for RDS Applications

Hosted applications are now supported using Cloud Pod Architecture (CPA), this will greatly help when deploying large scale Horizon deployments and across multiple sites.

CPA hosted applications will also support HTML Blast access giving users the options to access there application through there web browser.

These are just a few of the new features of Horizon 6.2, other new features include. One way AD Trusts, FIPS/CC support, 4K Monitor Support and Streamline Pool Creation to name a few.

For more information go and check out the Horizon page on VMware.com Here

Is ThinApp Dead?

Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 8.48.52 AMNow that VMware App Volumes is live and a number of customers have deployed App Volumes or are thinking of deploying App Volumes, one of the questions that I constantly get asked is, “is ThinApp Dead?” Or “is App Volumes replacing ThinApp?”

Well I want to say this once and for all that ThinApp is not dead and App Volumes is not replacing ThinApp.

ThinApp still has a purpose in the EUC stack and is still the leader in Application Virtualization. In fact, App Volumes and ThinApp can work together happily and App Volumes is a great tool for delivering ThinApped applications to the End User.

App Volumes makes it very easy to deliver your ThinApp application quickly and instantly to your End Users.

Another use case for App Volumes and ThinApp is to deliver your ThinApped applications to RDSH servers so that you can stream your ThinApped applications to your End User devices such as iOS and Android devices. This can even improve your XenApp environment.

App Volumes and ThinApp working together make it very easy to quickly spin up a RDSH host and publish applications through VMware Horizon View or through Citrix XenApp.

I hope that this quick post puts the question to bed for the foreseeable future.

As a ThinApp fan I am happy that there is still life in this great solution!!!

EUC Professional Services Engineering (PSE) and VMworld

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 11.21.56 AM

VMworld in San Francisco is approaching very quickly. It’s a must-attend event for VMware customers, but there is a lot to take in, so I thought I would take a few minutes to highlight some key activities led by my team of End User Computing (EUC) consultants and architects that you won’t want to miss.

Our organization is called Professional Services Engineering (PSE) and is part of the Global Technical and Professional Services Organization. As VMware’s EUC subject matter experts, our team works with some of our largest EUC customers worldwide.

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

VMware User Environment Manager Application Profiler

One of the great benefits to the new User Environment Manager from VMware is the ability to be able to manage user setting at an application level for each individual applications. There are a number of ways in witch you can configure your applications to be managed by the UEM solution. The quickest and easiest is to use the Application Profiler that is available with the UEM download.

The VMware UEM Application Profiler is an extra software install that you install on a desktop or virtual machine where you have your user software installed. Once installed the application profiler can be used to quickly create the standard application settings that can be easily rolled out to your users.

As the UEM Application Profiler is not part of the standard install this blog will document just how to install and configure the UEM Application Profiler.

This blog post assumes that you have already configured User Environment Manager in your environment and everything is working as designed, if you do not have UEM installed and running then please see my blog on the VMware website Here

Capturing Application Settings

  1. Log in to the desktop where you have installed the Application Profiler software
  2. Install the Application that requires a profile
  3. Launch the Application Profiler

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  1. Click Start Session

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  1. Select the Application that requires a Profile and click OK

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  1. The Application will automatically launch
  2. Make any changes to the Application that will be required as part of the application profile
  3. Once the Application is configured correctly switch to the Application Profiler and click Stop Analysis

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  1. Click OK

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  1. Click Save and save the config file with the predefined settings

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  1. Copy the 3 saved files to the \\UEMServer\UEMShare\general\applications
    • Configuration file
    • Flag file
    • Icon file
  2. In the VMware User Environment Manager – Manager click refresh tree

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  1. The new Application will now appear in the application tree

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My good friend and colleague Stephane Asselin created some good video’s on the process that can be found here https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLfr3uvmY7hBwGeHiVIfo7rGA7rk4yemEV

To read more from Stephane check out his blog here http://myeuc.net/?wref=bif

Application Profiler Configuration Procedure

The following should be installed on all of the PC’s that will be required to run the Application Profiler.

  1. Run the VMware UEM Application Profiler x.exe file
  2. Click Next

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  1. Accept the License Agreement and click Next

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  1. Confirm the destination folder and click Next

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  1. Click Install

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  1. Click Finish

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