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.

Picture1  Picture2

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.


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.


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


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

Picture1   Picture2

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)

Picture3   Picture4

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.


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.


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

Managing Horizon Gold Images Across Multi-Site Deployments

One of the challenges when deploying VMware Horizon across multiple sites or data centers is how to keep your Gold/Master images in sync and how to get them from one site to another.

In this blog I will show you how you can utilize the new Content Library that is part of vSphere 6 to help manage this challenge.

There is a caveat to using the content library – it does not currently manage VM Snapshots. This blog will also show how you can work around this caveat to make the solution work for your deployments.

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