Upgrading VMware Horizon Cloud Pod Architecture

Some time ago I wrote a Blog describing how to upgrade VMware Horizon with Zero downtime, you can fine the blog here.

Recently I have been asked a number of times if this is still the case if customers are using Cloud Pod Architecture for multi-site deployments.

I can confirm that Yes you can upgrade Horizon View with Zero downtime even if the View Pod is part of a Cloud Pod Architecture. There are however a couple of caveats.

First you must upgrade all the View connection brokers on a single site, don’t upgrade half on one site and then start on the second site, make sure all the view connection servers are at the same install version on site 1 before starting on site 2.

Second be aware that any new features that are part of the upgrade will not be available until all connection servers are upgraded across both sites.

To recap the order to upgrade Horizon Cloud Pod Architecture

  1. Upgrade all Connection servers on Site one, this can be done with Zero Downtime following the Blog above
  2. Upgrade all connection servers on site two, again this can be done with Zero Downtime following the Blog above

For more information you can refer to the product documentation here.

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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

How to Enable Touch ID in VMware Horizon 6.2

One of the great new features in VMware Horizon 6.2 is the ability to log in to your virtual desktops and applications using the figure print ID or Touch ID on your iPhones and iPads.

In this blog I will document how to configure Horizon to enable Touch ID. Before you configure this setting you should be aware that this is a global setting and as such once enabled it will be enabled for all users in all desktop and application pools.

Follow these steps to enable Touch ID

  1. Upgrade all Connections Servers to Horizon 6.2
    1. Note that signed Certificates are required
  2. Start the ADSI Edit utility on the View Connection Server host.2015-09-07_10-17-37
  3. In the Connection Settings dialog box, select or connect to DC=vdi,DC=vmware,DC=int
  4. In the Computer pane, select or type localhost:3892015-09-07_10-26-55
  5. Double click on the object CN=Common, OU=Global, OU=Properties2015-09-07_10-29-59
  6. Edit the pae-ClientConfig attribute
  7. Add the value BioMetricsTimeout=-1
  8. Click Add and OK2015-09-07_10-34-25
  9. The new setting takes effect immediately. You do not need to restart the View Connection Server service or the client device

For more information please see the documentation 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

Adding a Second Connector to VMware Workspace

Recently I was asked by a customer if it was possible to add an untrusted Domain to their current VMware Workspace deployment to easily manage access to applications that are currently being managed by Workspace.

Workspace does give you the option to add a non trusted Active Directory Domain by adding a second connector to that domain as an Identity Provider.

The following figure shows the high level architecture of both a Multi-Forest Domain and separate Active Directory Domain utilizing VMware Workspace.

1

The following steps document how to add a second connector to your VMware Workspace environment.

Before Installing a Second Connector

The following is required before you configure a second connector for Workspace

  1. Workspace is currently up and running in your environment
  2. Create a IP address in DNS for the second connector and make sure its using reverse lookup.

Procedure for Adding a Second Connector

  1. Within vCenter Deploy a new OVF Template
  2. Browse to the OVF file and click Next
  3. Confirm the OVF Details and click Next
  4. Accept the License Agreement and click Next
  5. Enter the Name of the connector and select the correct location with in vCenter and click Next
  6. Select the Cluster and click Next
  7. Select the Resource Pool and click Next
  8. Select the Storage and click Next
  9. Select the Disk Format and click Next
  10. Select the Network and click Next
  11. On this screen it is important to select Connector Only Install, enter the Network Properties and click Next

2

  1. Confirm everything is correct, select Power on after deployment and click Finish
  2. While the OVF is installing connect to the Admin portal of the original Workspace deployment
  3. Click on Settings, Identity Providers and Add Identity Provider

3

  1. Add the fully qualified domain name of the second connector and click Save

4

  1. Copy the Activation Code as you will need this during the configuration of the second connector
  2. In a second web browser connect to the second connector
  3. On the Getting Started Page click Continue
  4. Configure the passwords and click Continue
  5. Paste the Activation Code and click Continue

5

NOTE: If you are using self signed certificates then you will need to copy the root certificate from the first Workspace Appliance and paste it in the Root Certificate box that will show up

  1. Configure the new Active Directory and click Continue
  2. Configure the User Attributes and click Continue
  3. Select the users and click Continue
  4. Select the AD groups and click Continue
  5. Confirm everything is correct and click Push to Workspace
  6. Click Finish