VMware Horizon Smart Policies

With the release of VMware Horizon 7 and User Environment Manager 9 VMware has introduced Smart Policy’s to help administrators manage their Virtual environments better and improve what users can get access to and from where.

Smart Policys can be set on the following conditions

  • View Client Info (IP & Name)
  • Endpoint location (Internal/External)
  • Horizon Tags
  • Desktop Pool name

Below is a list of the smart policy that can be set and how they can be used by the Horizon administrators.

Clipboard

  • Enable
  • Disable
  • Allow Copy from Client to Agent
  • Allow Copy from Agent to Client

Client Drive

  • Disable
  • Allow All
  • Read Only

USB

  • Enable
  • Disable

Printing

  • Enable
  • Disable

PCoIP bandwidth profiles

  • High-Speed (20 Mbps)
  • LAN (10Mbps or Higher)
  • Dedicated WAN (5Mbps default)
  • Broadband WAN (2Mbps)
  • Low-Speed (1Mbps)
  • Extremely low-speed connections (up to 500Kbps)

The following table shows when to use the best bandwidth profile and for what use cases

Description BW(Mbps) typical network typical user
1 Best User Experience(workstation) 20 LAN M&E CAD/CAM
2 Best User Experience(VDI) 10 LAN – MAN Knowledge worker, video
3 Default Setting 5 WAN Task worker, light video
4 Optimal User Experience 2 WAN Office Apps
5 Prioritize Bandwidth 1 WAN Basic Apps only
6 Minimum Bandwidth 0.5 WAN Low Data Entry

The following table shows how the PCoIP profile is tuned based on the profile selected

GPO 1 2 3 4 5 6
Max Session BW (kbps) 9000 9000 9000 5000 2000 1000
Min Session BW (kbps) 100 100 100 100 100 100
Enable BTL 1 2 0 0 0 0
Max Initial Image Quality 100 90 80 70 70 70
Minimum Image Quality 50 50 40 40 30 30
Max FPS 60 30 30 20 15 5
Max Audio Bandwidth (kbps) 1600 1600 500 500 200 90
Image Quality performance. 50 50 50 50 25 0

 

To take advantage of these new Smart Policy you will need to use Horizon 7 and User Environment Manager 9 and have the latest Horizon Agents and Clients installed. It should also be noted that these policy only work with the PCoIP and BLAST Extreme protocols and not RDP.

For information on more new feature released with Horizon 7 see the following blog

VMware Horizon 7 New Features

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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.

Picture5

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.

Picture4

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.

 

Upgrading VMware App Volumes

A number of people have now asked me about the process for upgrading VMware App Volumes Managers.

In this blog I will document how to upgrade an App Volumes deployment from 2.5 to 2.6. It should also be noted that to avoid downtime you should have at least 2 App Volumes servers load-balanced in a pool. To find out how to load-balance App Volumes see my blog on the VMware web site Here.

This process will work if you do not have your App Volume servers load-balanced however during the process your desktops will not have access to the App Volumes server, meaning no AppStack or Writable will be attached at boot-up or login.

Before beginning the upgrade process make sure you back up the SQL database that App Volumes is using.

To upgrade the App Volumes servers follow the following process:

  1. Remove the first App Volumes server from the Load-balanced pool.
  2. Log in to the first App Volumes server
  3. Click Start -> Control Panel
  4. Click Uninstall Program
  5. Highlight App Volumes Manager and Click Uninstall

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  1. Click Next when the uninstaller starts
  2. Click Remove
  3. Click Finish
  4. Now run the Setup file for the new version of App Volumes, in this case 2.6
  5. Click Next

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  1. Accept the License agreement and click Next

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  1. Select the App Volumes Manager and click Install

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  1. Click Next
  2. It is very important at this stage to select Connect to an existing SQL Server Database and click Next

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  1. Select the correct SQL server. Configure the SQL log in information. Select the Database. DO NOT check the Overwite existing database check box then click Next

NOTE: If you do not add a Login ID then servers SYSTEM account will be used to connect to the database and App Volumes will probably fail to start.

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  1. Confirm the ports are correct and click Next

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  1. Confirm the install location and click Next

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  1. Click Install
  2. Click Finish
  3. Add the App Volumes server back in to the Load Balanced pool.
  4. Follow these steps for any additional App Volumes servers.

Once the serevrs are updated you should now update the App Volumes Templates. To do this check out my blog post here

Link Horizon Deployments Together with Cloud Pod Architecture

VMware has just made life easier for VMware Horizon administrators. With the release of VMware Horizon 6.1, VMware has added a popular feature—from the Horizon 6 release—to the web interface. Using Cloud Pod Architecture you can now link a number of Horizon deployments together to create a larger global pool – and these pools can span two different locations.

Cloud Pod Architecture in Horizon 6 was sometimes difficult to configure because you had to use a command line interface on the connection brokers. Now, with Horizon 6.1, you can configure and manage Cloud Pod Architecture via the Web Admin Portal, and this greatly improves the Cloud Pod Architecture feature.

You can read the rest of my post on VMware.com  Click Here

VMware App Volumes™ with F5′s Local Traffic Manager

App Volumes, a result of VMware’s recent acquisition of CloudVolumes, provides an alternative, just-in-time method for integrating and delivering applications to virtualized desktop and Remote Desktop Services (RDS)-based computing environments. With this real-time application delivery system, applications are delivered by attaching virtual disks (VMDK’s) to the virtual machine without modifying the VM or applications themselves. Applications can be scaled out with superior performance, at lower costs, and without compromising end-user experience.

For this blog post, I have colluded with Justin Venezia – one of my good friends and former colleague working over at F5. Justin and I will discuss ways to build resiliency and scalability within the App Volumes architecture using F5’s Local Traffic Manager (LTM).

App Volumes Nitty-Gritty

For the full blog please see my blog on VMware .com  http://blogs.vmware.com/consulting/2015/02/vmware-appvolumes-f5.html

Upgrading VMware Horizon View with Zero Downtime

Over the last few years working with VMware Horizon View and doing many upgrades, one of the biggest issues I would hear from customers when planning for an upgrade was, Why do we have to have so much downtime and why with 7 connection brokers do we have to take all 7 down at once.

These questions and issues came up when I was speaking to Engineering about the upgrade process and making it smoother for the customer.

I was told that this in fact was not the case and you did not have to take all connection brokers down during the upgrade process and you could simply upgrade 1 connection broker at a time while the other servers were happily running.

For the full blog please see my blog on VMware.com  http://blogs.vmware.com/consulting/2015/02/upgrading-vmware-horizon-view-zero-downtime.html

Horizon View: RDS PCoIP Design Tips

With the release of VMware Horizon View has come the ability to not only configure virtual desktops but also virtual applications hosted on Windows RDS servers.

In this post, I will cover a couple of things that you should take in to consideration when configuring virtual applications and how they might affect the sizing of your View Cluster and the number of connection servers you will need.

There many different papers and posts on how to configure RDS servers themselves, so I will not be touching on that in this post. I want to discuss the effects of how the PCoIP connections connect to RDS servers and what you should look out for.

For the full blog please see my post on VMware.com  http://blogs.vmware.com/consulting/2014/06/horizon-view-rds-pcoip-design-tips.html