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

VMware Horizon 7 Home Sites

When VMware released Horizon 6 last year they added the ability to configure Cloud Pod Architecture from with in the management console. The one thing that was missing from the management console was the ability to configure user’s homes sites. I am happy to say that with the release of Horizon 7 you can now configure and manage a user’s home site from with in the management console, making this task much easier.

The following is how you can configure a user’s home site.

  1. From within the console select Users and Groups and then select Home Sites

Picture1

  1. Click Add
  2. Search for a user and click Next

Picture2

  1. Choose the users Home Site and click Finish

Picture3

You can also easily change a user’s home site. Simply select the user and click Edit

Picture4

From there you can change the user’s home site.

Cloud Pod Architecture New Features

With the release of VMware Horizon 7 there have been a few changes to Cloud Pod Architecture and all for the good.

The first change is a change to how Home Sites are handled, for more information on this please see my blog here.

The other change is around the sizing of Cloud Pod Architecture, below you will see the changes in numbers between VMware Horizon 6 and VMware Horizon 7

Horizon 6 Horizon 7
Total Number of Sessions 20,000 50,000
Total Number of Sites 2 5
Total Number of Pods 4 25

As you can see there is a significant increase in the number of supported sessions as well as the number of Sites and Pods supported. This will greatly help in growing the large Horizon deployments around the world.

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 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.

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.

Picture3

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.

Picture4

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

Picture5

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.

Picture5

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

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