Installing and Configuring VMware View Broker Agent on Horizon Connection Server

In two of my earlier post on monitoring VMware VDI Solution using vRealize Operations (vROPS for Horizon), I covered the steps involved in installation and configuration of key components. If you missed the steps, you can refer the below links before proceeding with Installation and configuration of VMware View Broker Agent on Horizon Connection Server.

  1. Deploying VMware vROPS appliance
  2. Installation & Configuration of VMware View Adapter in vROPS

VMware Horizon broker agent is a key component of vRealize Operations for Horizon need to be installed on a View Connection Server. vROPS for Horizon broker agent runs as a Windows service that runs on a Horizon Connection Server host. Once paired with vROPS for Horizon Adapter, it collects Horizon inventory information and sends that information to the Horizon adapter. You must install the broker agent on one Horizon Connection Server host in each Horizon pod in your environment.

Prerequisites

  • Server key for the Horizon adapter instance to pair with the broker agent.
  • IP address of the vROPS host where you installed the Horizon adapter.
  • Both the broker agent and the Horizon adapter must run on the same TLS version.
  • The installer of View Broker Agent.

Demonstration

Procedure

Login to Connection Server and execute the installer

Provide the IP Address / FQDN of the vROPS server where you installed & configured the View Adapter. Click on Test to validate the inputs given

Click on Pair to pair VMware Broker Agent with the View Adapter. Click Next to proceed

Provide the Horizon Connection server credentials

Provide the Event DB credentials. Click Next to procced.

Choose the option if you want to monitor App Volumes using vROPS

Choose the option if you want to monitor VMware Unified Access Gateway (UAG) using vROPS

Change the Intervals and Timeouts in case required.

Start the Broker Agent Service

Login to vROPS Admin Console to verify if vROPS is receiving the data for VMware Horizon environment.

Conclusion

This Concludes the installation of VMware Broker Agent on Horizon Connection Server.VMware Horizon broker agent is a key component of vRealize Operations for Horizon need to be installed on a View Connection Server. Hope this will be informative for you. Thanks for Reading!!!. Be social and share if you find worth sharing this.

 

Configuring Event Database in VMware Horizon 7

Introduction

VMware Horizon records events like administrator actions, end-user actions, system failures and errors etc. You can either leverage Microsoft SQL or Oracle Database for recording events. Before proceeding to configure VMware Horizon to log events database is required to be created and configured.

In this post, I will be covering the steps to configure Event Database in VMware Horizon 7.

Demo

Procedure

  1. Login to VMware Horizon Admin Console

Click on No Events database configured.

Click on Edit

Provide Database server details

Conclusion

This concludes the configuration of SQL server database as a VMware Horizon Event database. Hope this would be informative for you. Thanks for Reading!!!. Be social and share if you find worth sharing it.

Creating SQL Database for VMware Horizon Event DB

Introduction

VMware Horizon records events like administrator actions, end-user actions, system failures and errors etc. You can either leverage Microsoft SQL or Oracle Database for recording events. Before proceeding to configure VMware Horizon to log events, In this post, we will be covering the steps to create a Microsoft SQL database. You do not need to create an ODBC data source for this database.

Demo

Procedure

Install SQL Server & SQL Server Management Studio in Mixed Mode authentication

Login to SQL Server Management Studio. Click on New Database

Give the database name and click on OK.

Create a new login account and assign DB Owner permission to the new database

Select “SQL Server Authentication” & Uncheck “User must change password at next login” & Click OK.

Click on User Mapping. Select new database & check db_owner.

Start “SQL Server configuration manager”. Go to “SQL Server Network configuration” then protocols for SQLEXPRESS. Enable TCP/IP if disabled. Click on Properties.

Restart the SQL Services

Conclusion

This concludes the steps required to create and configure SQL Server database before configuring it as VMware Horizon Event Database. Hope this will be informative for you. Thanks for Reading!!!. Be social and share if you find worth reading it.

Managing User Installed Applications & User Profile using VMware App Volumes

Introduction to VMware Writable Volumes

In one of the earlier post to the series, we talked about App Stack and its advantages. AppStacks are read-only volumes containing applications or can also be referred them as application containers. You can combine your organization’s core applications into a single AppStack making the AppStack easy to assign to Active Directory users. Using AppStacks you can easily provision the application which should be available across the organization or a set of users but what about the non-standard application which user want to install. In case of a non-persistent desktop, all user installed application & user profile data will be lost once user logoff from the virtual desktop.

Using Writable Volumes, you can configure per-user volumes where users can install and configure their own applications and keep the data that is specific to their profile. You can assign a Writable Volume to a specific user and which will become available to the user from any machine. A Writable Volume can contain data such as application settings, user profile, licensing information, configuration files, and user-installed applications. In case needed, you can create, import, edit, expand, and disable Writable Volumes using App Volumes Manager. Designing your environment for Writable Volumes require special consideration as Writable Volumes requires both Read & Write I/O.

 

Procedure

In this post, I will be demonstrating the steps to create a writable volume for saving user-installed applications and user data.

  1. Login to VMware App Volume Admin Console.
  2. Click on Create under Volumes –> Writable.

Search for the user & Choose the Destination Storage & Source Template

Choose appropriate option.

You can see the Writable volume created for the selected user.

Conclusion

This concludes the process of creating a Writable Volume for the user to save all the user installed applications as well as the user profile data. Next, I will be demonstrating the common administrative tasks you might need to perform in a VMware App Volume environment. Hope this will be informative for you. Thanks for Reading !!!. Be social and share if you find worth sharing it.

 

 

 

User Session Collaboration using VMware Horizon

Introduction to Session Collaboration

In most recent release of VMware Horizon 7,4, VMware came up with lot of great new features like

  • Session Collaboration, where users on their virtual desktops can collaborate with peers for reviews, interactive design and training.
  • Instant Clone support for Linux
  • vGPU support for RDSH Instant-Clone Farms
  • Enhancement of Virtualisation Pack for Skype for Business.
  • Enhancements in user experience for RDSH published applications in Horizon 7

Session collaboration with peers is especially useful in areas of engineering, design, healthcare, and education. Session collaboration gets more important especially in high-end graphics scenarios, where user working on a design can invite its peers to review & modify the design by passing control over to the other users.

A user can send session collaboration invitations to up to five domain users either by:

  • E-Mail  (E-Mail application must be installed & configured)
  • IM Invitation (Skype for business must be installed & configured)
  • Sharing link to the user

Session Collaboration Feature Prerequisite

  1. Horizon Client 4.7 or later for Windows, Mac, or Linux installed on the client system or must use HTML Access 4.7 or later.
  2. Horizon Agent 7.4 or later must be installed in the virtual desktop or RDS host.
  3. Session collaboration must be enabled at the desktop pool or farm level.
  4. Horizon 7.4 Connection Server
  5. Horizon 7 Enterprise Edition license.
  6. VMware Blast Extreme as display protocol

Session Collaboration Feature limitation

  1. Only primary monitor will be shown to session collaborators in case of multip monitors
  2. PCoIP & RDP Session are not supported
  3. H.264 hardware encoding is not supported.
  4. Anonymous collaboration is not supported.
  5. Session Collaboration feature cannot be used to share published application sessions.

Enabling Session Collaboration

To allow users to collaborate, Horizon administrator must have to enable Session collaboration on Desktop Pool, RDS Farm (to allow RDS users to collaborate). To allow users to collaborate with the users from other pods, you must have to enable the Session Collaboration feature for the global desktop entitlement that contains the desktop pool. You can also configure Session Collaboration on remote desktops using collaboration group policy settings in the VMware View Agent Configuration ADMX template file (vdm_agent.admx).

Configuring Session Collaboration using Group Policy 

You can configure below group policy settings to enable session collaboration using Group Policies

  • Session Collaboration Policy Settings
  • Allow inviting collaborators by e-mail
  • Allow inviting collaborators by IM
  • Separator used for multiple e-mail addresses in mailto: links
  • Server URLs to include in invitation message
  • Turn off collaboration
  • Maximum number of invited collaborators.

 

Configuring Session Collaboration on Desktop Pool

To allow Desktop Pool users to collaborate with other users you have to enable session collaboration on Desktop Pool

Configuring Session Collaboration on RDS Farm

To allow RDS Pool users to collaborate with other users you have to enable session collaboration on RDS Farm.

Demo

Summary

Session collaboration provides users a great flexibility to collaborate with team members. Session collaboration gets more important especially in high-end graphics scenarios, where user working on a design can invite its peers to review & modify. Hope this will be informative for you. Thanks for Reading!! Be social and share if you find worth sharing it.

VMware Horizon 7.0 Step by Step : Creating an Application Pool

Introduction

Application Pools in VMware Horizon pool allows  administrator to provides access to  applications hosted on servers in a data center instead  of users personal computers or  devices.  Using  application pools you can deliver a single application hosted on a farm of RDS hosts. Once deployed,  entitled users can access the application from anywhere  on the  network. Application deployed  using Application pools supports  both PCoIP and VMware Blast  display protocols.

Before application pool deployment,  application servers where application will be hosted  is required to be Remote Desktop  Session Host Role installed and applications are installed on the  application server.

Creating Application  Pool  Step  by Step

Prerequisites

  1. Set up RDS hosts.
  2. Create a farm that contains the RDS hosts. See Creating Farms.

Post  creating Farm containing RDS Host,  Click on Application Pools under Catalog. Click on Add to create a new Application pool.

2

Select  the  RDS  farm having  the RDS host  where applications are installed.  You will see the list of hosted applications in RDS farm. Select  the applications you want to be  accessible to  the users. Click Next to  proceed.

3

Click on Finish. Choose “Entitle  users after  this wizard finishes” if  you want to  entitle  applications to  the users immediately after Farm creation.  You can entitle  the applications  at later stage as well.   4 5

Users can see the entitled  applications in the list post  connecting  using VMware Horizon Client.

6 7Summary

Application pool makes the application deployment  process very easy. Instead of deploying applications individually on each user desktops,  you can now deploy the application  only once  and make  accessible to  the  many users. I hope this will be informative for you. Thanks for Reading. Do share it on social media if you find it worth sharing. Happy Learning :-).

Configuring Transparent Page Sharing Scope in VMware Horizon 7.0

Introduction to Transparent Page Sharing

Using Transparent Page Sharing (TPS) multiple virtual machines could share pages if the contents of the pages were same. If multiple virtual machines running the same Operating System pages having identical content can exist on a host. Once hypervisor identifies the pages having similar hash value for multiple virtual machines on a host, it shares the pages among virtual machines by creating pointers. This helps in freeing up memory on the host for new pages. Understanding security concern Transparent Page Sharing is disabled by default on the ESXi host and can be enabled at any point of time.

Impact of Disabling Transparent Page Sharing in VMware Horizon environment

In a VMware Horizon Deployment running 100’s of virtual desktops having similar operating system in a pool TPS can saves significant amount of physical memory on ESXi host by creating pointers for similar pages instead of a duplicate page. If you are upgrading an existing VMware VDI environment, you might see heaving memory utilization on the ESX host.

Configuring Transparent Page Sharing in VMware Horizon Environment

Post accessing the security risk associated with enabling Transparent Page Sharing in a desktop environment, you can configure TPS based on a desktop pool settings.

As you can see in screenshot below Transparent Page Sharing have 4 scopes to choose.

  • Virtual Machine – Virtual Desktops in this pool will not participate in Inter-VM TPS.
  • Desktop Pool – Virtual Desktops in this pool will participate in Inter-VM TPS with all desktops with in the same pool.
  • Pod – Virtual Desktops in this pool will participate in Inter-VM TPS with other desktops belonging to same pod.
  • Global – Virtual Desktops in this pool will participate in Inter-VM TPS with other desktops belonging to same as well as different pod.

tps-scope

Conclusion

You can configure Inter VM-TPS can under advanced storage setting at the time of creating pool or after creating pool. In a environment, where non-view virtual machines and view virtual machines co-exist on the same ESXi host and Transparent Page Sharing is desired, then the approach should be to enable Transparent Page Sharing on the ESXi host by Changing the  ESXi setting Mem.ShareForceSalting in every desired host to “0”

I hope this will be informative for you. Thanks for Reading. Do share it on social media if you find it worth sharing. Happy Learning :-).

VMware Horizon 7.0 Step by Step : Deploying Desktop Pool with Persistent Disk

Introduction to Persistent Disk

In Automated Dedicated Desktop Pool, Persistent disks can be leveraged to store user information and user-generated data (not user-installed applications). You can create persistent disk at the time you create linked clone desktop pool. You can place a persistent disk can be placed on same or seperate LUN from the linked clones LUN. View Composer preservers user information on the persistent disk when OS data is updated, refreshed or rebalanced.

Deploying Automated Desktop Pool with Persistent Disk

Login to VMware Horizon Admin Console. Go to Catalogs –> Desktop Pool. Click on Add to create new desktop pool. Click Next to proceed.

1

Selected Dedicated. Choose Enable Automatic assignment if you don’t want to assign desktops to user manually. Click Next.2Select View Composer Linked Clone and select View Composer from the list.  3

Assign ID and Display Name. Click Next to proceed.4Configure the Desktop Pool Settings as per configuration requirement. I kept the settings default in my LAB. Click Next to proceed. 5

Choose the Naming Pattern / Pool Size and Provisioning Time. Click Next to proceed.6

Choose Redirect Windows Profile to a persistent Disk. Configure the Persistent Disk Size. This will create a new persistent disk and attach the disk to the virtual desktop.7

Choose if you want to user VMware Virtal SAN.8

Under vCenter Settings. Choose Parent VM, Snapshot, VM Folder location and Resource settings. 9Configure Advanced Storage Options and click next.

10

Choose the Domain & Customization Script to use.11

Review the settings and click Finish.12

Once Virtual Desktop are deployed entitled users can login to Virtual Desktops. 13 15 16 17

Conclusion

Using Persistent disk, administrator can store user data on to a persistent storage which can be easily attached to detached an attached to another desktop in case needed.

Thanks for reading. I hope this will be informative for you. Do share in social media if you find it worth sharing.

VMware Horizon 7.0 Step by Step : Updating Linked Clone Desktop Pool

Introduction

In few of my earlier post, I covered the step by step process of Refreshing and Reblancing Virtual desktops in a pool. Another administrative activity you might be required to be performed on a pool for Updating Linked Clone Desktop Pool provisioned in a Desktop Pool. Updation can be providing new OS to the end users i.e. upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10 or it can be providing new applications to the end users in existing OS. In both the case, you will be required to recompose the Pool  / Desktop.

At the time of recomposing, all the linked clones desktops are attached to a new replica. As the linked cloned desktops are connected to a new replica, all changes occurred in the existing delta disk will be lost and users will get brand new virtual desktop. The Recompose command can be used to roll out new software or a new service pack.

Updating Linked Clone Desktop Pool

You can either update linked clone individually or all the desktop in a pool. To update all the linked clone desktops in a Pool, Login to VMware Horizon Admin Console and go to Catalog –> Desktop Pool . Double click on the pool you want to update.

In my Lab I have deployed a linked clone using Base OS image.

1

Under View Composer select Recompose2

Change the Parent VM if you want to use a different parent Virtual Machine or Change the snapshot if you want to keep the same parent VM but different updated snapshot.3

Schedule when you want to perform this task.4

Click Finish to update the linked clone desktop pool.5

Linked clone desktop will enter in maintenance mode and then update will be applied. As we are updating the linked clone desktop using an updated snapshot a complete new replica will be created on the datastore.6 7

Once deployed, entitled users can connect to assigned desktops.8

Summary

Updating a linked clone desktop is a process utilize lot of resources during customization, it is advisable to schedule recomposing task during off peak hours. I hope this will be informative for you. Thanks for Reading!!! Be Social and share it in Social media, if you feel worth sharing it

 

VMware Horizon 7.0 Step by Step : Rebalance Linked-Clone Virtual Machines

Introduction

Once you have deployed Automated Desktop with Linked Clone, you might be required to perform administrative activities like Refreshing Desktop pool virtual machines to reduce the operating system data, rebalancing of linked-clone virtual machines among data store, migrating of virtual machine to a newly added datastore. updating an linked clone desktop pools or management of persistent disk.In this post I will be discussing the process for Refreshing an Automated Desktop pool with Linked Clone.

In one of my previous post I discussed on the steps to refresh linked clone desktop pool. Once we have a Linked Clone Desktop Pool deployed, it might be possible that a new datastore is added and you are required to re-balance the linked clone desktops between new and old datastore OR you have to migrate the linked clone to new datastore.

Note : Do not use vSphere Client or vCenter Server to migrate or manage linked-clone virtual machines. Do not use Storage vMotion to migrate linked-clone virtual machines to other datastores.

Once rebalance task gets initiated VMware View Composer manages the movements of linked clones between datastore. View Composer ensures that the linked clones’ access to the replica is maintained during and after the rebalance operation. If necessary, View Composer creates an instance of the replica on the destination datastore.

Step by Step Rebalancing Linked-Clone Virtual Machines

Before initiating rebalancing / migrating task, new datastore is required to be added to the list of datastore used by Desktop Pool.

Click on Edit in summary tab of the desktop pool to add a new datastore.

1

Go to vCenter Settings and click on Browse infront of Datastore.2 3

Select Show all datastore (including local datastores) to list all the datastores. Select the new datastore from the list you want to be available for the pool.4 5

Migrating Virtual Desktops to new Datastore

Now we have two datastore’s allocated to the pool and presently all the datastores are hosted on a single datastore. 6

To Migrate all the virtual desktop to newly added datastore initiate the Rebalance task at pool level. Go the Summary tab of the Pool and Select Rebalance under View Composer Tasks.7 8

Choose the time when you want to start the rebalance task. 9

Click on Finish to start the task.10 11

Post completion of task, virtual desktops will be moved to newly added datastore.12

Rebalancing desktops between datastores

In order to rebalance desktops between datastores allocated to desktop pool, you need to select the individual desk and choose Rebalance task.

13 14 15 16Post completion of task virtual desktop will be balanced between allocated datastores.17

Summary

It is recommended to perform rebalance during off hours as the process will create refreshed desktops on new datastore. Do not use vSphere Client or vCenter Server to migrate or manage linked-clone virtual machines. Do not use Storage vMotion to migrate linked-clone virtual machines to other datastores.

Thanks for Reading!! I hoped this is informative for you. Be social and share it in social media, if you feel worth sharing it.