• Surj Randhawa

VMware Horizon - Zero to Hero Series - Part 2 (Intermediate) - Segment 3

Continuing with exploring the VMware Horizon Console, this post is focusing on the Inventory section.

This blog is part of a group of bite-sized segments, as follows:

NOTE: The following is based on Horizon version 2006; newer versions of Horizon may have subtle differences in the options available.

Inventory









The majority of Horizon day-2 operational tasks are done within the Inventory section of the Horizon Console. This post covers all aspects of this section; therefore use the links below to navigate through the different settings and options available.

Desktops Overview

Add Automated Desktop Pool

Add Manual Desktop Pool

Add RDS Desktop Pool

Edit Floating, Automated, Instant Clone Desktop Pool

Edit Floating, Dedicated, Instant Clone Desktop Pool

Edit Dedicated Manual Desktop Pool

Edit RDS Desktop Pool

Duplicate Desktop Pool

Delete a Desktop Pool

Entitle Users to a Desktop Pool

Pool Status

Desktop Pool Access Group

View Unentitled Users

Applications Overview

Create Application Pools Manually

Add from Installed Applications

Edit an Application Pool

Duplicate an Application Pool

Delete an Application Pool

Entitle Users to an Application Pool

Change the Application Icon for an Application Pool

Farms Overview

Add an Automated Farm

Add a Manual Farm

Edit a Manual Farm

Edit an Automated Farm

Delete a Farm

Disable/Enable a Farm and Disable/Enable Provisioning

Access Group

Machines Overview

vCenter

RDS Hosts

Others

Persistent Disks Overview

1.1 Desktops











The Desktop tab allows you to manage all aspects of a desktop pool, from creating a new pool, reviewing an existing pool, managing entitlements and much more. Essential information is available in this display, as shown in Table 1 below.

Table 1: Desktop Pool Information

When you select an existing desktop pool, the Edit, Duplicate and Delete tabs become available for selection.

Table 2 highlights the options available for Desktop Pools.

Table 2: Desktop Pools

1.1.1 Add Pool

When you click on the Add tab, there are three (3) options on the type of desktop pool you wish to create; Automated Desktop Pool, Manual Desktop Pool or RDS Desktop Pool. The following sections will describe the options available within each selection.

1.1.1.1 Automated Desktop Pool

Select Automated Desktop Pool.

Select the type of virtual desktop you wish to deploy.

NOTE: As the banner states, View Composer Linked Clones are being deprecated in future releases. This guide will not cover View Composer desktop pools.

If you have multiple vCenter Servers, select this from the list.

Select either a Floating assignment or a Dedicated assignment.

When you select Dedicated, you have the option to choose whether to assign the desktop automatically to a user or allow multiple users to log onto the virtual desktop.

Depending on the storage you are using, select the relevant option.

In the ID field, enter a unique name for the pool (no spaces are allowed).

The Display Name is what the user will see once they've authenticated with the Connection Server. If no name is entered, the ID of the pool is used.

If separate administration for the pool is required, select this from the drop-down list against Access Group.

Optionally, enter a description for the pool.

Basic

Enable Provisioning – when you finish creating the pool, the virtual machines are created automatically. If you uncheck this option, the pool is created, but no virtual machines are deployed.

Stop Provisioning on Error – if an error occurs during the desktop pool creation, provisioning is stopped.

Virtual Machine Naming

Naming Pattern – specify a naming pattern for the virtual desktops for this pool. The same name is also used to join the virtual desktops to Active Directory.

Provision Machines

The options under Provision Machines allows you to create Machines on Demand by specifying the Min Number of Machines required or select All Machines Up-Front to have all the virtual desktops created once the pool creation is completed.

Desktop Pool Sizing

Specify the Maximum Machines required for this pool; if you previously selected All Machines Up-Front, this is the number of virtual desktops created.

Alternatively, if you had selected Machines on Demand, enter the number of Spare (Powered On) Machines required in the pool.

Virtual Device

Add vTPM Device to VMs provides additional security capabilities to Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016 virtual machines.

Default Image

Select the Parent VM that the pool will be based on.

- You can filter by the type of operating system

Select the relevant Snapshot to use for the pool.

Virtual Machine Location

Select a VM folder to place the virtual desktops under.

Resource Settings

Select the Cluster where the virtual desktops will be created.

Select the Resource Pool.

Select the Datastores to place the virtual desktops.

Either leave the Network as the same as the parent VM or click Browse to select a different Network.

The State of the pool is enabled by default, allowing the pool to be available as soon as it is ready.

By default, there are no Connection Server Restrictions configured. If you require specific desktops to run on certain Connection Servers, assigning tags allows this.

The Category Folder allows you to create a shortcut to the virtual desktop in the Client’s Start Menu.

Client Restrictions allows you to restrict access to the pool from specific client computers.

You can select Desktop, Application or both from the drop-down list for Session Types. Desktops allow you to launch desktops only from the pool, whereas Applications enables you to publish applications running on the desktop.

The Log Off After Disconnect allows you to set a behaviour when a session is disconnected. The options are Immediately, Never or After. If you select After, you specify the time in minutes to force a logoff.

If the Session Type is set to Application or Desktop & Application, the Empty Session Timeout, Pre-launch Session Timeout and When Timeout Occurs options become available.

- Empty Session is when a user closes all of the applications running in a

session. The timeout determines how long in minutes action is taken.

- Pre-launch Session allows users to launch applications quickly; however, you

can specify a timeout in minutes that it is disconnected automatically if an

application is not launched.

- When the Timeout for Empty Sessions is reached, you can choose whether

to Disconnect or Log Off the session.

You can choose to Allow Users to Restart Machines. If you select Yes and a user restarts their Instant Clone virtual desktop, it will be deleted as soon as the log off occurs.

You can allow users to launch different sessions using different clients by selecting Yes in the drop-down list for Allow Separate Desktop Sessions from Different Client Devices.

The Default Display Protocol allows you to set the protocol the sessions use. Using the drop-down list, you can select VMware Blast, PCoIP or Microsoft RDP.

You can deny users from changing the display protocol in the client by selecting No against Allow Users to Choose Protocol.

Depending on whether you have an NVIDIA vGPU card configured in vSphere or not, the options available under 3D Renderer are automatically selected by Horizon. The choices are

- Manage using vSphere Client

- NVIDIA GRID vGPU

The Allow Session Collaboration option allows users to invite others to their session. This only works with the VMware Blast protocol.

The Domain is automatically filled based on the default domain that the Connection Server is a member of; if there are multiple domain trusts, select the correct domain from the drop-down list.

The default AD Container (OU) is selected for computer objects. Click on Browse to change this as required.

Optionally, if computer objects have been pre-created in AD, select Allow Reuse of Existing Computer Accounts.

The Power-Off Script Name and Power-Off Script Parameters allow you to run a script on the virtual desktops that are executed before they are powered off.

The Post-Synchronization Script Name and Post-Synchronization Script Parameters allow you to run a script on the virtual desktops when created.

The final step is confirming all the settings and clicking Submit.

Optionally, you can check Entitle Users After Adding Pool or you can entitle users after the pool creation.

1.1.1.2 Manual Desktop Pool

In section 1.1.1.1 Automated Desktop Pool above, the desktop pool is created and managed by VMware Horizon itself. In a manual desktop pool, Horizon only manages the virtual desktops; the creation of the machines is done outside of the Horizon environment.

The virtual desktops that are supported in a manual pool can be either:

  • Virtual machines that are managed by vCenter Server.

  • Virtual machines that are not managed by vCenter Server.

  • Physical machines.

This section will show you the options available when setting up a manual desktop pool in Horizon.

Select Manual Desktop Pool.

If your existing virtual machine is managed by vCenter Server, select vCenter virtual machines, otherwise for any other type of desktop (physical or non-vCenter Server managed) select Other sources.

Select your vCenter Server from the list.

NOTE: This option is not available when you select Other sources in step 2.

Select either a Floating assignment or a Dedicated assignment.

When you select Dedicated, you have the option to choose whether to assign the desktop automatically to a user or allow multiple users to log onto the virtual desktop.

In the ID field, enter a unique name for the pool (no spaces are allowed).

The Display Name is what the user will see once they've authenticated with the Connection Server. If no name is entered, the ID of the pool is used.

If separate administration for the pool is required, select this from the drop-down list against Access Group.

Optionally, enter a description for the pool.

On the Desktop Pool Settings page, if you selected Other sources in step 2, then the Session Types, Remote Power Policy, and Allow Users to Restart Machines sections are not available, as shown in the figure below.

The State of the pool is set to enabled by default, allowing the pool to be available as soon as it is ready.

By default, there are no Connection Server Restrictions configured. If you require specific desktops to run on certain Connection Servers, assigning tags allows this.

The Category Folder allows you to create a shortcut to the virtual desktop in the Client’s Start Menu.

Client Restrictions allows you to restrict access to the pool from specific client computers.

You can select Desktop, Application or both from the drop-down list for Session Types. Desktops allow you to launch desktops only from the pool, whereas Applications enables you to publish applications running on the desktop.

The Log Off After Disconnect allows you to set a behaviour when a session is disconnected. The options are Immediately, Never or After. If you select After, you specify the time in minutes to force a logoff.

If the Session Type is set to Application or Desktop & Application, the Empty Session Timeout, Pre-launch Session Timeout and When Timeout Occurs options become available.

- Empty Session is when a user closes all of the applications running in a

session. The timeout determines how long in minutes action is taken

- Pre-launch session allows users to launch applications quickly; however, you

can specify a timeout in minutes that it is disconnected automatically if an

application is not launched.

- When the timeout for empty sessions is reached, you can choose whether

to Disconnect or Log Off the session.

You can choose to Allow Users to Restart Machines. If you select Yes and a user restarts their Instant Clone virtual desktop, it will be deleted as soon as the log off occurs.

You can allow users to launch different sessions using different clients by selecting Yes in the drop-down list for Allow Separate Desktop Sessions from Different Client Devices.

Under the Remote Display Settings page, if you selected Other sources in step 2, then the 3D Renderer, VRAM Size, Max Resolution of Any One Monitor sections are not available, as shown in the figure below.

The Default Display Protocol allows you to set the protocol the sessions use. Using the drop-down list, you can select VMware Blast, PCoIP or Microsoft RDP.

NOTE: Teradici hardware is required if you select PCoIP when using physical machines.

You can deny users from changing the display protocol in the client by selecting No against Allow Users to Choose Protocol.

3D Renderer allows you select between vSphere Client settings, hardware graphics accelerator or software graphics accelerator. The options are:

  • Manage using vSphere Client

  • Disabled

  • Automatic

  • Software

  • Hardware

  • NVIDIA GRID VGPU

If you select Automatic, Software, or Hardware, the VRAM Size setting becomes available. This allows you to set the amount of VRAM allocated to the virtual desktops. The minimum is 64MB, the default is 96MB, and the maximum is 512MB. You can specify your own value accordingly within the above range.

The Max number of monitors option becomes available if you select Disabled, Automatic, Software, or Hardware as the 3D Renderer.

When 3D Renderer is set to Disabled, and you have selected PCoIP or VMware Blast as the display protocol, you can specify the Max Resolution of Any One Monitor. The options are:

  • 1680 x 1050

  • 1920 x 1200

  • 2560 x 1600

  • 3840 x 2160

The Allow Session Collaboration option allows users to invite others to their session. This only works with the VMware Blast protocol.

Select the virtual machines available from vCenter Server.

NOTE: This page is replaced with Machines when you select Other sources in step 2.

Use View Storage Accelerator is enabled by default. This allows the ESXi hosts to cache common data for the virtual machines.

You can specify the number of days the cache is recreated. The default is seven (7) days.

Blackout Times allows you to block times when the regeneration and disk space reclamation doesn't occur.

Finally, the Transparent Page Sharing Scope can be configured to be applied at Virtual Machine (default), Desktop Pool, Pod, or Global level.

NOTE: This page is not available when you select Other sources in step 2.

The final step is confirming all the settings and clicking Submit.

Optionally, you can check Entitle Users After Adding Pool or you can entitle users after the pool creation.

1.1.1.3 RDS Desktop Pool

The final type of desktop pool that you can manage with Horizon is a RDS desktop pool.

Select RDS Desktop Pool.

In the ID field, enter a unique name for the pool (no spaces are allowed).

The Display Name is what the user will see once they've authenticated with the Connection Server. If no name is entered, the ID of the pool is used.

Optionally, enter a description for the pool.

The State of the pool is set to enabled by default, allowing the pool to be available as soon as it is ready.

By default, there are no Connection Server Restrictions configured. If you require specific desktops to run on certain Connection Servers, assigning tags allows this.

The Category Folder allows you to create a shortcut to the virtual desktop in the Client’s Start Menu.

Client Restrictions allows you to restrict access to the pool from specific client computers.

You can allow users to launch different sessions using different clients by selecting Yes in the drop-down list for Allow Separate Desktop Sessions from Different Client Devices.

On the Select RDS Farms page, you have the options for Create a new RDS farm or Select an RDS farm for this desktop pool.

For the purpose of this guide, I am selecting my existing RDS farm to use, however see section 1.3 Farms for creating a new RDS farms.

The final step is confirming all the settings and clicking Submit.

Optionally, you can check Entitle Users After Adding Pool or you can entitle users after the pool creation.

1.1.2 Edit Pool

When you select an existing desktop pool, you can modify various aspects of the pool as detailed below.

Select an existing pool and click the Edit tab.

1.1.2.1 Floating, Automated, Instant Clone Pool

Table 3 below highlights the options that can be modified and cannot be changed once the pool has been created.

Table 3: Edit Pools - Floating, Automated, Instant Clone Pool

1.1.2.2 Dedicated, Automated, Instant Clone Pool

Table 4 below highlights the options that can be modified and cannot be changed once the pool has been created.

Table 4: Edit Pools - Dedicated, Automated, Instant Clone Pool

1.1.2.3 Dedicated, Manual Pool

Table 5 below highlights the options that can be modified and cannot be changed once the pool has been created.

Table 5: Edit Pools - Dedicated, Manual Pool

1.1.2.4 RDS Desktop Pool

Table 6 below highlights the options that can be modified and cannot be changed once the pool has been created.

Table 6: Edit Pools - RDS Desktop Pool

1.1.3 Duplicate Pool

You can duplicate an existing pool instead of creating a new pool. The following pages are duplicated and cannot be changed:

  • Type

  • vCenter Server

  • User Assignment

All other pages and settings can be customised.

NOTE: Only automated desktop pools can be duplicated.

1.1.4 Delete Pool

To delete an existing pool, simply select the pool and click the Delete tab. A dialogue box will appear for confirmation. Click OK, and the pool will be deleted, and any connected sessions will be ended immediately.

The status of the pool will show as (deleting). Refresh the view to update the pools.


1.1.5 Entitlements

Entitlements control access to the desktop pool. Typically, you would run the entitlement wizard during the creation of a new pool. However, if this is not the case or you wish to remove an existing entitlement, simply select an existing pool and click on the Entitlements tab.

1.1.5.1 Add Entitlements

Select Entitlements > Add Entitlements.

The Add Entitlements wizard starts, click Add.

You can search by Users and/or Groups. Enter the search criteria and click Find.

Once the search returns the results, ensure you select the users and/or groups before clicking OK.

Confirm your selection(s) and click OK. The users and/or groups are entitled to the pool.

1.1.5.2 Remove Entitlements

Select a pool that already has entitlements and then select Entitlements > Remove Entitlements.

Select the user or group that you wish to remove and click OK.

Confirm that you wish to remove the entitlements and click OK.

1.1.6 Status

The Status tab allows you to control the pool after it has been created. The options available are as follows:

  • Disable Desktop Pool - when selected, the pool becomes unavailable and users are unable to access virtual desktops from the pool. This is useful when maintenance is required at the pool level.

  • Enable Desktop Pool - if the pool is disabled, you can enable it using this setting. This makes the pool accessible for users to access it.

  • Disable Provisioning - this prevents any new virtual desktops from being created in the pool. Existing virtual desktops can be accessed as normal.

  • Enable Provisioning - allows the pool to create (provision) additional desktops as and when required based on the pool settings.

1.1.7 Access Group

When you select Access Group, you are presented with two choices; New Access Group and Change Access Group.

Access groups allows you to specify different administrators for virtual desktops, pools, or farms. When Horizon is installed, by default a root (/) group is created for all administration purposes. You can create a new access group by select New Access Group.