Book Image

Implementing VMware Horizon 7 - Second Edition

By : Jason Ventresco
Book Image

Implementing VMware Horizon 7 - Second Edition

By: Jason Ventresco

Overview of this book

VMware Horizon 7 has been a buzz since it was announced. One of the major reasons is the introduction of the new Instant Clones feature. This book will complement the product documentation by providing real-life examples of how it is implemented along with the latest features and components of the platform. We'll explore the latest features of the platform, including those added through product acquisitions such as User Environment Manager and App Volumes. Further on, you will also be introduced to the new capabilities added to the core product such Linked-Clone RDS pools. Upon completion of this book, you will have an understanding of the capabilities and benefits VMware Horizon can provide to your organization, and how each of its components are implemented.
Table of Contents (21 chapters)
Implementing VMware Horizon 7 Second Edition
About the Author
About the Reviewer


Implementing VMware Horizon 7 is meant to be a hands-on guide on how to deploy and configure various key features of Horizon, including App Volumes and User Environment Manager. The examples provided in this book focus on 14 different topics, and it instructs you on their purpose, configuration, and administration. Using the examples provided in this book, you will be able to implement and manage these features in your own VMware Horizon environment.

There are many places in this book that refer to the official VMware Horizon, App Volumes, and User Environment Manager documentation. You are encouraged to review this documentation as it complements the material in this book and contains additional information that can provide a deeper understanding of the technical details and capabilities of the entire VMware Horizon platform.

Why virtualize our end user computing resources?

There are a number of different reasons why an organization may decide to implement VMware Horizon in their own environment. Many organizations are already familiar with the benefits of virtualization, such as the following:

  • Server consolidation: Less physical hardware is required to service the same quality of workload

  • Simplified management: Fewer physical resources to manage

  • More energy efficient: Less power and cooling required

  • Hardware independence: Virtual machines can run on almost any hardware platform without any changes required

  • Enhanced capabilities: Deploy new virtual servers much faster than physical ones, and with less effort

These are just a small sample of the benefits of virtualization. If you have already implemented virtualization in your organization, you likely have additional reasons of your own.

Virtual desktops and applications can provide an organization with additional advantages beyond those of virtualization itself. Using VMware Horizon, we can do the following:

  • Roll out a new Windows desktop OS across your enterprise without making any changes to the existing desktops, although eventually you will want to retire or repurpose these machines.

  • Horizon desktops are live in the data center, and they can be accessed from almost anywhere from a variety of clients. Horizon desktops, as well as the data stored on them, can't be left in airports, stolen from cars, or accidentally left on your desk at the office. Horizon offers the ability to control it and how data can be copied between the client endpoint and the desktop or application being accessed.

  • Stop caring about endpoint hardware. Use existing Windows PCs as desktops if you want or move to a zero client and do away with common endpoint management tasks. Better yet, have users bring their own device and let them use it to access their Horizon desktop. Worry about what's in the data center, not on the desk.

  • Microsoft Patch Tuesday redefined. With Horizon Instant and linked clones, you patch once and then quickly update the desktops with a whole new master image. No more testing patches across 15 different hardware platforms. No more monitoring patch status across hundreds or thousands of desktops. The same technique can be used to roll out new applications as well.

  • Stop troubleshooting random desktop problems. Problems with Windows? Provide the user a new or refreshed desktop in minutes with linked clones, or even seconds with instant clones. With features such as User Environment Manager to manage Windows profiles and App Volumes to deliver applications on demand, the individual desktop doesn't have to matter. If a problem with a persistent desktop will take more than a few minutes to fix, refresh the desktop instead. If using nonpersistent desktops, simply ask the user to log off and on again, which will assign them a brand new desktop to use.

These are just some of the advantages of using VMware Horizon, vSphere, App Volumes, and User Environment Manager to move your desktops and applications into a data centre. While reading this book, I encourage you to think of ways that Horizon can change how you provide end user computing resources to your organization. These are just a few examples:

  • Don't just simply forklift your desktops into the data center as full virtual machines, consider the benefits of linked or instant clones.

  • Rather than create large numbers of master images for different departments or worker types across your organization, create a basic image that you can layer applications on top of using App Volumes.

  • Investigate software that is optimized for virtual desktops, such as the vShield Endpoint antivirus platform. Software that is optimized for virtual desktop platforms typically requires less per-desktop resources, which may enable you to run more desktops on a given vSphere host.

  • Horizon Enterprise has features that make the individual desktop less important, you just need to use them. Use User Environment Management to manage your users' Windows profiles, App Volumes to centrally manage and deliver applications independent of the desktop, and suddenly the individual desktop won't matter as much. This allows you to focus on the only things that actually matter: user data and applications.

VMware Horizon, App Volumes, and User Environment Manager can provide you with much more than just a means of virtualizing your desktops and applications. The more familiar you become each product's features and capabilities, the more you will realize that you can rethink a lot of what you do concerning application and desktop management and delivery, and eventually provide a higher quality experience to your end users.

I certainly hope this is the case.

What this book covers

Chapter 1, VMware Horizon Infrastructure Overview, provides a broad overview of VMware Horizon and discusses topics that will influence the design, implementation, and assessment of a VMware Horizon infrastructure.

Chapter 2, Implementing Horizon Connection Server, covers the infrastructure requirements, sizing, limits, high availability, deployment, configuration, backup, and recovery of Horizon Connection Server.

Chapter 3, Implementing Horizon Composer, covers the infrastructure requirements, deployment, configuration, backup, and recovery of Horizon Composer. The capabilities of Horizon Composer and benefits of using linked clone desktops are also discussed.

Chapter 4, Implementing Horizon Security Server, covers the infrastructure requirements, limits, high availability designs, deployment, configuration, backup, and recovery of Horizon Security Server.

Chapter 5, Implementing VMware Horizon Access Point, covers the infrastructure requirements, limits, high availability designs, deployment, configuration, and troubleshooting of Horizon Access Point.

Chapter 6, Implementing a Horizon Cloud Pod, covers how to deploy, configure, and administer a Horizon Cloud Pod, which enables the creation of global client entitlements to resources in multisite, multi-pod Horizon environments.

Chapter 7, Using VMware Virtual SAN with Horizon, provides an overview of how to architect VMware Virtual SAN for a Horizon infrastructure, walks through the deployment process, and identifies what must be done when creating Horizon pools in order to use Virtual SAN.

Chapter 8, Implementing VMware User Environment Manager, covers the implementation and management of the VMware User Environment Manager profile management platform and provides an overview of the capabilities of some of the product's advanced features.

Chapter 9, Implementing VMware App Volumes, covers the infrastructure prerequisites, deployment, configuration, and administration of VMware App Volumes. Topics include the deployment and configuration of the App Volumes Manager appliance, the installation and configuration of the App Volumes Agent and AppCapture program, the App Volumes AppStack creation, update, and assignment process, the Writable Volume assignment and creation process, and App Volumes backup and recovery procedures.

Chapter 10, Creating Horizon Desktop Pools, covers how to configure Microsoft Windows Remote Desktop Services for use with Horizon, how to configure and manage a Horizon Application Pool, and how to manage and monitor the status of Windows Remote Desktop Services hosts and Horizon clients who are streaming applications.

Chapter 11, Implementing Horizon Application Pools, covers how to configure Microsoft Windows Remote Desktop Services for use with Horizon, how to deploy and manage Remote Desktop Services farms and Horizon Application Pools, and how to manage and monitor the status of Windows Remote Desktop Services hosts and Horizon clients who are streaming applications.

Chapter 12, Performing Horizon Desktop Pool Maintenance, covers how to perform maintenance on Horizon pools that contain linked clone or instant clone desktops. Topics include an overview of the different maintenance operations including linked clone refresh, recompose, and rebalance, instant clone push image and recovery, and how to manage the optional linked clone persistent disks.

Chapter 13, Creating a Master Horizon Desktop Image, covers the techniques that should be used when creating a master Horizon desktop image. Topics covered include the importance of optimizing the desktop operating system; sample optimization results; examples of how to disable native application update features; and how to optimize the Windows filesystem, Windows Operating System, and Windows user profiles.

Chapter 14, Managing Horizon SSL Certificates, covers how to replace the default SSL certificates on each of the Horizon components including Connection Server, Composer, Security Server, and Access Point, as well as the App Volumes appliances. This chapter also discusses how to create the SSL certificate requests and obtain new certificates using a Microsoft Active Directory Certificate Services server.

Chapter 15, Using Horizon PowerCLI, covers the different PowerCLI commands that you can use to configure and administer nearly all aspects of the Horizon platform, and provides examples of how those commands are used.

What you need for this book

The reader should have a basic understanding of the following concepts that are integral to the implementation and management of View.

  • Microsoft Windows Server

  • Microsoft Active Directory

    • Certificate services

    • DNS

    • Group policies

  • VMware vSphere

    • vCenter Server

    • Virtual machine snapshots

    • Virtual machine templates

    • VMware tools

    • vSphere administration

  • Networking

    • DHCP

    • Protocol and port types

    • Basics of LAN and WAN networking

The following software is required to implement the solutions described in this book:

  • VMware Horizon installation media including all optional components

  • VMware App Volumes installation media including all additional components

  • VMware User Environment Manager installation media including all additional components

  • vSphere 6 Update 2 installation media including vCenter Server and vSphere

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 installation media

  • Installation media for a supported Windows desktop OS

The installation media for the required VMware products can be obtained from the website. If you do not have a current license for the products, you can register for a trail to obtain access to the software.

Who this book is for

If you are a newcomer to system administration and you wish to implement the Horizon environment, then this book is for you. Prior knowledge of Horizon is beneficial.


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