VMware Horizon View 7: Automated Desktop Pool [Part 7]

Part 7 of the series we will be creating a Automated Desktop Pool using Full Desktops.

vBoring Blog Series:

  1. VMware Horizon View 7: Deployment and Installation
  2. VMware Horizon View 7: Apply SSL Certificates
  3. VMware Horizon View 7: Create Events Database
  4. VMware Horizon View 7: Add Microsoft RDS Farm
  5. VMware Horizon View 7: Setup Remote Access through Security Server
  6. VMware Horizon View 7: Create Master Desktop Template
  7. VMware Horizon View 7: Automated Desktop Pool
  8. VMware Horizon View 7: Instant Clone Desktop Pool

Create Automated Desktop Pool:

To create a desktop pool login to the View Administrator Console, drill down to Catalog-> Desktop Pools -> then click Add:

Horizon View 7 - 1 Add Desktop Pool

Let’s create a Automated Desktop Pool. Click Next:

Horizon View 7 - 2 Type

Dedicated means a user is assigned to a single workstation and does not float around.

Floating lets users connect to a random workstation in the pool every time they connect.

For this post I am going to show Dedicated with Enable automatic assignment:

Horizon View 7 - 3 User Assignment

Full Virtual Desktops: Machines are deployed as 1 to 1, meaning if the template is 40 GB then each desktop deployed with be 40 GB.

View Composer Linked Clones: Here starts VMware magic, in this series I did not setup a Composer server as I opted to go the new technology in View 7 called Instant Clone.

Instant Clone: A master desktop is deployed then each workstation thereafter is a spawn off the master which significantly reduces disk space and deployment times. I will go this option in the next blog post.

For this post I will be using Full virtual machines, click Next:

Horizon View 7 - 4 vCenter Server

Give the pool a ID and Display Name. Click Next:

Horizon View 7 - 5 Desktop Pool Identification

The default settings should satisfy the majority of your desktop pools. I do check the box to Enable HTML Access. Click Next:

Horizon View 7 - 6 Desktop Pool Settings

Enter a naming pattern of the workstations. In my example I used VDI-A-{n:fixed=2}. This naming pattern will do a number sequence starting at 01 and works its way up. Example: VDI-A-01 , VDI-A-02, etc.

Enter how many desktops you want the pool to start with, I chose 3. To make the pool larger after creating it is a simple Edit on the Pool then increasing this number. To save time select Provision all machines up-front. That will deploy all 3 after we finish the wizard. Click Next:

Horizon View 7 - 7 Provisioning Settings

I am using VSAN as my primary storage. Click Next:

Horizon View 7 - 8 Storage Optimization

Click Browse and select each of the settings it wants to know. Once finished click Next:

Horizon View 7 - 9 vCenter Settings

Click Next:

Horizon View 7 - 10 Advanced Storage Options

Select Use this customization and select the specification as related to the OS. Click Next:

Horizon View 7 - 11 Guest Customization

Check the box to Entitle users after this wizard. Click Finish:

Horizon View 7 - 12 Ready to Complete

On the Entitlement popup, click Add. Try adding a Active Directory group with multiple users so you can see how the Automatic Assignment work. Once added click Close:

Horizon View 7 - 13 Entitlements

Waiting for Workstations to Finish Provisioning:

Now there will be 3 workstations in the pool with a status of provisioning. If you switch over to vCenter you should see Clone virtual machines tasks for each workstation being provisioned.

Horizon View 7 - 14 Provisioning Full Desktops

Once the workstations finish deploying and running through their customization script they should appear as Available:

Horizon View 7 - 16 Pool is showing Available

Seeing Automatic Assignment in Action:

During the pool setup I used a Active Directory Security Group with myself in it. Let us see how automatic assignment works! Launch the Horizon Client and you should see the desktop pool we created. Double click it to launch:

Horizon View 7 - 17 Horizon Client Entitlement

A desktop will launch! If you look in the Administrator Console you will see it automatically assigned a workstation to you and hows Connected:

Horizon View 7 - 18 Connected using Automatic Assignment

This is very neat, however the biggest drawback is the speed of your storage. If you have spinning disks it can take a long period of time to deploy a large pool. Not to mention the storage space required for full desktops! In the next post I will show how Instant Clone desktops work and the amazing advantages they have over Full and Linked Clone desktops.

Proceed to the next step:

VMware Horizon View 7: Instant Clone Desktop Pool

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