To provision and present a Windows 8.1 (or Windows 8/7) virtual desktop via VMware View, there are a couple of VMware components that need to be installed on the master image and a number of steps performed.
In this part I will guide you through the steps to build a Windows 8.1 master image which will used to provision a desktop pool with View Composer linked clones.
Summary of Steps:
So far in this Horizon View 6.0 how to series, we have installed a single View Connection Server and installed View Composer on the vCenter server.
We are now going to proceed configuring the service accounts for View to connect to vCenter and join desktops to the domain followed by the events database. Additionally we need to create an OU and delegate permissions on this OU.
VMware View Composer is a component of VMware Horizon View (all editions).
Horizon View Composer offers features such as storage reduction, improved OS management and rapid desktop deployment.
VMware Horizon View Composer uses linked clones to provide a 50% to 90% reduction in storage requirements for virtual desktops. If View Composer is not used, 100's or 1,000's of desktops 25GB+ in size would exhaust expensive SAN storage.
Horizon View Composer does this by using creating linked clones from a parent disk, instead of full clones. This creates what is known as a "diff disk" of the differences between the parent disk and itself once the virtual desktop is powered on. Without the parent disk the linked clones will not work.
The different could be instead of each desktop requiring 25GB+ of space each, the linked clone may only be around 5GB in size. This varies depending on the amount of changes in the desktop during the day, memory/pagefile size and also if the virtual desktop is refresh or deleted after each logoff.
Firstly, what is VMware Horizon? It's a collection of products which covers both virtual desktops, physical desktops, RDS hosts and virtual applications.
There are 3 editions of VMware Horizon;
Standard, Advanced and Enterprise (Feature comparison: http://www.vmware.com/products/horizon-view/compare.html)
Horizon View Standard simply provides virtual desktops via View like it always used to. However it also includes View Composer, licensing for vSphere/vCenter Desktop and ThinApp (like was the case with the old View Premier edition).
The Advanced and Enterprise editions add features such as RDS hosted applications, VSAN and vCOps monitoring amongst other features such as physical desktop image management (aka Mirage).
When trying to remove a vCenter Server from VMware Horizon View Administrator, all pools and desktops managed via that vCenter server must be deleted first.
If they are not, you will get the following warning message and the vCenter server will not be removed:
"The pools and transfer servers associated with this vCenter must be deleted before this vCenter can be removed"
Updating the firmware on a Juniper SSG or Netscreen firewall is simple. Here I am going to update a Juniper SSG5 from 6.1.0r2.0 to 6.3.0r16a via the Web UI.
Note: This requires a reboot of the firewall device and must be carried out during a maintenance window.
1. First you will need go to www.juniper.net and login with a CSC account which is what entitles you to download updates for your specific device.
If you haven't got an account you can register and provide your serial number.
Much like I did for ThinApp 4, I'm going to create a simple kick start how to series covering how to install ThinApp and capture some applications.
VMware ThinApp is an agentless application virtualisation. ThinApp is able to execute applications without them being installed in the operating system. This is achieved by virtualizing resources such as environment variables, files and the Windows registry.
It is also possible to package and run a legacy application from Windows XP on a Windows 7 desktop.
File type associations can be configured in the client OS as part of the ThinApp integration, such that opening a .pdf can for example launch a virtualised ThinApp of Adobe Reader.
ThinApps can be stored locally on the desktop, made portable on a USB drive or stored on a network share. Furthermore VMware Horizon View can integrate with ThinApp to assign ThinApp applications to virtual desktops.
If you have Active Directory trusts within the domain that your VMware Horizon View Connection Server is joined to, you may have noticed these additional trusted domain within View Administrator.
You may also have seen them in the domain drop down box in the View Client and HTML Access login dialogs.
In many cases these domains are not required to logon to Horizon View virtual desktops and ideally to make this cleaner and simpler for users these domains should be excluded.
If you see the domain with a "Red" status indicator within View Administrator, this means that while the domain is trusted, the View connection server cannot reach any domain controllers in that domain to authenticate users.
I recently added a Juniper SSG5 from eBay to my home lab. When it arrived the config had not been erased as stated, but I've done this before on a Netscreen and the process is exactly the same for both Juniper Netscreen and SSG firewalls.
This process is quite simple once you get the timing right. It may take 2-3 attempts but the end result is a firewall device without any configuration at all and completley as factory defaults, including default username/password (netscreen/netscreen) and default management IP address (192.168.1.1).
I've been working with VMware View for a number of years, designing, implementing, fixing and upgrading it's various different versions released along the way.
VDI is an area of virtualisation I have grown to really enjoy. It represents more of a challenge than your normal server/DR virtualisation project can offer because there are so many more considerations. Not only that but the end result of your design and implementation is judged by the end users using this environment on a daily basis, if they're not happy, you will soon know about it.
So as a consultant travelling around and seeing various different companies and designing View environments based on more often than not quite lacking information about how they work, the most important take away I have had is ensuring the View environment itself and the infrastructure is configure correctly as a starting point. I will cover other aspects such as users and specific configurations in future posts, here I want to cover the core infrastructure best practices.
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All advice, installation/configuration how to guides, troubleshooting and other information on this website are provided as-is with no warranty or guarantee. Whilst the information provided is correct to the best of my knowledge, I am not reponsible for any issues that may arise using this information, and you do so at your own risk. As always before performing anything; check, double check, test and always ensure you have a backup.