VMware Service Manager as a front end portal to VMware View sugguestion

Posted by on February 7, 2012 in Service Manager, View, VMware | 3 comments

Something that I get asked about often when working with customers on their VDI designs is a portal to request virtual desktops. Much like “The Cloud” IT organization seeking more automation when it comes to virtual desktop environments. All the major vendors are adding automation around the creation of the desktops within the pools of desktops and have been for some time now. But the business people that are consuming the virtual desktops want a portal or store that they can go to check out or request a desktop.

To give an example a marketing manager hires 3 new people and needs to have them added to the VDI environment. There may be forms to fill out to request or maybe its a ticket that needs to be submitted to request the desktops. But it would be much simpler if he could go to a web portal and fill in the new user details and make a couple of selections from options provided and BANG! a few minutes later he gets an email saying the desktops are ready and this is how his people can connect to them.

Now I don’t think this is that far off of an idea and with VMware already having the right tools to make this happen. I think that with a little hard work and the use of VMware Service Manager something like this could be created. Now some of you might have not heard of Service Manager (SM) before or maybe you’ve heard the name but don’t understand what it does. It seems like SM is a bit like Orchestrator in that people have heard the name but no one is using it. If you search the web there are almost no blog post written about SM and very few videos about SM even by VMware.

As of today I’m not sure if this would be possible in the current version of Service Manager or if it would require VMware to add this as a new feature. But it would be a good selling point for a misunderstood product that is not much different than a Unicorn right now. As of today SM has replaced VMware Request Manager as the tool used to provide VM request management for vCloud designs. So if a user wants request management in their VMware cloud they need to use SM. So this is right in the same ballpark and would be a big competitive advantage that Citrix is not offering right now.

I plan to try and setup SM in my lab soon and see if this is possible with the current version and provide any feedback on whether I was successful or not.

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design


  1. I actually used to work at a company who had a similar setup, although not using VMware Products…

    Its actually a really easy workflow. User Requests VDI, they get their AD User added to a group that has an entitlement in View. VMware vCenter Orchestrator has a plugin for Active Directory (there is also the powershell plugin) and VSM has a connector for Orchestrator so this should be quite straightforward. vCO is free but vSM isn’t so another alternative would be to create your own portal with Wavemaker (VMware owned) and get that to execute the Orchestrator workflows for a totally zero cost solutions.. Maybe you could package this and publish on your blog :)
    Another idea is an App Catalog for users. Using the same concept, link an AD group to a group policy login script to thinreg a thinapp, and just add users to the groups relating to the apps they want streamed.It would be great to hear how you get on in your lab.Steve

  2. Hi Brian,

    I was wondering if you had the opportunity to test this out in your lab and how you got on. – Tony

    • I have not tried it yet. But with some of what they showed at VMworld for Horizon Suite this type of functionality might be built into that portal.

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