VMware Horizon 6 install – Part 1 connection server

With the recent update of the entire EUC suite from VMware I thought it would be a good time to revisit the install process for Horizon 6. Yes it used to be called VMware View, then it was Horizon View and now it’s just Horizon 6. Why? well because it is no longer just VDI. Horizon 6 is now a product that offers VDI, Application presentation and Hosted shared desktops both via RDS from Microsoft. This is a big advancement by VMware and welcomed by anyone that cares about EUC.

This is what drove me to revisit the install of Horizon. With these added features there will be many changes and I wanted to build a comprehensive post series that covers what it takes to get the product up and running.

Other posts in this Horizon series.

VMware Horizon 6 install – Part 2 security server

VMware Horizon 6 install – Part 3 SSL certificates

VMware Horizon 6 install – Part 4 configuring RDS pool

VMware Horizon 6 install – Part 5 setting up RDS desktops

VMware Horizon 6 install – Part 6 setting up RDS applications

 

Installing the first connection server

Step 1: You will need to provision a Windows Server 2008R2 or 2012R2 server to install Horizon 6 onto. The product will definitely not install on the non-R2 versions of these, this comes from someone picking the wrong VM template the first time.

Step 2: If you have not already then you need to download the install files for Horizon 6. For this walkthrough you will only need the connection broker install file, but I would recommend you grab all the files that you will need for your build. This includes the View agents, GPO files and others.

Step 3: Copy the installer to the server that you will be using for the install and run the installer. The app starts with a familiar look the product version is shown in the lower left of the window letting us know its version 6.0.

horizon6-install-1

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

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Atlantis ILIO vs Flash storage cost comparison

I often want to do this type of exercise on different types of solutions but don’t have the time to. There are plenty of vendors that make claims around the cost benefits of their products along with technology benefits. In this post I won’t be testing or questioning the performance of Atlantis ILIO. I have used the product in the past and talked to customers and there is very little question about ILIO being able to offer amazing performance.

What I do want to dig into is the value prop and address some of the claims that are made against other storage options. Atlantis seems to still be marketing itself the same way it did a few years ago when people were still trying to architect VDI on classic storage arrays with a 3 tiered model. Most of the comparisons on their site and in their presentations focus on these classic arrays or NAS devices. Below are some topics I wanted to point out as being mostly historical.

  1. End up with lots of excess capacity to get needed IOPS
  2. Storage will cost too much to achieve required performance
  3. Marketing focuses on storage costs saved but this is nullified by ILIO licensing likely
  4. Uses an inflated IOPS number per desktop, this drives up cost of shared storage alternatives

Today there are numerous storage options available that are a better fit for VDI. In the 3 years since ILIO has been on the market there are several All Flash and Hybrid Storage arrays available that offer great performance at affordable pricing. Some of these arrays mostly focus on performance while others are focused on providing data services along with performance.

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

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Licensing VMware Mirage when used with View

With the recent news from VMworld Barcelona that Horizon Mirage and Horizon View can now be used together, I’ve been thinking about how this might affect the licensing. With the ability to manage full clone desktops in View with Mirage the need for a user to have more than one device managed by Mirage is increased.

In the past Mirage was licensed by endpoint or PC and not by the user. This was fine when it was only for the physical world and the norm would be for each user to have only one physical PC. When VMware announced Horizon Suite the products were moved to a named user licensing model.

Lets talk about one of the options that I’ve been thinking about. The basic idea is I have 100 users that have PC’s that are managed by Mirage and are used as the method to access their View desktop. The View desktops for these 100 users are also full clones and are managed by Mirage. So this means that each use has two mirage managed OS’s.

The following is a quote from a blog post from VMware.

The benefit of named-user licensing for the Horizon Suite is that one named user can use as many devices as they wish at once, on any or all of the products in the Horizon Suite (Horizon View, Horizon Mirage, and Horizon Workspace).

So this leads me to believe that under the proposed scenario I’m fine and if I purchase a single Horizon Suite named user license for each user I will be fine. But the problem is at least it still existed in Mirage 4.2 which was part of the Suite, is that Mirage still acts in a per device licensing model. Not sure if Mirage 4.3 will fix this licensing oversight, will have to wait for it to be available for download. In the past this was not really an issue because VMware did not support the use of Mirage managing View desktops.

So the question comes down to if Mirage is still not properly supporting named users in version 4.3, how would a solution like this be licensed? I’ve come up with the two following options.

Option 1 – I would purchase 100 named user licenses for Horizon Suite from VMware and build my environment. But I need to have support for the extra 100 Mirage endpoints. So VMware will have to give me 100 separate Mirage licenses to support this.

Option 2 – This option has me still purchasing 100 named user licenses of Horizon Suite but also purchasing 100 licenses of Mirage named users separately. This adds 50% to my cost of this solution.

While I think that the second option is highly unlikely but what level of effort will it take to work out the logistics of option 1 with VMware?

 

  • License Cost

  • User Count
  • Horizon Suite Licenses
  • Mirage Licenses
  • DT's managed by Mirage
  • VDI managed by Mirage
  • Estimate Costs
  • Option 1

  • $300

    per user

  • 100
  • 100
  • 0
  • 100
  • 100
  • $30,000
  • Option 2

  • $450

    per user

  • 100
  • 100
  • 100
  • 100
  • 100
  • $45,000

 

I look forward to this licensing issue being fixed very soon. If anyone from VMware has any thoughts on this I would appreciate the feedback.

 

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

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VMware releases Horizon View Feature Pack 2

As VMware is working hard to continue the improvements in their End User Computing (EUC) products, they have released the second feature pack for View. This pack brings some enhancements and new features. Lets hope there is some even better news coming at VMworld this year.

VMware Horizon View 5.2 Feature Pack 2 includes the following new features:

  • Flash URL Redirection – Customers can now use Adobe Media Server and multicast to deliver live video events in a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environment. To deliver multicast live video streams within a VDI environment, the media stream should be sent directly from the media source to the endpoints, bypassing the virtual desktops. The Flash URL Redirection feature supports this capability by intercepting and redirecting the ShockWave Flash (SWF) file from the virtual desktop to the client endpoint.
  • Real-Time Audio-Video – Real-Time Audio-Video allows Horizon View users to run Skype, Webex, Google Hangouts, and other online conferencing applications on their virtual desktops. With Real-Time Audio-Video, webcam and audio devices that are connected locally to the client system are redirected to the remote desktop. This feature redirects video and audio data to the desktop with a significantly lower bandwidth than can be achieved by using USB redirection. Real-Time Audio-Video is compatible with standard conferencing applications and supports standard webcams, audio USB devices, and analog audio input.
  • Unity Touch improvements – You can now add a favorite application or file from a list of search results, and you can now use the Unity Touch sidebar to minimize a running application’s window. Requires users to connect to their desktops from VMware Horizon View Client for iOS 2.1 or later, or VMware Horizon View Client for Android 2.1 or later.

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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

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LoginVSI creates a VIP program for vExpert, CTP and MVP programs

If you have worked with any VDI products in the past or have the need to size or design an environment, the ability to test your design under load is important. I have used Login VSI in the past and it was very helpful in testing out different architectures.

Login VSI simulates unique user workloads with realistic user behavior. The user workloads use the same applications as a typical employee such as Word, Outlook or IE and are available in a light, medium, heavy or multimedia version.

Much like VMware, Veeam and other vendors have done already, Login VSI is recognizing leaders in the fields of VMware, Microsoft and Citrix with licenses to use for their own testing. These can help them with lab testing and be used to create valuable content for the community. I have already signed up and look forward to using LoginVSI again in my lab.

The three leading virtualization vendors: Citrix, VMware and Microsoft offer their own dedicated programs for this elite group of specialists. The Login VSI VIP program builds on these programs and offers a number of special benefits to all active Citrix Technology Professionals (CTP), to all VMware vExperts, and to Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVP) for App-V, Remote Desktop Services and Virtual Machine.

What is included in the Login VSI VIP program

  • A free (for non-commercial use) Login VSI Pro license (12 months, 100 user sessions)

  • Your relevant blog posts featured on our website

  • Login VSI goodies (like the “I love a good performance” T-shirt) when we meet in person

  • Direct access to our support, product marketing and development team

 

To sign up for the program visit the LoginVSI signup page. 

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

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