VMware Horizon 6 install – Part 4 configuring an RDS pool

I was a bit delayed in getting this fourth post in my Horizon 6 series completed, life and work got in the way. I’m back from vacation and ready to get moving again. In this post I will be covering how to take a prepared RDS host and get them prepared and added into the Horizon manager.

I’m not going to cover the steps to install RDS services onto my test server, there are probably enough good posts out on the web for this. If there is enough demand for it I might add that to the series later.

 

Other posts in this Horizon series.

VMware Horizon 6 install – Part 1 connection servers

VMware Horizon 6 install – Part 2 security servers

VMware Horizon 6 install – Part 3 SSL certificates

VMware Horizon 6 install – Part 5 setting up RDS desktops

VMware Horizon 6 install – Part 6 setting up RDS applications

 

RDS Confirmation

Before we get started I wanted to show a quick check to make sure RDS is installed on the Windows Server we will be working on. I’m looking at the Roles installed on the server to make sure it has the necessary RDS roles.

1-check-rds-status

 

 

Installing Horizon Agent

To get things started we need to find the View agent installer file. We will need the 64bit version to install on the server.

2-install-agent

 

The installer kicks off with the typical first step, click next and get the process moving.

3-agentinstall1

 

In this step you just need to accept the licensing agreement.

4-agentinstall2

 

In this step you are allowed to choose the options that should be installed with the base agent. Currently there is just the vCOPs metrics that are installed by default.

5-agentinstall3

 

This step we will be linking the View Agent to our Horizon install. In the server field you will provide the IP or hostname to one of the Horizon connection servers. Also you must provide credentials for connecting to Horizon Manager. In this example I am using the ID that I’m logged in with, or you can provide a different set of credentials.

6-agentinstal4

 

The last step before it installs shows the path for the install.

7-agentinstall

 

Once the install is completed the server will need to be restarted. The install of the agent is nothing exciting as you know now, but a necessary step to enable RDS functionality for Horizon.

8-agentinstall

 

 

Add RDS server to Horizon Administrator

Now that we have the Horizon Agent loaded on our RDS server we will now move to the Horizon Administrator. Login and click on the Farms selection under the Resources heading in the tree on the left. Then in the right side of the panel you will should see no existing Farms, in my case I’ve already setup a few so the example below shows them. Click on the Add button to get the process started.

9-horizonadd

 

A window will open up that will step you through the wizard for adding an RDS farm. In this example my farm is just a single RDS server. You will need to fill in the ID for the farm to be used within Horizon, a description is optional but I encourage a detailed description so that others understand its purpose. The farm settings section offers a limited number of settings that can control the access and some behaviors of how the farm would be used.

10-horizonadd

 

The next step within the wizard shows any RDS servers that Horizon is aware of. In our case only the server that was just prepared is showing here. So we will select it and move to the next step.

11-horizonadd

 

The last step of the wizard is a confirmation screen that you can review your choices before creating the farm.

12-horizonadd

 

Now that we have completed adding the server to Horizon the list of RDS Farms now shows our new configuration. From this point we can use are new farm to publish applications or shared desktops.

13-horizonadd

 

This process is pretty straight forward and currently there is little that you can modify. In other posts in this series I have covered how to use your farm to present applications and hosted shared desktops.

 

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 Horizon 6 install – Part 5 setting up RDS desktops

This begins the fifth part of my Horizon 6 install series bringing us to configuring RDS desktops. RDS desktops are a new feature for VMware in Horizon 6, something that Microsoft and Citrix have been providing for a long time. I will walk you through the process of getting a new pool configured and ready to serve hosted desktops from your environment.

 

Other posts in this Horizon series.

VMware Horizon 6 install – Part 1 connection servers

VMware Horizon 6 install – Part 2 security servers

VMware Horizon 6 install – Part 3 SSL certificates

VMware Horizon 6 install – Part 4 configuring an RDS pool

VMware Horizon 6 install – Part 6 setting up RDS applications

 

Configure Horizon RDS Desktop Pool

 

To get this started I have already clicked on the pools choice in Horizon View Manager and clicked the Add button. This brings us to the window shown below. From here, we can select the type of pool to create. For this exercise we will be creating an RDS Desktop Pool. This will utilize Windows servers as the platform and offer shared hosted desktops. With this option, we can host upwards of a few dozen users on a properly configured server.

horizon-rdspool-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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VMware Horizon 6 install – Part 2 security server

This is the second part of this multi part series on installing VMware Horizon 6. The first part covered installing Horizon View connection servers and replica servers. In this post I will cover the install of a View Security Server, these servers are used for brokering external network connections into your datacenter for Horizon. The security servers are located in your DMZ network and establish a secure connection back to a linked connection broker.

You can install multiple Security Servers into a View environment. There is a 1:1 relationship between a security server and a connection server. This means if you want 2 security servers you will need at least 2 connection servers. VMware recommends that most customers build separate connection servers just for pairing with your security servers. This might not be necessary for smaller install.

 

Other posts in this Horizon series.

VMware Horizon 6 install – Part 1 connection servers

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

 

Install Horizon 6 security server

To start off you will need to log into the View Administrator. First click on Servers from the View Configuration area, then click on the connection server that you will be pairing the security server with. Last from the More Commands button choose to Specify Security Server Pairing password, this is a unique password that will allow the two servers to establish a secure connection.
horizon6-security-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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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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