Effective Image Management with the Image Management Service

April 23, 2020

If you are responsible for a VDI or RDSH environment, you know that managing a bunch of virtual machine images is a chore. It is a pain to maintain a fully patched operating system image, and the basic application load, and the respective patches, all while maintaining proper version control of your images. This gets even more complex when you have different user groups who need access to different applications. Many IT administrators in your position reduce the burden by leveraging App Volumes to present applications into a golden image. However, maintaining version control of even a clean, optimized golden image across multiple locations can be a tedious, yet critical chore. VMware Horizon Service has a feature called Image Management Service that now makes this chore easier.

Watch this video to find out all about this new Image Management Service feature:

Video 1: Effective Image Management with the Image Management Service

Image Management Service Overview

The Image Management Service (IMS) is one of the key features provided by Horizon Service. IMS provides a simplified way to manage and distribute Horizon images across individual Horizon pods by leveraging infrastructure components to replicate and manage images.

IMS enables you to automate the replication of an image to multiple locations, and then update individual or groups of virtual desktop pools or server farms to new releases. You can update fleets of pools with a single command using marker tags.

Image Management Workflow. Importing, Assigning, Deploying, Updating, Re-Marking

Figure 1: Image Management Service Workflow

A marker tag is a unique label that is used to identify a use case that a particular image version is suitable for. Markers are unique, but image versions can have one or more markers assigned to them.

VM pool assignments refer to the marker tags in order to identify which image to clone and provision virtual machines from. By using these markers, you can orchestrate the updating or rolling back of images as needed for individual user groups or different pools if necessary. Change history is recorded in an image version tree.

These features are designed to take a lot of the manual labor out of managing golden images.

Image Management Service Architecture

The architecture of the Image Management is straightforward. The Service leverages platform components via the Horizon 7 Cloud Connector to manage images within your Horizon 7 environment.

Image Management Service Architecture

Figure 2: Image Management Service Orchestration Flow

You connect your Horizon 7 pods to the Horizon Cloud service by using the Horizon 7 Cloud Connector. For more information on setting up the Horizon 7 Cloud Connector, review the product documentation and see Implementing the Horizon 7 Cloud Connector on Tech Zone.

Once you have connected your pod to the Horizon Service, you can leverage the Image Management Service in your Horizon 7 environment.

The Image Management Service uses the Horizon 7 Cloud Connector to orchestrate all image management tasks. No images are uploaded or downloaded to the Image Management service. Instead, the Image Management Service orchestrates replication and distribution services using vCenter and the vCenter Content Library Service.

For more information

If you want to learn more about the Image Management Service, check out the video demonstration, and see Managing Horizon Images from the Cloud in the product documentation.

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