Featured Flings for VMware Horizon

February 27, 2022

Welcome back to the Git Commit(ted) to </Dev> Resources series. Today I’d like to spotlight my personal top 3 Flings for VMware Horizon.

Visibility Into Horizon at Scale with Horizon Reach

Crafted by our very own Andrew Morgan, Horizon Reach is a great example of the possibilities unlocked by leveraging Horizon APIs.

The design goal of Horizon Reach is to be the “first port of call,” as Andrew calls it, when troubleshooting issues in large or complex Horizon environments. It accomplishes this by providing a web-based monitoring and alerting platform that performs health checking of multiple Horizon Pods. The Pods in question may or may not be connected via Cloud Pod Architecture. They often are in separate datacenters.

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Figure 1: Horizon Reach, monitoring a shared lab environment of 2 Horizon Pods

Horizon now scales upwards of 20,000 active sessions in a single Pod. Multiple Pods, up to 50, can be federated to support upwards of 250,000 active sessions. While your environment may not be to this scale, I have worked with customers at this scale, and the challenge remains the same for enterprises of all sizes. This is where Horizon Reach can aid you in gaining visibility into these extensive deployments.

Monitor UAG with Edge Services Observability

Continuing with the trend of monitoring flings is the Edge Services Observability (ESO) appliance, developed by Arun Balaji Giridharan and Partheeban Kandasamy. This neatly packaged appliance, built on Photon OS, monitors both the Horizon Edge Service and VMware Tunnel service on Unified Access Gateway.

Whereas the Horizon Reach fling is designed for monitoring the state of Horizon Pods at a high level, ESO is designed to drill deep into the performance metrics on UAG. This will assist you in keeping an eye on remote user experience.

It features:

  • An easy-to-use web portal for configuring UAGs to be monitored
  • Grafana-powered dashboards for:
    • Appliance Stats – including detailed CPU, memory, network, and storage
    • VMware Horizon Dashboard – showing session counts and high-level CPU/Memory stats
    • VMware Tunnel Dashboard – showing detailed information for Tunnel sessions
    • Datasource Stats – including information about the internal data polling

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Figure 2: Easily configure and add UAG appliances to be monitored

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Figure 3: A preview of the Horizon Dashboard

While the screenshots provided here display what is, obviously, not a very busy environment. Hopefully they still paint a picture of what is made possible by this fling. The ability to converge information about all of the UAG appliances in your environment into a single console will simplify the operation of your environment, regardless of the size or complexity.

If you’d like additional information, Arun has a very detailed blog post covering the finer aspects of this fling, including some tips and tricks, as well as troubleshooting tips.

Pre-packaged Ubuntu OVA for Horizon

Ryan Klumph’s Ubuntu OVA for Horizon eases the deployment of Ubuntu desktops for Horizon. Ubuntu is a popular Linux distribution and has seen an uptick in adoption for providing virtual desktops to developers, especially in secure environments. You’ll still need to provide the Horizon Agent, since the licensing for such doesn’t permit distribution, but utilizing this OVA will save you a significant amount of time in configuring an image in accordance with best practices.

Ryan has also provided the scripts used in the OVA on his GitHub repository, if you seek to replicate his work using another Linux distribution. As of this writing, Horizon 2111 is the latest version. You can find the list of Supported Linux Versions for the Horizon Agent in our documentation.

Summary

Thanks for following along with our series. If any of the highlighted flings interest you, follow the links below to your favorite one!

Agenda

Make sure to check out the other blog posts in our 28-day series:

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