Technical Introduction and Features

Technical Introduction and Features

About Horizon Cloud Service on Microsoft Azure

The VMware Horizon Cloud Service delivers virtual desktops and applications using a cloud platform that is scalable across multiple deployment options. Horizon Cloud Service provides a single cloud control plane from which you can choose multiple deployment options. You can dynamically switch options at any time to adjust to use cases change, employee moves, or economic shifts. These deployment options include:

  • Cloud-hosted capacity managed by VMware
  • Public cloud infrastructure from Microsoft Azure, an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider
  • On-premises hyper-converged infrastructure from partners such as Dell EMC, Hitachi, and QTC

The second option, Microsoft Azure, is the topic of this Quick Start Tutorial. You can connect your Microsoft Azure instance to your Horizon Cloud Service control plane for a comprehensive cloud-hosted solution for delivering virtualized Windows apps and desktops.

Setting up the environment involves deploying the required VMware software into your Microsoft Azure capacity. The deployed VMware software creates an appropriately configured entity called a Horizon Cloud Service node, which pairs with the control plane. After the node is deployed, you use the control plane to create RDSH farms and entitle remote desktops and applications to your end users, as well as to assign dedicated and floating Windows 10 desktops.

For more information, see the Horizon Cloud Service on Microsoft Azure datasheet.

Packaging, Licensing, and Service Models

Horizon Cloud Service delivers virtual desktops and apps using a cloud platform that is scalable across multiple deployment options. Horizon Cloud Service is available in two subscription options:

  • Per named user: For virtual environments with end users that require dedicated access to virtual machines throughout the day
  • Per concurrent connection: For virtual environments with a high number of users who share machines throughout the day, such as students or shift workers

You can bring your own hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) or Microsoft Azure infrastructure, or purchase cloud-hosted infrastructure from VMware. For more information, see How to Buy and Packaging and Licensing guide.

Features and Benefits

With the Horizon Cloud Service on Microsoft Azure offering, Microsoft and VMware work together to extend the desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) offering with new cross-cloud capabilities. Key features of Horizon Cloud Service on Microsoft Azure include

  • Support for VDI desktops: For desktops that use the Microsoft Windows 10 operating system, you can entitle both VDI dedicated desktops and VDI floating desktops to your end users.
  • Easy deployment: Depending on the complexity of your configuration, it can take as little as 60 minutes to deploy the service to your own Microsoft Azure instance.
  • Single management plane: Even if you deploy multiple instances of Horizon Cloud Service to multiple Microsoft Azure regions, you still use the same cloud-based management UI to configure and manage your Horizon Cloud Service environments.
  • Single infrastructure provider: You can manage virtual applications from the cloud with your existing infrastructure provider.
  • Simple upgrades: VMware provides a simple blue-green upgrade method that allows you to rev to the next release in minutes.
  • Power management: Horizon Cloud Service has built-in features that automatically spin up or spin down RD Session Hosts based on your demand, to save you time on Microsoft Azure.
  • Schedule-based power management options for VDI dedicated and floating desktops: You can schedule powering off an assignment's VDI desktops for weekends, holidays, and non-working hours, which can optimize cost savings. You can also schedule a higher minimum desktop count to meet high-demand times. 
  • Rolling maintenance and image update: Horizon Cloud Service includes built-in orchestration to allow you to do rolling maintenance of your RD Session Hosts.
  • RD Session Hosted applications: Horizon Cloud Service supports RD Session Hosted applications and desktops with this initial release.
  • Cloud monitoring: You do not need a third party or additional tool to monitor or manage your Horizon Cloud Service on Microsoft Azure deployment. Our new cloud-based monitoring feature allows you to keep an eye on your deployment from a single UI.
  • True multi-cloud deployments: You can choose between cloud capacity managed by VMware, bring your own hyper-converged infrastructure, or bring your own public cloud capacity from Microsoft Azure.
  • User Environment Manager: You are entitled to use VMware User Environment Manager, which is our persona management system for each user in Horizon Cloud Service.  You can also leverage another tool to manage persona if you want.
  • Workspace ONE: The solution integrates with VMware Workspace ONE™ to provide your users with a single workspace to access all their applications.
  • Leverage Microsoft Azure services and regions: As mentioned earlier, you can leverage any region from Microsoft Azure services.
  • Expanded geographic reach: You can leverage any region from the many global Microsoft Azure data centers, and configure and deploy desktops in minutes.
  • Low-cost hourly billing: You benefit from consumption-based pricing for capacity, as well as no upfront costs or termination fees.

For more information, see VMware Horizon Cloud Service and click Horizon Cloud Service on Microsoft Azure > 1.6 > Release Notes.