VMware Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure Cheat Sheet for Horizon 8 Administrators

VMware Horizon 8
VMware Horizon Cloud Service on Microsoft Azure

Terminology Differences Between Horizon 8 and Horizon Cloud Service

This guide is intended for IT professionals who are already familiar with using VMware Horizon® in a private data center or on-premises environment, and who are familiar with VMware vSphere® virtual machines and infrastructure.

Perhaps your organization has chosen to add VMware Horizon® Cloud Service™ on Microsoft Azure as a means of quickly scaling VDI and app resources up or down without incurring costly upfront capital expenses. Or perhaps the strategy is to use on-demand cloud resources for HA/DR scenarios without requiring a secondary or backup data center, which can be costly to set up and maintain. Whatever the reason, you now need to take the tasks you were used to doing in Horizon 8 and perform them in Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure.

For those who are familiar with creating desktop and application pools using the Horizon 8 Console, when you log in to the Horizon Universal Console for Horizon Cloud, you will notice some important differences in the terminology and organization of the UI. Because you will be creating Azure virtual machines rather than vSphere VMs, the workflow for creating virtual desktops and apps is necessarily a little different. This guide provides a quick reference to help you navigate the new workflows.

The following table gives you a preview of the items that are discussed in more detail in the sections that follow.

Table 1: Comparison of Horizon 8 Terminology with Horizon Cloud Terminology

Horizon 8 Component

Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure Equivalent Term

Desktop pool

VDI desktop assignment – For details, see Creating a Desktop Pool (VDI Desktop Assignment).

Application pool

Application inventory, but the entitlement is created in an RDSH app assignment – For details about both, see Creating an RDSH-Published App or Desktop Pool (RDSH Desktop or App Assignment).

VM-hosted app

RDSH app assignment, created from a farm of Windows 10 multi-session VMs – For details, see Creating a VM-Hosted App Pool (RDSH App Assignment).

Entitlement

Assignment, either for RDSH desktops and apps or for VDI desktops and apps

VM snapshot or template

Image

Golden image

Image – Created separately from the desktop pool or farm workflow, by selecting the VM and selecting More > Publish to Images. To change the published image, see Pushing a New Image to a Desktop Pool or Performing Maintenance on a Farm.

VM created in vSphere to use for the golden image

Imported Azure VM (imported using the Horizon Universal Console)

Creating a Desktop Pool (VDI Desktop Assignment)

If you are very familiar with the Horizon 8 Console and the workflow for creating desktop pools, when you open the Horizon Universal Console, you might notice that you cannot find a list of desktop pools under in the Inventory section of the UI, under Inventory > Desktops. That is because the workflow for creating virtual desktops is combined with that for entitling users, and this combination is listed on the Assignments > VDI Desktops & Apps page.

VMware Horizon 8 desktop pools appear under Inventory; whereas they appear under Assignments in Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure.

When creating desktop pools, the biggest differences between the Horizon 8 workflow and the Horizon Cloud workflow are:

  • You import the VM rather than manually creating it.
  • Publishing the image is something done before you create the desktop pool rather than as part of it.
  • Selecting virtual hardware options is part of the pool creation process rather than part of the golden image creation process.

The steps that follow use the terminology and context of Horizon 8 to outline how a Horizon administrator would perform the same task in a Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure environment.

  1. In the Horizon Universal Console, select Inventory > Imported VMs > Import to import a VM from the Azure Marketplace, rather than create the VM manually in vSphere. In this wizard, you:
  • Select the OS version.
  • Select the Horizon Agent features to install and whether to install the App Volumes Agent. The Dynamic Environment Manager Agent and vRealize Operations Desktop Agent are not listed but will also be installed. You do not need to run separate installers for each agent.
    VMware Tools is not needed because VMware Tools apply only to vSphere components.
  • Select to create a public IP so you can use a Microsoft Remote Desktop connection to log in later.
  • Note: You do not select any virtual hardware at this point!
  1. Select the imported VM and select More > Reset Agent Pairing, to pair the VM to the cloud.
  2. Log in to the VM to run the VMware OS Optimization Tool and install any applications and drivers that you want to have in the base image. You would do this same step if using vSphere.
  3. Back in the Horizon Universal Console, select the imported VM and select More > Publish to Images. This process:
  • Runs Sysprep.
  • Powers the VM off and does the equivalent of creating a VM snapshot or template that you later select when making a pool.
  • The VM disappears from the Imported VMs page and appears on the Images page.
  1. Select Assignments > VDI Desktops & Apps > New > Desktop – Microsoft Azure to both create the desktop pool and entitle it to end users.
  • This is where you select virtual hardware options, such as number of vCPUs, amount of memory, and disk size and type, expressed as an Azure VM model. The models you select have different costs associated with them. For more information, see the Microsoft article Sizes for virtual machines in Azure.
  • You also select from many of the same desktop pool options that you would for Horizon 8, including whether the VM is dedicated or floating, min and max number of VMs, display protocol, naming pattern, VM image to use, and so on.
    Note: There is no such thing as instant clones in Azure. All clones are full clones. The speed with which clones are created depends on the type of disk you select.
  • You also use this wizard to entitle users and groups to the desktops, as you would if you had selected the check box called Entitle users after this wizard nishes in the Horizon 8 Add Desktop Pool wizard.

Creating an RDSH-Published App or Desktop Pool (RDSH Desktop or App Assignment)

In the the Horizon 8 Console, you look in the Inventory section of the UI, under Inventory > Apps to find your application pools and see which users are entitled to each app. In the Horizon Universal Console, you can also find apps listed on the Inventory > Apps page, but to determine which users are entitled to which apps, you must look on the Assignments > RDSH Desktops & Apps page.

This page lists RDSH-published apps as well as Windows 10 (multi-session VM) apps and RDSH-published desktops.

Application pools appear under Inventory in Horizon Cloud, just as they do in Horizon 8, but the entitlements appear under Assignments.

When creating application pools, the biggest differences between the Horizon 8 workflow and the Horizon Cloud workflow are:

  • You import the VM rather than manually creating it.
  • Publishing the image is something done before you create the farm rather than as part of it.
  • Selecting virtual hardware options is part of the farm creation process rather than part of the golden image creation process.
  • The farm creation wizard includes maintenance options rather than requiring you to separately create a maintenance schedule. You can always make changes by editing the farm.

The steps that follow use the terminology and context of Horizon 8 to outline how a Horizon administrator would perform the same task in a Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure environment. The procedure describes creating an app pool, but the process is very similar for RDSH-published desktops.

  1. Steps 1–4 are exactly the same as steps 1–4 for creating a desktop pool. You (1) import a VM, (2) pair it with the cloud, (3) optimize the OS and install apps, and (4) publish the golden image. When you import an RDSH server VM, the required roles are also installed during the import process.
  1. In the Horizon Universal Console, select Inventory > Farms > New to create a server farm.
  • In the wizard, select whether you want to use the farm to create a desktop pool or an application pool.
  • This is where you select virtual hardware options, such as number of vCPUs, amount of memory, and disk size and type, expressed as an Azure VM model. The models you select have different costs associated with them. For more information, see the Microsoft article Sizes for virtual machines in Azure.
  • You also select from many of the same farm options that you would for Horizon 8, including min and max number of VMs, display protocol, naming pattern, VM image to use, load balancing options, and so on.
  • You also set a maintenance schedule and whether the action to take is to restart the VM or to rebuild it by deleting it and re-provisioning it again from the selected image.

Farms appear under Inventory, just as they do in Horizon 8.

  1. Select Inventory > Applications > Remote > New to select the applications.
  • This wizard is very much like the Add Application Pool wizard in Horizon 8.
  • Note: If you want to use App Volumes packaged applications, you must instead select Inventory > Applications > App Volumes > New. In Horizon 8, in contrast, you use the same Add Application Pool wizard, regardless of whether the application is installed in the base image or attached as part of an App Volumes application package.

Applications created with App Volumes appear on a different tab from those installed natively.

  1. Select Assignments > RDSH Desktops & Apps > New > Applications to select one or more applications and entitle them to end users. This process is very similar to that in Horizon 8, in that you can select multiple applications at once and assign them to end users.

Creating a VM-Hosted App Pool (RDSH App Assignment)

In Horizon 8, if you want to publish Windows 10 applications or applications that for one reason or another cannot be installed on RDSH servers, you can create a desktop pool of Windows 10 desktops and then create application pools by selecting applications on the Windows 10 desktop pool. This feature is called VM-hosted apps.

The equivalent can be accomplished in Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure by creating a farm of Windows 10 multi-session VMs and then creating and assigning applications or desktops based on the Windows 10 multi-session farm.

The workflow for creating and assigning these applications is exactly the same as for creating and assigning RDSH-server-based applications. That is, you create a farm of Windows 10 multi-session VMs before selecting applications to include, whereas in Horizon 8, you would create a desktop pool. In Horizon 8, you must also edit the desktop pool settings to change the session type from Desktop to either Application or Desktop & Application.

Pushing a New Image to a Desktop Pool

Pushing a new image to a desktop pool, in Horizon 8, is accomplished by selecting the desktop pool and then setting a maintenance schedule for it and pointing to a new VM snapshot. In Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure, you do not set a schedule, but rather edit the desktop assignment to point to a new image created from the old one.

Changing the image involves, at a high level, duplicating the image to create a new VM with the same configuration, making the desired changes, publishing the resulting new image, and then editing the assignment to point to that image. To change the image used, see the product documentation topic Managing Published Images for Horizon Cloud Pods in Microsoft Azure.

If you need to change the image because you want to update the Horizon Agent components, the process is somewhat automated when you use the Update Agent action. Horizon Cloud automatically monitors whether a new version of the agents is available. For more information, see the product documentation topic Updating the Agent-Related Software Used by Horizon Cloud. Note that the installation path for Dynamic Environment Manager is C:\Program Files\VMware\Horizon Agents\User Environment, which is different from the path used in Horizon 8.

Performing Maintenance on a Farm

In a Horizon Cloud environment, scheduling maintenance is part of farm creation (or farm editing) rather than a schedule that you set after the farm is created. To change the schedule, you edit the farm. Maintenance involves either restarting the VM or rebuilding it by deleting the existing VM and re-provisioning it from the published image.

Changing the image involves, at a high level, duplicating the image to create a new VM with the same configuration, making the desired changes, publishing the resulting new image, and then editing the farm to point to that image. To change the image used, see the product documentation topic Managing Published Images for Horizon Cloud Pods in Microsoft Azure.

If you need to change the image because you want to update the Horizon Agent components, the process is somewhat automated when you use the Update Agent action. Horizon Cloud automatically monitors whether a new version of the agents is available. For more information, see the product documentation topic Updating the Agent-Related Software Used by Horizon Cloud. Note that the installation path for Dynamic Environment Manager is C:\Program Files\VMware\Horizon Agents\User Environment, which is different from the path used in Horizon 8.

Monitoring Activity and Operations

To monitor the operations performed as part of the previously mentioned workflows, you can go to the Monitor > Activity page of the Horizon Universal Console after completing a wizard. For example, after importing a VM, resetting agent pairing, or publishing an image, you could monitor progress in this way. The following screenshot shows an example of the Monitor > Activity > Admins tab for converting an imported VM to an image.

Log messages can be found under Moitor > Activity.

The following screenshot shows the detail window that appeared after clicking the first line in the Description column.

The summary detail window shows the various operations performed for an action.

 

When you are importing a VM, you can also refresh the Imported VMs page to see updates to the status. You might see the following status changes when you periodically refresh the page:

(Creating VM)

Not Paired
(Restarting VM)

Not Paired
(Installing Agents)

Not Paired
(Restarting VM)

Not Paired
(Bootstrapping)

Not Paired
(Restarting VM)

Not Paired
(Import Successful)

For farms and desktop assignments, you can also click the item name in the lists on those pages to drill down and see logs of system activity and user activity.

For other types of monitoring, use the Monitor > Dashboard and Monitor > Reports UI. For more information, see the product documentation guide Introducing the Cloud Monitoring Service's Unified Visibility, Health Monitoring, and Help Desk Features Provided in Horizon Cloud.

Important: If you connect one or more of your Horizon 8 pods to the Horizon Universal Console, you can open the Horizon 8 Console from within the Horizon Universal Console. In the Horizon Universal Console, go to Settings > Capacity and click the name of a Horizon 8 pod. On the pod’s Summary page, click LAUNCH HORIZON CONSOLE. You do not need to log in again.

Summary and Additional Resources

This guide provided a shortcut to understanding how terminology, tasks, and workflows map from Horizon 8 to Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure. As a Horizon Cloud customer, you can now also take advantage of the innovative cloud-native desktop and app management services included with the Horizon Control Plane.

Additional Resources

Mastering Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure, Tech Zone activity path

Quick-Start Tutorial for VMware Horizon Cloud Service on Microsoft Azure

Administration of Your Horizon Cloud Tenant Environment and Your Fleet of Onboarded Pods, product documentation guide

Changelog

The following updates were made to this guide.

Date

Description of Changes

2021-04-12

Initial publication

About the Author and Contributors

This guide was written by Caroline Arakelian, Senior Technical Marketing Manager, End-User-Computing Technical Marketing, VMware, with appreciation and acknowledgement for assistance from:

  • Rick Terlep, Senior Technical Marketing Architect, EUC Technical Marketing, VMware
  • Chris Halstead, Staff EUC Architect, EUC Technical Marketing, VMware
  • Hannah Jernigan, Senior Technical Marketing Manager, EUC Technical Marketing, VMware

To comment on this paper, contact VMware End-User-Computing Technical Marketing at euc_tech_content_feedback@vmware.com.

 

 

 

 

 

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