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Horizon View Connection Broker


Doung Wu

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Hello,

 

I'm coming from Unidesk 3.X and installing App Layering for the first time.  On Unidesk and if I recall correctly, I had a Horizon View Connection server that required that I install Unidesk's connection broker software to link it to the Unidesk management appliance.  I would then create a desktop pool in Horizon and the Unidesk management appliance would see it as an option in desktop creation.  Desktops created would automatically register itself to Horizon View.

 

How do I go about to achieve this in App Layering to link the Horizon View Connection server to the ELM?  The documentation isn't clear here.  I see no connection brokering software in the downloaded package.  I just know that the Platform layer has to be involved somehow.

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In App Layering 4.x you create OS and App Layers just like Unidesk 2 and 3.  You then create a Platform Layer which is where you would install the Horizon View Agent.  You then create an image template where you define the OS layer, App Layers and Platform layer to include in your image.  In that same template you will configure a Horizon View Connector that knows how to talk to vCenter.  Note this is slightly different than the normal vCenter connector and is used for publishing an image to vCenter.  You then publish an image using the image template.  This will create a Parent VM in vCenter that you then import into a Horizon View Pool.  Horizon is responsible for deploying the image and creating  the desktops using a floating pool and linked or fast clones.

 

These links should help your understanding

 

https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/tech-zone/design/reference-architectures/app-layering.html

https://docs.citrix.com/en-us/citrix-app-layering/4.html

 

Rob

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Thanks for the prompt response yesterday.  I was so used to my old ways wondering where the Desktop tab was.

Your explanation makes the documentation clearer now.  It looks like floating pool full-clones in Horizon is not an option.  Bummer.

 

In the platform layer, platform types, provisioning service, do I still select VMware View Composer if I want to do fast clones instead of linked clones?  I want to avoid creating a View Composer server if I don't need it.

 

In what situation would I select 'other' or 'none' for provisioning service when using a Horizon connection broker?

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With Horizon, it's either Full, Linked, or Instant Clones. Depending on your licensing, you may not have Instant Clone as an option, but Linked works almost as well, and creates a disposable image. You do need a separate Composer server (at least in v7) that offloads the building and manipulating from the Connection server. So from the Horizon side, you have to have an vCenter server, Horizon Connection server, and Horizon composer, which Composer cannot live with Connection on the same box. Composer *can* live with vCenter, but only the Windows version of vCenter, which is deprecated.

 

It's a lot of VMs to produce a single VDI pool, any way around it.

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David,

 

Thanks for your added input.  I do prefer Full desktops but it is my understanding that my only two options with App Layering are Linked and Instant clones.  I have Horizon Standard licensing and it looks like I need Enterprise to use Instant clones.  I'll run Horizon Enterprise in trial mode to test the technology.

However, I can't find any information on what Horizon license is required for Linked clones.

 

My only issue with Instant clones is that according to VMware's documentation, a desktop is deleted, and re-created every time a user logs off.  I don't want to wear down the SSD drives if I don't need to so I hope this can be disabled so when a user logs off, it is marked available for another user.  I like how on the old End-of-Life versions of Unidesk, desktops are refreshed only when you reboot them.

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Full and Linked are available in both Standard and Advanced licenses. Advanced adds the ability to publish RDS apps straight to Horizon.

 

Linked or Instant Clones will create a bunch of I/O whenever a user logs off, as a new clone has to be provisioned from the replica. Both are relatively quick, with Instant being based on a replica and a slew of scratch disks, one every time a users logs on/off. Linked creates a new replica, and sysprep or quickpreps the VM. Linked pools hold a static number of VMs, ICs can be expanded on demand. 

 

If if you don’t need elastic demand, Linked Clones work quite well.

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