About this book

Virtualization is the single most effective way to reduce IT expenses while boosting efficiency and agility, not just for large enterprises, but for small and midsize businesses too. VMware View helps you set up the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) across multiple environments.Instant VMware View Virtualization How-to is a practical implementation guide for Basic, Advanced, and Expert users that provides step-by-step explanations with the help of screen captures. It also explores some of the problems you face on a day-to-day basis when working with VMware View. This book is also very useful for users who are planning to implement a VDI solution in their environment.Instant VMware View Virtualization How-to is a complete reference guide to VMWare View 5. It helps you to plan and understand the new topics and features of VMware View 5. It is useful for testing and implementation practices of VDI. The book covers details that are not available in the VDI documentation of VMware View. This book helps you understand the problems that you will face with VMware View using practical scenarios, and you will also learn how to fix them. This book would help you become an expert on VMware View 5 within a short span of time.

Publication date:
May 2013
Publisher
Packt
Pages
76
ISBN
9781849689168

 

Chapter 1. Instant VMware View Virtualization How-to

Welcome to Instant VMware View Virtualization How-to, where all the options and components of VMware View desktop virtualization solution is explored in detail.

You might have seen that VMware is progressing well in the VDI solution by taking the advantages it has with the most stable hypervisor ESXi.

Although you will see some common screens and operation modes, VMware has made significant changes for backend dependencies such as storage and limitations and the expectations of users today, which you will enjoy when it is deployed. The major changes are:

  • VMware View Storage acceleration

  • View Composer API for Array Integration with the native NFS snapshot feature

  • 32 ESXi hosts can host linked clones from same disk

  • vCenter Operations for VMware View

  • View Persona Management extension to Physical Desktops

  • No requirement of USB driver on Client box for USB redirection

  • New mobilities for View clients (Amazon Kindle, Android, and Apple iPad)

  • Windows 8 support with ThinApp

Now, let's move on to our actual work. Let's learn the most important factors of View 5 in detail.

 

Deploying VMware View on Windows 8 (Advanced)


If you want to get a hands-on experience with Windows 8 on VMware View and get ready for future View deployments, this should be a must-take guide for deploying it.

Getting ready

Let's keep the following requirements ready:

  • You should have VMware vSphere 5.1 deployed

  • You should have VMware View 5.1 Connection Server deployed

  • You should have Windows 8 Release Preview installer and license keys for 32-bit version

How to do it...

Let's list the steps required to complete the task.

To create a Windows 8 Virtual Machine, perform the following steps:

  1. Create a standard virtual hardware version 9 VM with Windows 8 as the guest operating system.

  2. As this is a testing phase, keep the memory and disk size optimal.

  3. Edit the settings in VM and under Video card, select the Enable 3D support checkbox (this step is to make sure graphics, and adobe Flash content works with Windows 8 using VMware driver).

  4. Mount the ISO image of Windows 8 in the virtual machine and proceed with the Windows 8 Installation. Enter Windows license keys appropriately available with you.

  5. Install VMware tools in the VM; Shutdown and restart the VM.

  6. Install a VMware View 5.1 agent in VM, uncheck Persona Management during agent installation.

  7. Power-on the VM, set the network option to DHCP, and disable Windows Defender.

  8. Create a snapshot of VM and power the VM down.

  9. Now, we are ready with Windows 8 Parent virtual machine with Snapshot.

To create a pool for Windows 8 in View Admin console, perform the following steps:

  1. Launch the Connection Server Admin console and navigate to the Pool Creation wizard.

  2. Select the Automated pool type (you can use either Dedicated or Floating).

  3. Choose a View Composer linked-clone-based pool.

  4. Navigate through the rest of the wizard accepting all defaults, and choosing the snapshot of your Windows 8 VM with the View Agent installed.

  5. Use QuickPrep for instant customization. You may require to manually restart the VM if Quickprep doesn't get initiated by itself once the VM boots.

  6. Allow provisioning to proceed. Make sure you set Allow users to choose protocol: to No, else 3D rendering gets disabled automatically.

  7. If you want to set Allow users to choose protocol: to Yes, make sure you stick to the RDP protocol and not PCoIP in the Default display protocol: field, else you will end up with a black screen.

To install View Client, perform the following step:

  1. Install View Client 5.1 on any device with iOS/Android/Linux/Windows. To view a list of supported clients, visit http://www.vmware.com/support/viewclients/doc/viewclients_pubs.html.

How it works...

Once all the preceding steps are performed, you should have Windows 8 with VMware View 5.x ready. You should be able to see the VM in ready status under Desktop Resources in VMware View Admin console.

You should be able to launch Windows 8 with View Client now.

Please note that you have to entitle the users to the respective pools before users can access the VM.

More information

You can even refer to http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2033640 to know more on how to install Windows 8 in a VM.

 

Integrating ThinApp with VMware View (Advanced)


This task will make you familiar with all aspects of application integration with View desktops and packaging Office 2010.

Getting ready

Let's keep the following requirements ready:

  • You should have VMware vSphere 5.1 deployed

  • You should have VMware View 5.1 deployed

  • You should have ThinApp 4.7.3 installer, a 64-bit Windows 7 VM accessible through View setup. This will act as a ThinApp store, where we create and store packages. There is no name defined for the same. Earlier it used to be called as SanBox, but that is removed now; store is a generic word and much suitable for the task we are doing.

  • You should have the setup files ready for applications you want to integrate with View desktops, for example: Microsoft Outlook

  • You should have .NET Framework 3.5 feature enabled on ThinApp Store VM

  • You should have your KMS server domain name and MAK license handy.

How to do it...

In this task, we will be setting up the ThinApp box initially, and then we will be virtualizing Microsoft Office. Next, we will be integrating ThinApp with View and when an AD user logs in to the virtual desktop, he should have these apps registered and streamed.

To set up ThinApp Store VM and packages, perform the following steps:

  1. Set up a clean Windows 7 VM, enable .NET feature, and join it to your domain.

  2. Download and install the latest version of ThinApp from the VMware website on ThinApp Store VM, and disable the network of this VM.

  3. Create a snapshot of ThinApp Store VM.

  4. Launch ThinApp and perform a prescan of ThinApp store VM:

  5. After the prescan is complete, minimize ThinApp and launch the installation of Office 2010. When the installer launches the wizard, enter the Office key and proceed with the installation.

  6. When the installation is complete, run each application of Office 2010 twice, to check the functionality.

  7. Run Postscan from ThinApp. Once the Postscan completes, select the appropriate exe for creating a package, for example: Outlook.exe.

  8. Do not check the option, manage with VMware Horizon Application Manager, next screen, group authorized to run this package, keep everyone, as we will defining the privileges at pool level in View. On the next screen, select Full Write Access.

  9. On the next screen, go with the default (User Profile) option. On the next screen, select an option that you wish.

  10. On the next screen, give the package a name (Inventory Name) and select a location. Select Generate MSI Package on the next screen and provide a name.

  11. Once the process is done, you will end on the Edit Package.ini screen; open it and set MSIStreaming = 1.

  12. Open the project folder by clicking on Open Project Folder, as shown in the following screenshot:

  13. Browse to the project folder:

    In the project directory, copy the folder OfficeSoftwareProtectionPlatform from %Drive_C%\Documents and Settings\All Users\Microsoft to %Drive_C%\ProgramData.

  14. If present, delete the following lines from the HKEY_CURRENT_USER.txt file in the project directory:

    isolation_writecopy HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Environment
    Value=ALLUSERSPROFILE
    REG_SZ~%Common AppData%
    

    Users without administrator rights may be unable to activate Microsoft Office 2010 if it is using MAK license activation, unless these entries are added to the bottom of the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.txt file in the project directory:

    isolation_full HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\OfficeSoftwareProtectionPlatform
    Value=UserOperations
    REG_DWORD=#01#00#00#00
    
  15. Save the changes, come back to ThinApp, and proceed with the build process.

  16. Once the build is complete, you should see a bin folder with the respective executable. At this stage, enable the network back for ThinApp Store VM.

It could be that there are several documents outside. But we are giving our readers an ease of accessing the same in one document with guided screens; that's the whole purpose of this book

To create a network share with required privileges, perform the following steps:

  1. Create a folder on a computer in your network domain, which is reachable by the View server and pooled desktops.

  2. Assign read and execute permissions for users entitled to the respective pools.

  3. Copy your MSI packages to the shared folder.

To integrate ThinApp with View, perform the following steps:

  1. Launch View Administrator on the Connection Server. Navigate to View Configuration | ThinApp Configuration and click on Add Application Repository.

  2. Once the repository addition is completed, navigate to ThinApps | Scan New ThinApps. Select the desired application (for example: Outlook.msi). Add it once the scan is complete.

  3. Assign the desired app (Outlook) to a pool by navigating to Inventory | ThinApp | Add Assignment | Select Pool | Add | Installation Type | Streaming.

How it works...

You must be aware that ThinApps are pool-based application registrations and not user-based. Once the user of the assigned pool logs in, he/she should be able to see the app registered on the user's desktop.

There's more...

ThinApp deployments may fail to activate if Microsoft Office 2010 with KMS licensing was activated prior to postscan. When capturing Microsoft Office 2010 with KMS licensing, ensure that it is not activated by disconnecting the network interface card (NIC) from the capture machine during the installation process.

More information

 

Using storage acceleration in VMware View (Advanced)


Storage acceleration is a new feature with VMware View 5.x and comes with good benefits on storage aspect. View Storage Acceleration uses a patent-pending technology in ESXi called as content-based read-cache (CBRC).

Getting Ready

Basically, there are two terms we need to understand here, digest file and global cache.

  • Initially, the content of each VMDK file is indexed and transcripts of content are stored in a file called digest file (xxxxx-digest.vmdk).

  • In addition to this, a global cache is provided where data blocks are cached for faster retrieval.

Let's get started with our requirements first:

  • You should have VMware vSphere 5.1 deployed

  • You should have VMware View 5.1 Connection Server installed

How to do it...

Typically, there are two states of enabling host cache.

  • Enable it while adding a vCenter in View Administrator. You can do this even if you have already added the vCenter.

  • Enable the host cache at pool level; you can configure it either at pool creation or even with the edit pool settings. Also, you can select blackout days on the same screen.

Let's configure this at pool creation.

Let's edit the same after the pool is created.

How it works...

LUN I/O activity gets reduced when storage accelerator is used. Please note that only reads will reflect the change and not writes. Storage Accelerator will improve performance only for data retrievals or number of reads occurring on LUN.

The benefit of this is for boot storms and replica disks. When you try powering a pool of VMs and perform clone operations, boot storms and I/O reads require better throughput, which is better handled with Storage Accelerator.

In the following screenshot, you can see that a digest file is created with each of VM if the pool is configured for Storage acceleration:

There's more...

You might have come across Host caching configuration in ESXi host configuration and Host caching in VMware View. Please be aware these two are two different features, although they work in a similar way.

 

Using space-efficient sparse disks (Advanced)


Space-efficient sparse disks are used by VMware View for redo logs and snapshots. They are available from vSphere 5.1 and later. As of 5.1, it is restricted only to VMware View linked clones.

Basically, there are two main features:

  • Ability to reclaim previously used space within the guest OS

  • Ability to set a granular virtual machine disk block allocation size based on the requirements of the application

    Note

    The default grain/block allocation cannot be configured directly from the user interface. Grain means granular unit of data, larger than a sector. Grain size is the size of a grain in sectors. It must be a power of 2 and must be greater than eight (4 KB).

Getting ready

Let's get started with requirements:

  • You should have VMware vSphere 5.1 deployed with the web client

  • You should have VMware View 5.1 Connection Server installed

  • You should have VM with virtual hardware version 9

How to do it...

Well, there is no GUI operation as such to do it. You have to log in to ESXi management console, and create a disk manually.

  1. You will see an unsupported disk message, if you are logging in to VI Client to see under edit settings. If you want to see it, use the web client for the same:

  2. As you can see, after we created the disk from console, we added the disk to the parent image.

How it works...

Unused blocks could be a combination of deleted files, zeroed-out areas of the disk, or files that are deleted but not yet purged from the guest filesystem. There are two steps involved in the space reclamation feature: the first step is the wipe operation, which frees up a contiguous area of free space in the Virtual Machine Disk, and the second step is the shrink which unmaps or truncates that area of free space.

 

Exploring SSO using VMware View (Advanced)


Use of SSO with View is same as that of previous versions. Let's try to explore one of the important specifics of SSO with VMware View.

Getting ready

Let's get started with the requirements and assure that we have:

  • VMware vSphere 5.x deployed

  • VMware View 5.x deployed

How to do it...

  1. We need to make sure the following setting first in View Connection Server. By default, you don't have to configure anything on View Connection Server. Just make sure, if you have already deployed View Setup and you are setting up SSO from scratch, you have left the Disable Single Sign-On for Local Mode operations option unchecked.

    Besides this, you will come across an issue with the access with SSO on View Client, giving a timeout error. This should be treated as a precautionary step before you proceed with SSO with VMware View.

  2. For this, open ADSIEDIT.msc from the View Connection Server and connect DC=vdi, DC=vmware, DC=int, as shown below:

  3. Browse to OU=Global, CN=Common, and proceed to the Properties window by right-clicking on the respective container like OU.

  4. Change the value to -1 from the default setting (15).

  5. From the vSphere Web Client onwards, this is pretty straightforward. You may want to add respective users or groups for whom you want to assign the SSO privilege.

  6. Also change the lockout settings under Configuration according to your needs. This will help if you have user accounts locked out.

How it works...

After the user tries logging in to the View desktop, he has to enter his credentials only once.

 

Managing replica disks (Advanced)


Let's understand what exactly is a replica disk? Basically, this is the reference disk of linked-clone pool. View Composer creates one read-only replica when a pool is created. When the pool is recomposed for the first time, View Composer creates a second replica on the datastore, anchors the linked clones to the new replica, and deletes the first replica if no other clones are using the original Snapshot. The datastore must have the capacity to store two replicas during the recompose operation.

By default, replicas use vSphere thin provisioning; but to keep the guidelines simple, View Manager accounts for two replicas that use the same space as the parent virtual machine.

Getting ready

Let's get started with the requirements and make sure we have:

  • VMware vSphere 5.x deployed

  • VMware View 5.x deployed

  • VMware View Parent VM with Snapshot ready for linked clones

You must follow certain requirements when you store the replica and linked clones in a pool on separate datastores:

  • You can specify only one separate replica datastore for a pool.

  • If a replica datastore is shared, it must be accessible from all ESX hosts in the cluster.

  • If the linked-clone datastores are shared, the replica datastore must be shared. Replicas can reside on a local datastore only if you configure all linked clones on local datastores on the same ESX host.

How to do it...

Let's see how to do this.

While creating the pool, you will end on a screen for selecting the datastore. Here you can see in the screenshot that we have an option of selecting a different datastore for storing replica disks.

Do not store replicas on a separate datastore if your storage hardware does not support high-read performance. Reason, it will slow down I/O boot storms.

How it works...

Here is the hierarchy diagram for the Replica Disk:

You create a parent VM (Windows 7 or 8) with a snapshot disk. You create a linked-clone pool where View Composer allows you to create additional disks in accordance to the Replica Disk, such as Persistent or Disposable, and OS disks. You choose where to keep the Replica, OS, and Persistent disks.

There are many discussions out there on Google, where you find that the Replica disk's performance is high if SSD is in place. Remember, Replica disks usage is only triggered when there is a boot storm, basically a high read I/O.

So, you will not see a consistent change if SSD in place. Besides this, with Storage acceleration and host caching in place, SSD will not add much value. Yes, they provide better output than traditional disks. Choose what is required for your environment.

Next, it is always a good practice to keep Replica disks on separate datastores, rather that using the same datastore as linked clones. Reason, this configuration can speed up intensive operations, such as provisioning many linked clones at once or running antivirus scans.

There's more...

When you store replicas on the same datastores as linked clones, to enhance availability, View Composer creates a separate replica on each datastore. If a datastore becomes unavailable, only the linked clones on that datastore are affected. Linked clones on other datastores continue to run.

When you store replicas on a separate datastore, all linked clones in the pool are anchored to the replicas on that datastore. If the datastore becomes unavailable, the entire pool is unavailable.

 

Using vCenter Operations Manager for VMware View (Advanced)


vCenter Operations Manager can now be used with VMware View for better insight into View operations such as capacity and performance. This is done through the vCenter Operations Manager for View Adapter, which gets the topology from the VMware View environment, collects metrics and other types of information from managed desktops, and introduces them into vCenter Operations Manager Enterprise.

Getting ready

Make sure you have:

  • VMware vSphere deployed

  • VMware View Setup deployed

  • vCenter Operations Manager Enterprise vApp downloaded

  • vCenter Operations Manager for View Adapter downloaded

  • You have a Windows 32-bit VM for View Adapter

How to do it...

Let's start with a step-by-step procedure.

  1. First we have to deploy vCenter Operations Manager Enterprise vApp. You can download and deploy the latest OVA (virtual appliance) from the Download section of the VMware website.

  2. Once the OVA is deployed and configured, only then you proceed with the installation of View Adapter on Windows VM.

  3. Copy the PowerShell command EnableViewPS.cmd script from the View Adapter installation folder (c:\Program Files\VMware\vCenter Operations\View Adapter) on to the View Connection server.

  4. Once copied, run the script as an administrator on the View Connection Server.

  5. To configure the View Adapter, go to Start and navigate to VMware | vCenter Operations for View | View Adapter Settings.

  6. Enter the credentials as required in each tab.

  7. In the View Settings tab, enter the domain admin credentials which has complete access to View Connection Server:

  8. Enter the credentials of the Operations Manager in the vCenter Operations Settings tab.

  9. Enter the credentials for desktop VMs. This account should be a local admin of each desktop and view client and should also belong to the domain admin group.

  10. Make sure to test the connections on each tab.

  11. Select Collection interval: as per your environment:

  12. You should get the following screen once you apply all settings.

  13. Now, let's proceed with deploying the PAK file in Operations Manager to populate View dashboards in Operations Manager. To do that, upload the PAK file located in C:\Program Files\VMware\vCenter Operations\View Adapter in Admin portal of operations manager console.

That's about setup and configuration. So, we can see that VCOPS is getting integrated with many other applications of vSphere for better forecasting on virtual infrastructure.

How it works...

Once the connection between the Operations Manager and View Connection Server is populated, you should see seven tabs in the vCenter Operations Manager window.

Let's see the top Desktop VMs with high and low utilization parameters.

 

Tuning and optimizing PCoIP performance (Advanced)


PC-over-IP is a protocol to render desktop images via network. Right, but the statement doesn't say it is server- or desktop-side. This uses UDP for transmission and compression technology. For experiencing optimized environment, choose what is suitable to your environment. This includes setup with security servers or without, setup with 3D requirement or without, and various application requirements.

PCoIP performance can be better understood on a WAN and not on a LAN, as most of the environments today depend on accessing desktops over the Web through various clients.

The new version of VMware View is better optimized for PCoIP giving:

  • Lossless codec improvements

  • Client-side caching

  • Ability to turn off build to lossless

There are still many settings that can be applied via GPO using PCOIP.adm that comes with the View Installation package. Let's see how to implement them.

Getting ready

Let's get started with requirements and make sure:

  • You have VMware vSphere 5.x deployed

  • You have VMware View 5.x deployed

How to do it...

The following are the steps for tuning and optimization of PCoIP:

  1. Create OU (Organization Units) in the active directory for the set of desktops according to your grouping; this makes the job easy for group policy to be applied across OUs rather each desktop.

    1. On your Active Directory server, select Start and navigate to All Programs | Administrative Tools | Active Directory Users and Computers.

    2. Right-click on the domain that contains your View desktops and select New | Organizational Unit.

    3. Type a name for the OU and click on OK. The new OU appears in the left pane.

    To add View desktops to the new OU:

    1. Click on Computers in the left pane. All the computer objects in the domain appear in the right pane.

    2. Right-click on the name of the computer objects that represents the View desktop in the right panel and select Move.

    3. Select the OU and click on OK. The View desktop appears in the right pane when you select the OU.

  2. Let's create GPO for View Groups. The following steps are generic; I don't think we should change this.

    1. Select Start and navigate to Administrative Tools | Group Policy Management.

    2. Under Domains, right-click on the OU that contains your View desktops and select Create and link a GPO here.

    3. Type a name for the GPO and click on OK. The new GPO appears under the OU in the left pane.

    4. To apply the GPO only to specific View desktops in the OU, select the GPO in the left pane. This is optional.

    5. Select Security Filtering | Add.

    6. Type the computer names of the View desktops and click on OK. The View desktops will appear in the Security Filtering pane. The settings in the GPO apply only to these View desktops.

  3. Copy pcoip.adm from the Connection Server to the Active Directory Server, and import <install_directory>\VMware\VMwareView\Server\extras\GroupPolicyFiles\pcoip.adm.

    1. Select Start and navigate to Administrative Tools | Group Policy Management.

    2. Expand your domain, right-click on the GPO that you created for the group policy settings, and select Edit.

    3. The Group Policy Object Editor window appears. In the Group Policy Object Editor window, right-click on Administrative Templates under Computer Configuration and then select Add/Remove Templates.

    4. Click on Add, browse to the ADM template file, and click on Open.

    5. Click on Close to apply the policy settings in the ADM template file to the GPO. The name of the template appears in the left pane under Administrative Templates.

  4. Configure the group policy settings.

How it works...

Besides connecting with the client, an administrator should also update the group policy after the GPO settings have been applied.

The following is the outcome after you connect with PCoIP.

More information

 

Managing profiles and users (Simple)


To present an identical user experience for each virtual desktop, laptop, or Terminal Server session that is unique to each user, data and configuration information are stored in user profiles that are referenced by servers when users log on to the network. When this routine process occurs, a Microsoft Windows profile that is unique to each user is assigned. These assigned profiles include information, such as pointers to disk drives, local to a specific user, desktop configuration's look and feel, as well as specific desktop applications and associated imagery normally included in Windows startup processing.

In this topic, what is recommended is to maintain a roaming profile for each user you entitle for a pool to save user settings and data.

Let's understand what are roaming and mandatory profiles first:

  • Roaming profile: When a user logs on to a domain, the roaming user profile is downloaded from the server onto the local computer and applied. When the user logs off, the changes made to the profile are transferred back to the domain. In this configuration, all user profiles are stored on servers or on a Storage Area Network (SAN). With Roaming Profiles, each user receives the same exact profile that he or she last saved on the server to which they logged on, since the entire file is saved instead of individual changes. Each and every time a user logs on to a workstation, their associated settings and files must be transferred over the network.

  • Mandatory profile: It is a read-only profile, meaning that a user can modify the desktop, but any changes made are not saved when the user logs off. In this manner, the user receives a reliable and repeatable experience each and every time he or she logs on to the system, but loses the ability to customize the session settings. This approach is often implemented to minimize logon time to the server network.

Getting ready

Let's get started with requirements and make sure we have:

  • VMware vSphere 5.x deployed.

  • VMware View 5.x deployed.

  • Access to Active Directory with Domain Admin user.

  • First decide yourself which users you want to entitle with roaming profiles. Once that is complete, log in to active directory and perform the operations discussed as follows.

How to do it...

User folders are created automatically when the user's account is created and an administrator has enabled the use of home folders.

  1. Let's create a parent folder called home, where all the user data and profile settings will be stored; this will be the network share for all users.

  2. Open the Security tab under Advanced; set the following permissions for the Home folder for Authenticated Users.

  3. Create a user called Tom; set the home folder location and set a drive letter as well.

    When you browse for Tom's folder, this is how you see it:

  4. Set the profile path for Tom.

  5. Use the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) and edit the GPO containing the Folder Redirection settings you want modified. Configure each from the following list to use the Basic - Redirect everyone's folder to the same location Folder Redirection setting. Type the UNC path listed in the following table into the Root Path setting for each folder:

    Redirected folder

    UNC path

    Application Data

    \\contoso-rt-mem1\FldrRedir$

    Desktop

    \\contoso-rt-mem1\FldrRedir$

    My Documents

    \\contoso-rt-mem1\FldrRedir$

    Start Menu

    \\contoso-rt-mem1\FldrRedir$

  6. By default, administrators do not have permissions to users' redirected folders. If you require the permission to go into the users' folders, you will want to go to the Settings tab and uncheck Grant the user exclusive rights to on each folder that is redirected. This allows administrators to enter the users' redirected folder locations without taking ownership of the folder and files.

How it works...

Setting up in this way, users' data will be redirected to a network share location. User can also set up user data disks with each VM. However, during recompose or pool breaks, we have seen failures on all disk threads in linked-pool setup. Due to this, I prefer putting them on a network share with AD profiles in place.

 

Implementing USB redirections (Advanced)


USB redirections were implemented by VMware to enhance the capability of USB via the RDP protocol.

Generally this uses port number 32111 and if by any chance a port is found to be blocked while accessing this through a dedicated tunnel, it will discard any new connection coming to the port, while keeping the USB redirection and RDP session alive.

Getting ready

Let's get started with the requirements and make sure we have:

  • VMware vSphere 5.x deployed

  • VMware View 5.x deployed

How to do it...

  1. Initially, make sure you have USB redirection module installed with View client.

  2. Next, under Global Policies settings in View Connection Manager, make sure you have the USB access: option set to Allow (by default it is set to Allow).

  3. Under Group Policies, make sure you have this option enabled. The host USB access is redirected to View Client session.

How it works...

You should be able to reach the desktop without any issues.

There's more...

There are a lot of discussions on Google asking whether USB redirection will work better with RDP or PCoIP. The answer is PCoIP; reason, in a PCoIP session the USBs are mounted as drives, whereas in RDP they are mounted as network shares.

 

Implementing ThinPrints (Simple)


ThinPrint is nowadays an important component of VMware View for better outcomes on printing.

Getting ready

Let's understand what ThinPrint is.

ThinPrint is redirecting the print job to print server using gateway through a compressed tunnel. That's the basic definition. In today's VMware world, VMware ships standard ThinPrint drivers through VMware tools, also known as the TP AutoConnect service.

In addition to this, you can also use the VMware View Agent to install a ThinPrint driver. This driver is developed and designed by Cortado, a company who develops ThinPrint engines, and the same is used by VMware today.

So, the answer to this topic, is Yes, they add benefits for printing in VDI solution but are not mandatory.

Let's look at the architecture of ThinPrint.

We can see here that the print job travels through a secure tunnel using ThinPrint gateway service.

And, there is also a feature called location-based printing, which enables users to print from their virtual desktops to their local and networked printers, although this requires a specific configuration as follows:

How to do it...

Install VMware tools and View agent with default installation options on the parent VM.

After this, you will see that the TP AutoConnect and TP VC Gateway services are installed.

For basic operations you don't need an additional configuration, the respective services will take care for default printing options. However, to set up location-based printing, perform the following steps:

  1. Copy TPVMGPoACmap.dll from the Connection Server; the paths to the domain controller are install_directory\VMware\VMware View\Server\extras\GroupPolicyFiles\ThinPrint\ia32 for 32-bit and install_directory\VMware\VMware View\Server\extras\GroupPolicyFiles\ThinPrint\x64 for 64-bit.

  2. Run regsvr32 c:\ TPVMGPoACmap.dll for registering AutoConnect Mapping to a location-based service on the domain controller.

  3. Open Group Policy Editor, and enable AutoConnect Map Additional Printers for VMware View under Computer Configuration | Software Settings.

  4. Click to insert a row; after populating the entries click on Apply.

  5. After the View Client is connected, open the registry and run regedit to verify whether the registry key is populated with the GPO data in settingHKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\thinprint\PrinterCreateListEx2.

How it works...

You should be able to print the required info using ThinPrint drivers now.

There's more...

You can install a dedicated print server engine provided by Cortado (www.thinprint.com). This has many other additional features with wide options.

More information

You may refer to the following links for more information:

 

Using View Client on Android, iOS, and Linux (Advanced)


View Client now supports all the latest versions, including iOS 6, Android Jelly Bean, Ubuntu, CentOS, Red Hat, and SUSE Linux OSs.

The key point for all of these OSs is to make sure:

  • The dependent devices are able to access client desktops without any blocking issues like firewall, port share, RSA, and other security features

  • If there is a security server in place, or if you want to use a secure tunnel for connection to the desktop, make sure your device resolves DNS name

  • Only the PCoIP option is set for respective pools from, which you want to use desktops

Getting ready

Let's get started with the requirements and make sure we have:

  • VMware vSphere 5.x deployed

  • VMware View 5.x deployed

  • Downloaded the latest version of View Client for each OS like:

    • View Client for Android (can be downloaded and installed from Google Play)

    • View Client for iOS (can be downloaded and Installed from APP Store)

    • View Client for Linux OS (can be downloaded and installed from VMware website)

How to do it...

For all the three OSs (Android, iOS, and Linux), the steps are pretty straight. You can perform the following steps for attaining the result:

Please check the requirements section before you proceed from the document link mentioned as follows:

http://www.vmware.com/pdf/view-client-android-document.pdf

  1. If you plan to use a secure tunnel connection for client devices and if the secure connection is configured with a DNS hostname for View Connection Server or a security server, verify that the client device can resolve this DNS name.

  2. To enable or disable the secure tunnel, in View Administrator, go to the Edit View Connection Server Settings dialog box and select the checkbox Use secure tunnel connection to desktop.

  3. Verify that a virtual desktop pool has been created and that the user account you plan to use is entitled to access this View desktop.

  4. To use two-factor authentication with View Client, such as RSA SecurID or RADIUS authentication, you must enable this feature on the View Connection Server. RADIUS authentication is available with View 5.1 or later versions of the View Connection Server.

    Administrators can configure the View Connection Server to allow the View Client mobile devices to remember a user's username, password, and domain information. If users choose to have their credentials saved, the credentials are added to the login fields in the View Client on subsequent connections.

  5. To allow end users to save their passwords with the View Client, so that users do not always need to supply credentials when logging in to a View desktop, configure the policy for this feature on the View Connection Server.

    You have to open the LDAP utility and connect to View Adam DB and change the setting mentioned in the following screenshot:

  6. If you are outside the corporate network and are not using a security server to access the virtual desktop, verify that your client device is set up to use a VPN connection and turn that connection on.

    Note

    VMware recommends using a security server rather than a VPN.

    If your application hangs or crashes, try uninstalling and reinstalling the app.

How it works...

On Android after installing the client, you may have to add the server and start connecting to your desktop.

Click on Add Server, and mention the server connection settings.

Click on Connect to launch the desktop.

You can also configure client settings in the General tab for the Android client.

On iOS, it's the same process. After installing the client, enter the connection server name or IP and proceed with the connection.

The following are the screenshots taken from iPhone:

On Linux, we have taken a screenshot from a Ubuntu desktop.

 

Selecting the best Thin Client devices (Basic)


Thin Clients are best defined as using/loading/streaming an OS session via a network without actually using a dependent hardware.

A Thin Client device comes with basic/lean hardware used only to load. I would not refer to it as a display, as it is a headless client, it loads a session with basic apps.

The trend is slowly moving towards ultra thin or zero clients rather Thin Clients. It doesn't run any dedicated OS, rather it runs a kernel which initializes the network and loads a compressed OS via a network stream.

Getting ready

Let's look at the steps to select the best client device.

  • Understand your existing environment. Like, you have an existing View Setup and merge the new device with the existing setup or you want to setup a completely new View environment.

  • Understand/know the supported clients with the VMware View version you want to go for.

  • Understand your requirement, whether you want to use these devices for a student training environment or an external shop for your company (Kiosk Mode).

  • Understand what should be the use-case scenario, like you want a device which supports RADIUS, smart card authentication, multi-monitor, or Kiosk Mode.

  • Understand quantity, that is the number of units to order should be greater than the number of desktops per pool ratio.

  • Understand, more importantly, the device vendor. If you have an existing HP shop in your datacenter, it's a wise decision to go with HP client devices as well to achieve one-stop-support availability.

  • Understand what applications you want to stream with the OS session, as subsequently there is a huge dependency on your network profiling.

 

Upgrading View (Basic)


VMware View upgrade requires no downtime of your running virtual machines. Remember different versions of VMware View and its components carry different limitations.

A supported and homogeneous setup is always suggested across your setup to maintain reliability. For example, if your vSphere setup is on 5.x, View 5.x with its dependant components are suggested, although there is a minor compatibility with previous versions.

Check the compatibility matrix before you upgrade.

Getting ready

Let's get started with the requirements and make sure we have:

  • VMware vSphere 5.x deployed

  • VMware View 4.x deployed

How to do it...

  1. The first and foremost step before upgrading the VMware View environment is to document your setup. This may include:

    • Document IP, names of View Connection Servers and vCenter Servers

    • Document Scripts/their locations assigned to ADAM database for Connection server instance

    • Document pool names/settings, names of currently used desktops, and global settings of the Connection Server instance if any

    • Document configuration settings of any load balancer used for the Connection Server

  2. Secondly, back up your setup. This may include:

    • View Manager ADAM database

    • vCenter database

    • View Composer database

    • If your View Connection server or vCenter Server is running on VM, snapshot the VMs.

    • You might need to stop few services and options

    • If you have multiple Connection Servers for load balancing, perform upgrade on one server at a time and stop the Connection Server service on the second server

    • Disable provisioning on the pools you have set up

More information

 

Performing Recompose, Refresh, and Rebalance (Advanced)


A View Composer is basically responsible for linked clones, and with the View Composer, we have the option to perform Recompose, Refresh, and Rebalance.

Let's define these first:

  • Recompose: You are resetting a VM to a new OS base image and a new snapshot, keeping the persistent disk/user data/MAC address and SID intact

  • Refresh: Reverting the VMs to the original snapshot.

  • Rebalance: If datastores are running out of space due to VMs, the VMs are migrated automatically to a different datastore with space availability

Getting ready

Let's get started with the requirements and make sure we have:

  • VMware vSphere 5.x deployed

  • VMware View 5.x deployed with linked clones

  • Permission to access View Administrator with administrative privileges

How to do it...

In order to access these three options, you have to click on the pool you have created. Under the Settings tab, you have the View Composer options.

Let's see how to perform a Recompose:

  1. Power on the parent VM and log in with administrative privileges.

  2. Perform the changes you want.

  3. Create a snapshot of the VM.

  4. In the View Administrator, point the pool recompose option to the new snapshot.

  5. Perform the recompose.

Let's see how to perform a Refresh:

As mentioned earlier, these options will the set the VM to switch to the original snapshot.

  1. Log on to the Connection Server and highlight a pool. You will see Refresh on the right-hand side of the explorer.

  2. Select the Refresh option and proceed with select options you prefer.

Let's see how to perform a Rebalance:

  1. Log on to the Connection Server and highlight a pool. You will see Rebalance on right-hand side of the explorer.

  2. Select the Rebalance option and proceed with select options you prefer.

More information

About the Authors

  • Ramesh Geddam

    Ramesh Geddam has been working on the Virtualization platform since 1997. He holds a double master's degree in Computer Science and is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in virtualized systems from a recognized university. He carries 12 years of IT experience in storage and virtualization. He has been a backbone for many VDI and vSphere deployments across APJ and EMEA regions with complex requirements.

    Browse publications by this author
  • Prasenjit Sarkar

    Prasenjit Sarkar is a Director of Product Management at Cisco for their Emerging Technologies and Incubation venture. His primary focus is on cloud-native application networking and security. He is a seasoned product leader in the cloud-native space. He has vast knowledge of Kubernetes, containers, container and Kubernetes networking, Service Mesh, API management, and serverless computing, among other things. He is also an author of the virtualization blog Kube-Mesh and has authored six industry-leading books on virtualization, SDN, physical compute, and the cloud, among other topics. He has 12 granted patents in the US and has authored numerous research articles.

    Browse publications by this author

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