Lab Overview - HOL-2051-91-VWS - VMware Horizon 7 Lightning Lab
Welcome to the VMware Horizon 7 Lightning Lab.
We have developed Lightning Labs to help you learn about VMware products in small segments of time. In this lab, you will be guided through the steps of creating an instant-clone desktop pool and testing.
This lab manual can be downloaded from the Hands-on Labs Document site found here:
This lab may be available in other languages. To set your language preference and have a localized manual deployed with your lab, you may utilize this document to help guide you through the process:
Below are the module included in the complete VMware Horizon 7 - Getting Started with App and Desktop Virtualization lab (HOL-2051-01-VWS):
If you have never taken a lab, view the Appendix - Lab Guidance to see best practices and tips on how to use the lab environment console.
This Module contains the following lessons:
Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) products, such as VMware Horizon 7, enable IT departments to run virtual machine (VM) desktops and applications in the data center and remotely deliver these desktops and applications to users as a managed service. This computer-within-a-computer strategy enables multiple VMs to be run per physical server core.
For administrators, this means desktop and application management can be simplified and automated. Admins can quickly create virtual desktops on demand based on location and profile, and securely deliver desktops as a service from a central location.
End users can access their personalized virtual desktops or remote applications from company laptops, their home PCs, thin client devices, Macs, tablets, or smartphones. Horizon 7 is the leading platform for Windows desktop and application virtualization, providing a consistent user experience across devices and locations while keeping organizations data compliant and securely stored in the data center.
When VDI solutions first started appearing, about a decade ago, the strategy was to take a Windows desktop system, virtualize it, and place it in the data center. Unlike this traditional VDI, Horizon 7 is built on technologies that allow components of a desktop or application to be decoupled and managed independently in a centralized manner, yet reconstituted on demand to deliver a personalized user workspace. For example, when the user logs in, a virtual desktop can assemble itself on the fly by combining an instant clone of a master image (VM) with a user environment profile and one or more containerized applications that attach themselves to (but are not installed in) the VM.
In addition, Horizon 7 integrates with VMware Workspace ONE on a common identity framework to provide a single catalog for accessing Windows applications and desktops, as well as software-as-a-service (SaaS), web, cloud, and native mobile applications.
If you are not familiar with Horizon 7 you can read more on our Digital Workspace Tech Zone at
Horizon 7 is a complete solution that delivers, manages, and protects virtual desktops, RDSH-published desktops, and applications across devices and locations. From provisioning to management and monitoring, Horizon 7 offers an integrated stack of enterprise-class technologies that can deploy hundreds of customized desktops and RDSH servers in a few minutes from centralized single images.
Horizon 7 can be integrated with Workspace ONE through VMware Identity Manager (either on-premises or as part of the Workspace ONE service). VMware Identity Manager is provided with Horizon 7 Enterprise Edition or Workspace ONE when purchased.
With Horizon 7, you can create desktop pools that include thousands of virtual desktops. You can deploy desktops that run on virtual machines (VMs) and physical machines. Create one VM as a master image, and Horizon 7 can generate a pool of virtual desktops from that image. The master image is also known as a base image or a golden image.
There are two main types of virtual desktop pools: automated and manual. Automated desktop pools use a vCenter Server virtual machine template or snapshot to create a pool of identical virtual machines. Manual desktop pools are a collection of Server virtual machines, physical computers, or third-party virtual machines. In automated or manual pools, each machine is available for one user to access remotely at a time.
Horizon 7 offers the ability to create and provision pools of desktops as its basis of centralized management. If you use a vSphere virtual machine as a desktop source, you can automate the process of making as many identical virtual desktops as you need. You can set a minimum and maximum number of virtual desktops to be generated for the pool. Setting these parameters ensures that you always have enough remote desktops available for immediate use but not so many that you overuse available resources.
Using pools to manage desktops allows you to apply settings or deploy applications to all remote desktops in a pool. You can also specify how users are assigned desktops in a pool.
With single-user desktops, each virtual machine allows a single end-user connection at a time. In contrast, with session-based desktops, one RDSH server can accommodate many concurrent user connections.
We will walk through the process of creating an Instant Clone Desktop Pool. A clone is a copy of a master VM with a unique identity of its own, including a MAC address, UUID, and other system information. The VMware Instant Clone Technology improves and accelerates the process of creating cloned VMs over the previous View Composer linked-clone technology. In addition, instant clones require less storage and less expense to manage and update because the desktop is deleted when the user logs out, and a new desktop is created using the latest master image.
When you create a desktop pool, you select configuration options that determine how the pool is managed and how users interact with the desktops.
We will walk through the steps to create an Instant Clone Desktop Pool but because of time and resources in the lab environment, we will cancel out before completing. We will use an existing Desktop Pool to complete the remaining lab lessons.
An instant-clone desktop pool is an automated desktop pool. vCenter Server creates the desktop VMs based on the settings that you specify when you create the pool. Instant clones share a virtual disk of the master image and therefore consume less storage than full VMs. In addition, instant clones share the memory of the master image. Instant clones are created using the vmFork technology.
Before you can deploy a pool of desktops, you must create an optimized master image, which includes installing and configuring a Windows or Linux operating system in a VM, optimizing the OS, and installing the various VMware agents required for desktop pool deployment.
We will not be creating the optimized master image in this lab as it has already been set up for us in the interest of time. For step-by-step instructions, see the guide Creating an Optimized Windows Image for a VMware Horizon Virtual Desktop.
To perform desktop or application pool deployment tasks, troubleshooting tasks, or manage JMP workflows, you must log in to Horizon Console. You can access Horizon Console through the Horizon Administrator Web interface. We will use the new HTML 5 Horizon Console for this lab. With the latest version of Horizon Console, it is in feature parity with almost everything that you can do in the Horizon Administrator Flex console. We will launch the Horizon Console using the URL https://horizon-01.corp.local/newadmin
The Horizon Console
The Horizon Console is the newest HTML5 based web interface to manage Horizon 7 Environments. Horizon Console is used to create and manage virtual desktops and published desktops and applications. Horizon Console also integrates VMware Horizon Just-in-Time Management Platform (JMP) Integrated Workflow features for managing workspaces.
Horizon Console is available after you install and configure Horizon Connection Server.
The Add Desktop Pool wizards guides you through the steps of creating an instant-clone desktop pool. We will not go over the steps to clone or configure a desktop image but will use one already created for this lab. For more information on how to clone a desktop or create a new virtual machine to use, please consult the documentation at https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-Horizon-7/7.9/horizon-virtual-desktops/GUID-C875E8BE-20C9-4845-96DC-70F125BCA907.html
Options here are
Click on Ignore for View Storage Accelerator pop up
With the vCenter Server selected, Click on Next
With Dedicated, each user is assigned a particular remote desktop and returns to the same desktop at each login. This is a one-to-one desktop-to-user relationship. With Floating assignment users log in to any available desktop. This reduces the number of desktops required if everyone does not need to be logged in at the same time. We will pick Dedicated for this pool so that we can see the new feature of Longer-lived Instant Clones. We will explain more on this feature shortly.
From the Storage Optimization page:
On the Desktop pool identification screen,
We will only provision machines as we need them with a minimum number of 1 and max number set to 2.
Note the warning message "Minimum number of ready/(provisioned) machines must be less than maximum and minimum number of machines. Be sure to edit the Max number of machines below to 2.
For vCenter Settings, we have already created the master image in the environment that we will be using so we will enter the information here.
Click OK on the warning pop up.
Click on Next
With the latest version of Horizon, we introduce the feature of Longer Lived Instant Clones. Longer Lived Instant Clones have functionality similar to Linked Clones. This features is only available for dedicated pools. It supports the same refresh options as linked clones:
Longer Lived Instant Clones supports disk reclamation.
You would use Longer Lived Instant Clones in the following use cases:
We will show you the settings in the next lesson.
You can set the Remote Display protocol for the desktop pool to be either: Blast, PCoIP or RDP. Keep as Blast.
Click on Next.
Guest Customization options, we will keep the defaults, click Next.
The Ready to Complete screen lets you review the resettings. You can also click on the Entitle Users after this wizard finishes to go to the entitle screen. We will cancel out of this and will look at entitlements for an existing Instant Clone pool.
Due to limited resources and time in this lab environment, we will cancel out of Creating an Instant Clone Desktop Pool and instead look at an existing Instant Clone pool already provisioned.
Click Ok to confirm.
The lab has an existing Instant Clone Desktop Pool created for users named IC-Pool1. In the next step we will connect into that Desktop Pool through VMware Horizon HTML Access.
Click on the Instant Clone Pool to launch the Desktop.
We will disconnect from the desktop.
This will sign out from that Instant Clone Window's desktop and disconnect.
Click Close in the Disconnected popup.
You configure entitlements to control which remote desktops and applications your users can access. Before users can access remote desktops or applications, they must be entitled to use a desktop or application pool.
Click on Add
Note you may need to scroll down or resize the window to be able to select the Domain Users. You can also click the box next to Name to select all, then click ok.
Click OK again to accept the User in the Add Entitlements
In this section we will go over the Desktop pool Settings and touch on a few of the new features available.
Now we will look at the configuration of the existing Instant Clone Desktop pool.
Observe the summary settings for this existing Instant Clone Desktop pool.
Click on Machines
Observe the Instant Clone Machines currently provisioned and their status.
You can see the Horizon Agent Version here as well.
Click on the Machines (InstantClone Details) tab.
Here you will see details on the Image and you can see when it was last composed.
With the latest release of the Horizon Agent, you can drag and drop files, folders, text, rich text, and images between the Client System and remote desktops and published applications. You can drag and drop multiple files and folders at the same time. A progress bar shows the status of the drag and drop operation.
The drag and drop feature works differently depending on the Horizon Agent version and how it is configured.
Depending on the Horizon Agent version, a Horizon administrator can use certain group policy settings or Smart Policies to configure drag and drop behavior.
If you drag a file or folder between the client system and a remote desktop, the file or folder appears in the file system on the target system. If you drag a file and drop it into an open application, such as Notepad, the text appears in the application. If you drag a file into a new email message, the file becomes an attachment to the email message.
By default, dragging and dropping from the client system to remote desktops and published applications is enabled, and dragging and dropping from remote desktops and published applications to the client system is disabled. A Horizon administrator can control the drag and drop direction by configuring group policy settings.
Dragging and dropping files and folders requires that the client drive redirection feature is enabled in Horizon Agent by selecting the Client Drive Redirection option during Horizon Agent installation.
You can configure the drag and drop direction, the allowed drag and drop formats, and the drag and drop size limit by editing group policy settings for the VMware Blast and PCoIP display protocols.
With the latest UEM and Horizon Client, you can use Smart Policies to configure drag and drop behavior, including disabling the entire drag and drop feature.
See HOL-2051-02 lab for more information on this.
In this lesson we are going to show drag and drop by dragging text from the Chrome Browser on the Main Console Desktop and dropping it into the Wordpad application running on a Instant Clone Desktop. We will also grab an image and drag and drop it into the Wordpad document as well.
Open the Google Chrome Browser.
Note: If you already have the browser open and logged into the Horizon Console, you can skip ahead and click on Dashboard in the Horizon Console.
If you were already logged into Horizon Console, you can just click on Dashboard in the left column to get to this place.
We will launch Horizon Client to open up an Instant Clone Desktop VM to test the Drag and Drop feature. We will drag and drop this file to the desktop VM.
Double-click the VMware Horizon Client on the Main Console Desktop
Double-Click on horizon-01.corp.local
Login to the Horizon-01 system
Click on the Instant Clone Pool to open a Desktop VM
If the Desktop takes up the entire screen, click on the Maximize button (two squares) in the top right corner beside the Close X button to take out of maximize window size so we can see the Main Console desktop as well.
Click on the dashboard_hero.png file that you saved to the desktop of the MainConsole and drag it to the Desktop
Drop the image file into the WordPad Document
If Horizon Client is minimized, click on the bottom to open it back up so you can close it to clean up.
With the latest version of Horizon agents, you are able to publish applications from a Windows 10 Desktop Pool using the same deployment and configuration process as you do for Desktops.
We will walk through that process below. First we will edit the existing desktop pool and make it a desktop and application pool. Then we will add an application pool using the Application discovered in the Desktop Pool.
Go back to the Horizon Console.
Click on the Desktop Pool Settings tab
Supported Session Types can be configured for the Desktop Pool. There are 3 options:
If you choose to support application sessions then this desktop pool can be used to publish application pools.
We are going to now add an application from the desktop pool.
With Application Pools, you can deliver a single application to many users. The application runs on a farm of RDS Hosts or a desktop pool. We will show running an application from a desktop pool here. If you want more info on running applications from an RDS Host, be sure to continue on to the Module 2: Create an RDSH Farm - Instant Clones and Module 3: Create an Application Pool after this module.
Click on Add to add user to this pool
Notice that the VMHosted-Wordpad was added and Pool or Farm is listed as Instant Clone Pool. You may have to scroll down to see it in the list.
Login to VMware Horizon
If we had chosen just the Application Session Type then we would just have the Application here and no Instant Clone Desktop Pool.
NOTE: Due to constraints in the Hands on Lab environment, we are not able to launch the VMHosted-WordPad application in this lab. The machines in the pool are not at the current level to support application remoting. We are limited in the HOL lab environment but wanted to show you the steps to set this up.
We will delete the IC Application Pool so that it doesn't interfere with the modules that follow this.
Confirm delete of the Application pool, click on OK
We need to edit the Desktop pool to put back as an Instant Clone Desktop pool for the next modules.
We will change the Session Type back to Desktop only for the remainder of this lab.
This module went over creating a Desktop Pool in Horizon.
Congratulations on completing the Lightning Lab.
If you are looking for additional information on Horizon, try one of these:
Below are the module included in the complete VMware Horizon 7 - Getting Started with App and Desktop Virtualization lab (HOL-2051-01-VWS):
To end your lab click on the END button.
During this module, you will input text into the Main Console. Besides directly typing it in, there are two very helpful methods of entering data which make it easier to enter complex data.
You can also click and drag text and Command Line Interface (CLI) commands directly from the Lab Manual into the active window in the Main Console.
You can also use the Online International Keyboard found in the Main Console.
When you first start your lab, you may notice a watermark on the desktop indicating that Windows is not activated.
One of the major benefits of virtualization is that virtual machines can be moved and run on any platform. The Hands-on Labs utilizes this benefit and we are able to run the labs out of multiple datacenters. However, these datacenters may not have identical processors, which triggers a Microsoft activation check through the Internet.
Rest assured, VMware and the Hands-on Labs are in full compliance with Microsoft licensing requirements. The lab that you are using is a self-contained pod and does not have full access to the Internet, which is required for Windows to verify the activation. Without full access to the Internet, this automated process fails and you see this watermark.
This cosmetic issue has no effect on your lab.
Please check to see that your lab has finished all the startup routines and is ready for you to start. If you see anything other than "Ready", please wait a few minutes. If after 5 minutes your lab has not changed to "Ready", please ask for assistance.
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Lab SKU: HOL-2051-91-VWS