VMware Horizon view – Overview

Virtualization is a technology that is abstracting the logical capabilities from the underlying physical resources. In Simple term we can say “Transforms hardware into software”.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is a powerful solution where the desktop operating system is hosted on a centralized datacenter. The VDI solution facilitates full personalization of the user’s desktops and allows access to the virtual desktops anywhere, from any device at any time.

What is VMware Horizon View?

VMware Horizon View Securely delivers virtual desktops as a managed service from a central virtualization platform built to deliver the entire desktop, including the operating system, applications, and data.

Benefits of View:

Here are some of the benefits offered by Horizon view, Creates an individual, personal view of all of a user’s applications and data on any device from any location.

  • Reduces costs
  • Increases security
  • Greater management and control
  • Increased business agility and flexibility
  • Implicit business continuity and disaster recovery
  • Decreased power consumption



Horizon View Components:

Below are the major components of Horizon view.

  • vCenter Server
  • View Connection Server
  • View Composer Server
  • View Security Server
  • View Agent
  • View Persona Management
  • Horizon Client

vCenter Server –  It’s a required component of a VMware View solution as the View Connection Server interacts with vSphere environment through vCenter Web Service vCenter is also responsible for the vSphere features like, vMotion and DRS (used to balance the virtual desktop load on the physical hosts).

View Connection Server –  it is the VMware’s broker, authenticates users through Active directory and connects end users with associate desktops. View Connection Server is the central point of management for the VDI solution.


View Replica server –  It’s for high availability deployments.  All the view servers use a replicated data base to remain coordinated.

Security Server –  Allows the view instance available externally, so that users can access their virtual desktops over the internet (outside of your firewall). Security server will be placed in DMZ network of the company network.

View Composer – It help the administrator to rapidly clone and deploy multiple desktops from a single centralized base image, called a parent virtual machine. After the desktops have been created, they remain indirectly linked to a snapshot residing on the parent virtual machine.  Also help reduce the disk space for virtual machines.

View Agent –  This will be installed on the target desktop. View Agent allows the View Connection Server to establish a connection to the desktop.

Horizon Client –  The new Horizon Client is available for Windows, MAC, Ubuntu, iOS, and Android, to allow the connection to the view server in order access the user’s desktops.

View Persona management –  It preserves users profile to a remote file share and provide a persistent experience to users in a non-persistent view environment.  User profiles hold personal data and settings that users can access from wherever they open their desktops.

Desktop pools Type:

There are three types of Desktop pool available,

  • Automated pool
  • Manual pool
  • RDS Desktop pool

Automated pool: Automated pools use a vCenter Server template or VM Snapshot to generate new desktops. Within automated desktop pools, you can deploy full desktops or View Composer desktops. This is a preferred method of most of the deployment.

Manual pool:  Manual Pools provide access to an existing set of machines that you simple installed the Desktop Agent. Machines may be managed by vCenter or unmanaged, as in the case of a physical device. RDS Desktop Pool: Provides RDS sessions as machines to View users. View Connection Server manages RDS sessions in the same way as normal machines.

User Assignment:

There are two user assignment options available.

  • Dedicated
  • Floating

Dedicated assignment: Users connect to the same desktop each time that they log in. That user is only one can use the desktop. Dedicated user assignments are most common in environments that use persistent desktops, as those desktops are often selected because they maintain their state between user sessions.

Floating assignment: Desktops in this type of pool are allocated dynamically when the user logs in and are returned to the pool when the user logs off. Floating assignment is most common in environments that use non-persistent desktops, as those desktops do not retain any unique personalization in between user sessions, unless they are linked clones with persona.

Provisioning Methods:

There are two desktop provisioning methods available with View.

  1. Full Clones
  2. Linked Clones

Full Clone- Full clone View desktops are created using a master desktop image that has been converted into a vSphere template. This requires a large amount of storage and Provision machines may take quite some time depends on the pool size. Once a full clone desktop has been deployed, from then on it is managed independently from all other desktops and the template itself, a full clone desktop is very similar to a physical desktop.

Linked Clone- View Composer linked clone desktops are created from a Master image virtual desktop format with a snapshot. It shares the same parent virtual disk, therefore the amount of disk space they require is greatly reduced. When we create a linked clone desktop pool, a replica VM (Master) will be provisioned first and then the required number of desktops will be created as a child VM of the replica VM. These linked clone desktops read from the replica disk and write changes to a different disk.

Next blog – will guide you on how to install/configure Horizon view.

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