Category: End-User Compute

Moving a VMware Horizon View virtual desktop between separate Horizon View environments

Requirements:

Sometimes you may build two distinct VMware Horizon View environments for separate business units, for Disaster Recovery, or for testing purposes.

In that case, a need may arise to move a virtual desktop between the independent Horizon View infrastructures.

Assumptions:

There are many ways Horizon View may be configured. However, this article assumes the following settings in both environments:

  • Manual, non-automated, dedicated pools for virtual desktops
  • Full clone virtual desktops
  • All user data is contained inside the virtual desktop, most likely on drive C
  • All virtual desktop disks (vmdks, C and others) are contained within the same VM directory on the storage
  • Storage is presented to ESXi through the NFSv3 protocol
  • Microsoft Active Directory domain is the same across both sites
  • VLANs/subnets the same or different between the two sites
  • DHCP is configured for the desktop VM in both sites
  • Virtual desktop has Windows 7 or Windows 10 operating system
  • Connection Servers do not replicate between environments
  • No Cloud Pod federation
  • Horizon View v7.4
  • vCenter VCSA 6.5 Update 1e
  • ESXi 6.5 for some hosts and 6.0 Update 3 for other hosts

There are other ways to move a virtual desktop when the Horizon View is setup with automation and Linked Clones, but they are subject for a future article.

The first Horizon View infrastructure will be called “Source” in this article. The second Horizon View infrastructure, where the virtual desktop needs to be moved, will be called “Destination” in this article.

Instructions:

  1. Record which virtual desktop names are assigned to which Active Directory users on the Source side. You can do that by Exporting a CSV file from the Pool’s Inventory tab.
  2. If the Source Horizon View infrastructure is still available (not destroyed due to a disaster event), then continue with the following steps on the Source environment. If the Source Horizon View infrastructure has been destroyed due to a disaster, go to Step 9.
  3. Power off the virtual desktop. Ensure that in Horizon View Manager you don’t have a policy on your pool to keep powering the virtual desktop on.
  4. In Horizon View Manager, click on the pool name, select the Inventory tab.
  5. Right click the desktop name and select Remove.
  6. Choose “Remove VMs from View Manager only.”
  7. In vSphere Web Client, right click the desktop VM and select “Remove from Inventory.”
  8. Unmount the NFSv3 datastore that contains the virtual desktop from Source ESXi hosts.
  9. At this point how the datastore gets from Source to the Destination will vary based on your conditions.
    • For example, for testing purposes, the NFSv3 datastore can be mounted on the Destination hosts.
    • In case of disaster, there could be storage array technologies in place that replicate the datastore to the Destination side. If the Source storage array is destroyed, go to the Destination storage array and press the Failover button. Failover will usually make the Destination datastore copy Read/Write.
  10. Add the NFSv3 datastore that contains the virtual desktop to the Destination ESXi hosts, by going through the “New Datastore” wizard in vSphere Web Client.
  11. Browse the datastore File structure. Go to the directory of the virtual desktop’s VM, find the .vmx file.
  12. Right click on the .vmx file and select “Register VM…”
  13. Leave the same name for the desktop VM as offered by the wizard.
  14. Put the desktop VM in the correct VM folder and cluster/resource pool, that is visible by the Destination’s Horizon View infrastructure.
  15. Edit the desktop VM’s settings and select the new Port Group that exists on the Destination side (if required).
  16. Power on the desktop VM from the vSphere Web Client.
  17. You might get the “This virtual machine might have been moved or copied.” question.
    • When vSphere sees that the storage path of the VM does not match what was originally in the .vmx file, you might get this question.
    • Answering “Moved” keeps the UUID of the virtual machine, and therefore the MAC address of the network adapter and a few other things.
    • Answering “Copied” changes the UUID of the virtual machine, and therefore the MAC address of the network adapter and a few other things.
  18. In the majority of cases (testing, disaster recovery), you will be moving the desktop virtual machine from one environment to another. Therefore, answer “I Moved It,” to keep the UUID and thus the MAC address the same.
  19. Wait until the desktop virtual machine obtains the IP address from the Destination’s DHCP server, and registers itself with the DNS server and Active Directory.
    • Remember, we are assuming the same Active Directory domain across both sites. As a result, the desktop VM’s AD computer name and object will remain the same.
    • Monitor the IP address and DNS assignment from the vSphere Web Client’s Summary tab for the desktop VM.
  20. In Destination’s Horizon View Manager, click on the Manual, Full Clone, Non-automated, Dedicated pool that you have created already.
    • If you did not create the pool yet, create a new pool and put any available VM at the Destination  in the pool. The VM that you put will just be a placeholder to create the pool. Once the pool is created, you can remove the placeholder VM and only keep your moved virtual desktops.
  21. Go to the Entitlements tab and add any user group or users to be entitled to get desktops from the pool. Most likely, it will the the same user group or user that was entitled to the pool on the Source side.
  22. Select the Inventory tab and click the Add button.
  23. Add the desktop VM that you just moved.
  24. Check the status of the desktop VM. First, the status will say “Waiting for agent,” then “In progress,” then “Available.”
  25. Right click on the desktop VM and select Assign User.
  26. Select the correct Active Directory user for the desktop.
  27. As the user to login to the virtual desktop using Horizon View Client or login on behalf of the user.
  28. For the first login after the move, the user may be asked by Windows to “Restart Now” or “Restart Later.” Please direct the user to “Restart Now.”
  29. After the restart, the user may utilize the Horizon View Client to login to the Destination’s moved desktop normally.

 

Collateral for my presentation at the Workshop of the Association of Environmental Authorities of NJ (AEANJ)

I was glad for a chance to present at the Workshop of the Association of Environmental Authorities of NJ (AEANJ). There were great questions from the audience.

Thank you to attendees, Leon McBride for the invitation, Peggy Gallos, Karen Burris, and to my colleague Lucy Valle for videotaping.

My presentation is called “Data Portability, Data Security, and Data Availability in Cloud Services”

Here are the collateral files for the session:

Slides:

AEANJ Workshop 2016-slides-YuryMagalif

Video:

AEANJ Workshop 2016 Video – Yury Magalif

Collateral for my presentation at the NJ CTO Study Council

This was my first time presenting at the new NJ CTO Study Council event, and it was a wonderful experience. We did a Virtual Desktop demo which worked flawlessly.

Thank you to attendees and my speaking partners Dr. Richard O’Malley, Ralph Barca, Stan Bednarz, Dan Riordan, and to my colleagues Jeff Jackson and Ian Erikson for help with the presentation.

My presentation is called “Virtualization Roadmap through K-12”

Here are the collateral files for the session:

Slides:

NJ CTO Study Council – VIRTUALIZATION – ROADMAP THROUGH K12 – November 2014

Slides from my session at the BriForum 2014 conference

YuryMagalif_BrianMadden_03Thank you to those who attended my session at BriForum 2014 in Boston and filled out the survey!

This is my 2nd year speaking. I hope to be back next year.

Here is the session presentation slide deck:

AgentlessAntivirusTips&Tricks_YuryMagalif_July2014_BriForum_v3

Here is the link to the session description on the BriForum website:

http://briforum.com/US/sessions.html#tipstricks

This year, the conference in Boston was excellent. I got a chance to meet Brian Madden (pictured at left), Gabe Knuth, Jack Madden and the TechTarget crew. In addition, I met many amazing people who are the top experts in End-User Computing –Benny Tritsch, Shawn Bass, ProjectVRC team: Jeroen van de Kamp, Ryan Bijkerk & Ruben Spruijt.

In particular, Benny and Shawn’s HTML5 comparison session and ProjectVRC comparative testing session were the highlights of the conference for me.

In my own session, I was successful with a demo of McAfee and had a good number of questions from the audience.  Stay tuned for the video, coming in August of 2014.

My presentation is called “Tips and Tricks on Building Agentless Antivirus Scanners for VMware View Virtual Desktops”

This tips and techniques session is best for administrators and consultants looking to implement an Antivirus solution for their VMware Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). The goal is to minimize I/O impact to VDI. We will discuss the two most developed scanners taking advantage of VMware vShield Endpoint application programing interfaces (APIs), Trend Micro Deep Security Antivirus 9.0 and McAfee Agentless MOVE AntiVirus 3.0. New this year is the discussion of VM-based scan policies. Overall, we will focus on real-world examples of VMware, Trend Micro and McAfee best practices. For example, the participants will learn whether to use their current Antivirus for VDI versus VDI agentless antivirus, why the VM Communication Interface (VMCI) driver is important, how to deploy the Security Virtual Appliances (SVAs), why you should disable VMotion for SVAs, how to test your solution using EICAR test files and how to shut down your VDI agentless antivirus VMs properly if doing maintenance. A basic understanding of VMware vSphere, VMware View and Enterprise Antivirus solutions is recommended.

Attendees will learn:
• How to minimize AntiVirus scanning I/O impact to VDI
• Whether to use your current AntiVirus versus VDI agentless Antivirus
• How to pick the best AntiVirus vendor for your environment
• How to test your agentless AntiVirus for effectiveness using EICAR files
• How to deploy and maintain your Trend Micro or McAfee infrastructure

Please send me any remaining questions that come up.

Virtual Desktops (VDI) on an Airplane

Recently, while flying on United Airlines I noticed the WiFi sign on the seat in front. I never used WiFi on planes before, so I thought it would be expensive. Imagine my surprise when it was only $8.99. It was probably cheap to compensate the absence of TV displays.

I immediately thought of our CDI Virtual Desktop (VDI) lab in Teterboro, NJ (USA). Would the Virtual Desktop even be usable? How will video run? I connected immediately, started recording my screen and opened my Virtual Desktop. It worked! Everything except video worked well.

My idea came because of Michael Webster, who has already tried doing this and wrote about it. I also wanted to do it in the Gunnar Berger style of protocol comparison. So, for your viewing pleasure — Virtual Desktops (VDI) on an Airplane.

——

Description:

This video is a demonstration of the Virtual Desktop (VDI) technology, located at CDI in Teterboro, NJ (USA) being accessed from an airplane 34,000 feet (10 km) high. Virtual Desktops allow you to use your Windows desktop from anywhere — even on satellite based WiFi. You will see PCoIP and HTML5 tests, Microsoft Word, HD video, YouTube video and vSphere client utilization.

Demonstration: Yury Magalif.
Lab Build: Chris Ruotolo.
Date: June 7, 2014
Connecting From: Random clouds above Missouri, USA

Equipment and Software used:

VMware View 5.3.
VMware vSphere 5.5.
Cisco C-series servers.
EMC XtremIO all flash storage array.
10Zig Apex 2800 PCoIP acceleration card with a Teradici chip.

Inspired by:

Michael Webster’s blog article:
http://longwhiteclouds.com/2014/06/06/the-vmware-view-from-the-horizon-at-38000-feet-and-8000-miles-away/

Gunnar Berger’s low-latency VDI comparison video: