If you’ve worked with VMware View in the past, you’ll know that the View infrastructure is made up of multiple parts. All these parts combined create an evironment where users are able to access their virtual desktops from the outside, from the inside, they’re also able to access virtualized applications through the use of ThinApp and so on. Let’s begin by describing what each View roles are responsible for.
- VMware Horizon View Connection Server – Acts as the broker service for View client connections. Some of the responsibilities of the connection server include, user connection authentication, user access validation, forwarding connections to the correct server, etc. The connection server is normally installed on a Domain Member server. Other functions of the connection server include hosting of View Administrator console that is used to manage View environment and perform tasks such as Deploying Virtual desktops, creating desktop pools, controlling access to desktop pools, examining view system events. This role is a requirement for every View deployment environment
- VMware Horizon View Composer Server – Used to deploy Linked-Clone Desktops. This service can be installed on the vCenter server or if you’re using an appliance, can be installed on a separate member server that is part of the same domain as the vCenter. The View Composer server communicates with the vCenter server and View connection server
- VMware Horizon View Agent – Typically installed on a system that is managed by VMware View. This agent can be deployed to virtual or physical desktops and servers. Some of the services that are provided by View Agent include: support for connecting the virtual desktop to View’s client attached-USB devices, client connection monitoring, virtual printing, single sign on, persona management, and so on
- VMware Horizon View Transfer Server – Manages data transfer between virtual desktops that are configured to run as View Client with Local Mode. As the name implies, the use of View Client with Local mode is particular useful in scenarios where access to the View infrastructure or network are not available and thus the virtual desktop is able to run locally on the users workstation when they’re not on the network. The clients which are supported for Local mode desktops include Windows XP, VIsta, Windows 7, Windows 8
- VMware Horizon View Client – The View client is an application that can be installed on the user desktop or device and is used to communicate with View Connection Server. Presently, the client is available on several different platforms, including Microsoft Windows, Apple OS X, Android, iOS, and Ubuntu. There are also Thin and Zero clients that come pre-loaded with View-Compatible clients
- VMware View Security Server – Installed on a Windows Server that sits in the DMZ. The purpose of the security server is to allow user access from the outside of the network
- VMware ThinApp – Application virtualization platform that works directly with VMware View to provide users with virtualized applications without the need to install them on the physical or virtual desktops. This allows for greater flexibility when deploying, upgrading, or troubleshooting applications
- VMware View Persona Management – Used to manage user profiles and application settings. Persona management can be used in place of Windows Profiles with added benefits such as. loading user data only when required and so speeding up the login process, user data can be synchronized to the persona management at any given time thus allowing for faster log-off times, persona management settings are controlled through Active Directory group policy, and so on
More information this diagram can be found here.
There are three types of View licensing levels that are presently available.
- Bundle – Includes all the features of VMware Horizon View including licenses for vSphere Desktop host and vCenter server.
- Add-On – Includes all of the features of VMware Horizon View but does not include vSphere Desktop or or vCenter licenses
- Add-On to Bundle Upgrade – Are used to upgrade Add-On licenses to Bundle license
Some of the key points to remember when dealing with licensing for View, is that the type of license is used is based on whether or not the vCenter Server and vSphere license are included. The license are usually sold in 10 or 100 packs.
vSphere Desktop licensing works on per Desktop basis rather than per-socket like the regular vSphere license.
More info on licensing can be found here.
Most of the VMware View Horizon requirements, both logical and hardware requirements can be found here. I would also recommend to check out some of the blogs that are out there in regards to sizing a View environment correctly. This particular area will require some research and some practice before mastering the topic.