VMware Horizon is VMware’s VDI and desktop management environment. Horizon provisions user desktops using a flexible and secure delivery model. Users access the desktop environment from almost any device, including mobile devices, with the security and resiliency of the data center. Because the application software and data components reside in the data center, traditional security, backup, and disaster recovery approaches can be applied. If a user's device is lost or the hardware fails, the recovery is straightforward. The user restores the environment by logging in using another device. With no data saved on the user's device, if the device is lost or stolen, there is much less chance that critical data could be retrieved and compromised.
The following figure shows how Horizon View encapsulates the operating system, applications, profiles, and user data into isolated layers and dynamically assembles desktops on demand to provide users with a personalized view of their individual environments.
Availability, security, ease of management, and support are compelling reasons for moving from traditional physical desktops and laptops to VDI.
VMware Horizon is a comprehensive desktop management environment that runs in a vSphere environment. The environment is managed through vCenter centralized management and can use advanced capabilities such as Snapshots, vMotion, DRS, and vSAN storage.
The user’s desktop environment runs as a View Desktop VM on an ESXi server and is accessed from the View Client that uses either Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) or PC over IP protocols. The View Client can be an application running on a physical desktop, laptop, mobile device, or a web browser using the View portal. The user’s desktop environment can be either a dedicated VM or a floating VM (a VM assigned from a pool when the user logs in). Using the optional View Composer, rather than full images, linked clones can reduce the disk space required. Horizon View includes additional components used to manage the connection, provision the environment, authenticate users, and provide other applications and services.
The VxRail system is a self-contained compute, storage, vSphere virtualization, and management environment that is ideally suited for VMware Horizon. VxRail accelerates the Horizon infrastructure deployment, so an environment can be up in running in hours rather than days.
VxRail HCI is available in configurations that support hundreds to thousands of virtual desktops. The number of desktops supported is based on the user-workload profile.
Dell Technologies has developed tools for modeling the number of VDI environments and the expected workload profiles to determine a configuration that will meet the immediate and longer-term requirements. As demand increases, VxRail can be nondisruptively scaled up by adding additional systems and nodes while providing the users with expected performance and consistent experience.
There are two general approaches to deploying Horizon on VxRail systems: dedicating the VxRail environment to VDI or mixing VDI with other workloads. Horizon Editions or Horizon Add-on Editions are offered exclusively for use with VxRail. VMware or Dell Technologies sales representatives can provide more details for the best customer-specific option.
In summary, VxRail with VMware Horizon allows an organization to quickly implement desktop as a service (DaaS) and overcome the traditional capital expenditure barriers of desktop virtualization. The environment can start small and be easily scaled up as needed, lowering the initial startup investment. Further, VxRail HCI’s integrated compute, storage, virtualization, and single-vendor support model eliminate the complexity of traditional infrastructure.