VMware Horizon is VMware’s VDI and desktop management environment. Horizon provisions user desktops using a flexible and secure delivery model. The desktop environments are accessed by the user 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 may be applied. If a user's device is lost or the hardware fails, the recovery is straight forward. The user simply 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 OS, 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.
Figure 27. Highly available and secure desktops
Availability and security, along with 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 leverage advanced capabilities including, Snapshots, vMotion, DRS, and vSAN storage.
The user’s desktop environment runs as a View Desktop VM on an ESXi server, and is accessed via 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, provisioning the environment, authenticate users, and other applications and services.
The VxRail system is a self-contained compute, storage, and vSphere virtualization, and management environment that is ideally suited for VMware Horizon. VxRail accelerates the Horizon infrastructure deployment, and an environment can be up in running in hours rather than days.
VxRail hyperconverged infrastructure 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 EMC has developed tools which provide the ability to model the number of VDI environments and the expected workload profiles to determine appropriate configuration that will meet the immediate and longer term requirements. As demand increases, VxRail non-disruptively scales-up by adding additional systems and nodes while providing the users with expected performance and consistent user experience.
When deploying Horizon on VxRail systems, there are two general approaches: 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 EMC sales representatives can provide more details for the best customer-specific option.
In summary, VxRail with VMware Horizon allows an organization to quickly implement Desktops-as-a-Service (DaaS) and overcome the traditional capital expenditure (CAPEX) barriers of desktop virtualization. The environment can start small and easily scale up as needed. This lowers the initial startup investment. VxRail hyperconverged infrastructure is not only quick to setup, its integrated compute, storage, virtualization, and single-vendor support model eliminate the complexity of traditional infrastructure.