This section provides an architecture overview and guidance on managing and scaling a VMware Horizon 7 environment on Dell EMC XC Family devices.
The following figure depicts the architecture of the validated solution, including the network, compute, management, and storage layers. This architecture aligns with the VMware Horizon Block/Pod design. A pod is divided into multiple blocks. Each block is made up of one or more vSphere clusters, a Virtual Center, and, for linked clones, a composer server.
Distributed Storage Fabric (DSF) is the Nutanix distributed storage solution formerly known as Nutanix Distributed File System (NDFS). It contains, among other things, the following storage features:
The Controller Virtual Machine (CVM) is the virtual machine running on each Nutanix node that delivers the DSF.
You can use any of the Horizon supported cloning techniques—full, linked, and instant—to deploy this Dell EMC Ready Architecture for VDI.
A vSphere Cluster can have a maximum of 64 nodes and 8,000 VMs per cluster. To expand from this limit, you can add clusters and balance the VMs and nodes across the new clusters.
The Horizon 7 Enterprise Edition Reference Architecture provides more information about Horizon pods and blocks.
Solutions that are based on XC Family devices provide flexibility as you scale, reducing the initial and future cost of ownership. Add additional physical and virtual servers to the server pools to scale horizontally. Add resources to the infrastructure, for example, SSD drives, to scale vertically.
Each component of the solution architecture scales independently depending on the required number of supported users. You can add XC Family nodes at any time to expand the Software-Defined Storage (SDS) pool in a modular fashion.
The boundary for a Horizon block is the vCenter. The number of virtual machines a vCenter (and therefore a block) can host depends on the type of Horizon 7 VMs being used. The recommendation limits for a Horizon block are as follows:
This Ready Architecture for VDI uses instant clones, as shown in the following figures.
VMware recommends a limit of 5,000 instant-clone VMs per block. With these limits in mind, 25 compute nodes with 200 Task-User VMs per Node would reach the maximum number of VMs for the block.
The following figure shows a 5,000-user Horizon block that is based on a 200-user per node density.
The following figure shows a scale-out scenario for a 20,000-user Horizon pod with 5,000 user blocks. Each block contains its own vCenter Server instance and VDI components.
Dell EMC recommends a validated disk configuration for general-purpose VDI. These configurations leave drive slots available for future vertical expansion and ensure that you protect your investment as new technology transforms your organization.
The VMware Workspace ONE and VMware Horizon 7 Enterprise Edition On-premises Reference Architecture provides more information about Horizon pod/block architecture and scaling.
Dell EMC recommends that the VDI management infrastructure nodes be separated from the compute resources. Because our test environment was small, both management and compute are in the same vSphere HA cluster. Optionally, the management node can also be used for VDI VMs with an expected reduction of 30 percent of host resources for these nodes only. The 30 percent accounts for management VM resource reservations and should be factored in when sizing.
Compute hosts can be used interchangeably for Horizon Apps hosted applications and desktops, as required.
This design guide describes a single-site or single data center design. For multisite or disaster recovery (DR) configurations, see the Horizon 7 Enterprise Edition Multi-Site Reference Architecture.