VCP5-DT Objective 3.5–Build Desktop Sources

Objective 3.5 – Build Desktop Sources

For this objective I used the following resources:

  • VMware View Administration documentation
  • VMware Horizon View Optimization Guide for Window 7 and Windows 8

Knowledge

Perform OS Optimizations

One of the most crucial pieces of a successful VMware Horizon View deployment is the creation of a good solid baseline virtual machine to be used as your “golden image”. Whether installing core applications, setting needed registry keys, or disabling un-needed services be sure to take your time creating and testing your image.

VMware has released published a very a good white paper, “”VMware Horizon View Optimization Guide for Windows 7 and Windows 8” that covers the deployment best practices and optimizations for Windows 7. That document is located HERE. To go along with the white paper, VMware Labs recently released the “VMware OS Optimization Tool” which is a GUI driven tool that can be used to make the changes outlined in VMware optimization white paper. The tool can be downloaded HERE. I did a post covering the use of the tool and my thoughts HERE.

Perform Installation of View Agent

The installation of the VMware View Agent is extremely straight forward and mostly a next, next, next, finish installation. One thing to pay attention to is there are separate installation executables for 32-bit or 64-bit desktops, located HERE for View 5.2 (latest release version of the time of this writing). With correct executable downloaded and accessible by your desktop, lets begin:

Step 1 – After launching the executable click “Next” on the “Welcome” screen:

ViewAgent-1

Step 2 – Read over the “License Agreement” and select the radial for ‘I accept the terms in the license agreement”. Click “Next” to continue:

ViewAgent-2

Step 3 – Accept the default options unless your View design incorporates the use of Smart Cards for authentication. Click “Next” to continue:

ViewAgent-3

Step 4 – Choose the radial for “Enable the Remote Desktop capability on this computer” as it is needed for VMware View to function. Also note that if the Windows Firewall is enabled the setup program will make the required firewall changes to allow RDP and the View Framework traffic to pass. Click “Next” to continue:

ViewAgent-4

Step 5 – Click “Install” to begin the installation:

ViewAgent-5

ViewAgent-6

Step 6 – With the View Agent successfully installed click “Finish” to exit:

ViewAgent-7

Configure Virtual Machine Hardware

This is an interesting section as in most View environments a “one size fits all” configuration usually doesn’t happen. More then likely you will end up with at least one or two different virtual machine configurations to handle the workloads for your end users. Outlined below are two virtual machine hardware configurations that I start with based on assessment findings, based on Windows 7.

Task Workers Knowledge Workers
# of virtual CPU’s 1 x vCPU 2 x vCPU
Memory 1.5GB 2GB
Disk Space (Thin Provisioned) 30GB 30GB
SCSI Controller LSI Logic SAS LSI Logic SAS
Network Interface VMXNET3 VMXNET3
Floppy Drive/CD-Drive Remove Remove

Perform Installation of VMware Tools

Hopefully this is pretty self-explanatory, I am guessing if you are studying for this exam or have worked with VMware for any amount of time you have installed VMware tools. Though there is one thing to mention, if your View design leverages VMware vShield Endpoint for anit-virus protection you are going to want to select the “Custom” option from the “VMware Tools Setup” screen:

VMTools-1

In the “Custom Setup” dialog scroll down to the bottom and expand “VMCI Driver” and click the drop down arrow next to “vShield Drivers”. Choose the option for “Entire feature will be installed on the local hard drive:

VMTools-2

At this point you can accept the default values to complete the installation.

Create Snapshots

VMware snapshots are needed if deploying Linked Clone desktops in your View environment. Like the above step for installing VMware Tools I am guessing some prior VMware vSphere knowledge. From within the vSphere client select your Windows XP or Windows 7 golden image virtual machine (VM should be in a powered off state). Right click on the object and select “Take Snapshot”. A dialog box will be displayed allowing you to provide a name and description of the snapshot:

SnapShot-1 With the snapshot successfully taken go into “Snapshot Manager” to verify the snapshot:

SnapShot-2

Create Customization Specifications

When using Windows Sysprep over VMware QuickPrep to create Linked Clone pools you also need to leverage VMware vSphere’s Customization Specifications Manager. The specifications created customize the Linked Clone desktops that are to be provisioned for a given pool. During the process it will name the virtual machine, configure the administrator password, and join the system to the domain with the credentials provided.Guest_OS_SpecHappy Studying!

-Jason