Below you will find an overview picture of the VMware View Architecture and it’s components. I will briefly run over them so you will get the basic understanding about what is what in a View environment…
“VMware Infrastructure/vSphere Enterprise”; This is the virtualisation platform where virtual desktops are running on. VMware View runs on VI3, 3.5 and vSphere4. Do check out specific manuals and release notes which versions of VI3, 3.5 and vSphere4 are supported. vSphere enterprise is mentioned because when the View 4 Bundleis being purchased, the customer will receive vSphere 4 enterprise with it.
“VMware View Manager 4″; This is VMware’s broker/connection server. This piece is responsible for brokering sessions; meaning, the View Manager makes it happen that an entitled user (a user who has the rights to use the system) gets the right virtual desktop. The View Manager guides a user to his or her desktop. Another important function of the Manager is that this is the central point of management for desktop admins for deployment of VM’s, together with vCenter. Within the View Manager you perform management tasks like creating pool, defining power settings for VM’s, defining the amount of VM’s in a pool. who is entitled to which pools, removing pools and VM’s. Also, the manager checks if a user is entitled to use the system. It checks with Active Directory. The Manager doesn’t touch AD. Everything it needs to save, it saves it in an ADAM database which will be installed during a View Manager installation. In the picture the View Manager is presented as a physical device. Of course this can be a VM as well.
“VMware vCenter”; vCenter is VMware’s VI/vSphere management tool. This is the tool to manage your ESX/vSphere servers, setup and configure DRS. HA, VMotion, FT, templates etc. After you have setup a pool within the View Manager, it will send a”signal” to vCenter to execute this for you. vCenter will roll out the pool(s) for you on the specified ESX/vSphere servers.
“Microsoft Active Directory”; I won’t discuss Microsoft’s AD but it is important to know Active Directory is the only Directory Service that is supported with VMware View. here in The Netherlands still many customers are running Novell Directory Service. Those customers need to set up an AD environment first before they can use VMware. They could set up a separate environment or let NDS replicate (manual/automatically) to AD. Just a small detail; Single Sign on with AD and a Novell backend is working. Active Directory is used to authenticate users and check if they are entitled to use the View environment.
“Clients”; Client access devices. Devices end users use to connect to the View Manager and after the authentication, connect to a virtual desktop. Fat clients, laptops and thin clients are all devices that can be used to make that connection. On a Windows based device you can install our View Client which a user uses to connect. When you choose Thin Clients, check out the Thin Client HCL if the device is supported: http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php?action=base&deviceCategory=vdm
“Unified Access”; View 4 is able to connect users to VM’s but also to physical pc’s/workstation/blade pc’s and Termincal Servers. This provided a unified way of access for all users, whether they connect to a VM or a physical device. All processing power can be placed in the data center for more security, space saving purposes.
“VMware View Composer/Linked Clones”; This is the mechanism to use a golden image VM and give every user a delta file which is very small so it will save you storage capacity. Instead of giving every user a 10GB VM, you now will be able to create 1x 10GB, which is read-only, and let multiple users use that VM. The delta file created for the user make his/her VM unique and provides write space for that user. All changes the user makes will be written in the delta file. I will discuss Linked Clones in more detail later.
“VMware ThinApp”; VMware ThinApp is VMware’s application virtualisation product. ThinApp is used to make an application run inside a “bubble”. The application will run inside the bubble without “touching/modifying” the underlying Operating System. ESX/vSphere separate the hardware from the Operating Systems. ThinApp separates the application from the OS. With ThinApp you don’t need to install applications inside a (virtual) desktop but you can run them from a file share as well. This means you can keep the corporate image a lot smaller and save on storage capacity. This is one of many advantages of using ThinApp.
We covered the components of a VMware View environment. Pure basics. I will go in to detail on most of the components in different posts.