VCP7-DTM Learning Concept – Part 1: Horizon View

VCP7-DTMWhile studying for my VCP7-DTM exam, I found that there were definitely some core aspects that I had to wrap my head around. I notice that while studying if I hit a stumbling block, I really need to crack it in order to grow. With that in mind, I decided that I wanted to write about a few of those blocks that I ran into. This partially came out of me wanting to understand concepts better. The other, larger part, came from me being too lazy to write a study guide. So, let’s get this going!

WHAT COMPONENTS MAKE UP THE VCP7-DTM

When I first thought about taking the DTM exam, I was thinking Horizon View. Yeah … that’s only part of the exam. Going through the blueprint, you will see that there are other components involved. If you don’t have much hands-on experience with these components it can be a bit of a daunting task. My goal for this post is to breakdown what those other components are and what they do. Hopefully, once you understand that, you will get a better idea of how these pieces fit into the EUC solution that VMware has.

VMWARE HORIZON VIEW

This is the actual virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) portion. This is the software that is responsible for creating, managing, and providing access to virtual desktops. The following components make up the software suite itself:

  • Connection Server – As the name implies, this is the server that clients connect to. It is also the server that houses the admin interface for creating new desktop pools, assigning permissions, and other general administrative tasks.
  • Replica Server – Need more Connection Servers? That’s where the replica server comes in. If you are designing a Highly Available environment, or need Load Balancing, this can help out. During the install, you just need to select the Replica Server option and point it to your current Connection Server
  • View Composer – One of the big benefits of View is that it can spin up desktops when needed. But what good is a desktop if there are no customizations for your environment. Thing thinks likes AD settings, time zone, etc. View Composer is responsible for setting desktops up properly for your environment. One might say that it “composes” a desktop to meet your requirements. Note that you do not use the Composer Server for full or instant clones and it must be run on a Windows Server.
  • Security Server – This is basically a Connection Server that is designed to sit in a DMZ or external network. It can be paired to an internal server to allow for authentication. Needless to say, you will need to open some ports to allow various protocols through. Be sure to know the requirements.
  • Access Point – What’s better than dropping a Windows Server into your DMZ? How about not dropping a Windows Server into your DMZ. The intent of the Access point is to replace the Security Server. It is available as an OVA which runs on a pre-configured and locked-down Linux OS.
  • Enrolment Server – Use this in conjunction with True SSO. If you are looking to use SSO, the enrolment server requests short-live certificates, which it passes along to the user. The certificates are used to authenticate against Active Directory, and are a means to give users access to their entitled resources. For a more in-depth overview, I highly recommend reading this post over on the VMware EUC blog.

SUPER SHORT SUMMARY

  • Connection Server – create & manage pools. Connects users to said pools
  • Replica Server – when one connection server isn’t enough, use replicas
  • View Composer – need customizations for new desktops? This is what you are looking for.
  • Security Server – for when you need extra security to connect users to resources.
  • Access Point – Security servers are passe; these are the new hotness
  • Enrolment Server – Enrols with AD and passes those resulting certificates along to users to use for authentication

Hopefully, that is enough to get you going when it comes to understanding the various Horizon View components. I am aiming to do more of these posts in the future. The intent is to cover the various components that you’ll need to know for the exam. In addition to that, I am hoping to clear up what those components actually do.

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