Exercise D1: Creating a Farm

When the new image has been published, you can use it to create farms.

  1. In the navigation bar of Horizon Cloud Service Administration Console, select Inventory.
  2. Select Farms.
  3. In the Farms window, click New.

2. Provide General Settings

  1. In the New Farm window, Definition tab, provide the following information, and then scroll down.
    • Name: Enter a name to help identify this farm in the system.
    • Description: Enter an optional description to help identify the farm in the system.
    • VM Names: Enter a name for all server VMs created for this farm to which a number is appended, such as win2016-1, win2016-2, and so on. The name must start with a letter and can contain only letters, dashes, and numbers.
    • Farm Type: Specify the type of asset this farm provides to end users. Keep this assignment time in mind when you select the server size, since desktop assignments may require more capacity.
      • Desktops: Provides session-based desktops
      • Applications: Provides access to remote applications
    • Location: Select the location from the list of pods in the pop-up menu.
    • Pod: Select the pod for this farm.
  2. Scroll down to provide additional general settings.

3. Provide More General Settings

  1. Provide the following additional general settings information:
    • Filter Models: You can filter the available VM models by type and favorites, and add filters as well.
    • Model: Select the Azure VM size for the Farm. Some VM sizes are not available in all regions.
    • Image: Select an available RDSH image from the list. Images that do not match the desktop model disk size are not displayed.
    • Preferred Protocol: Select either PCoIP or Blast as the default display protocol that you want the end-user sessions to use.
    • Preferred Client Type: Select the source to use when end users launch assignments from this farm, either a Horizon Client or a browser for HTML Access.
    • Domain: Select the Active Directory domain registered with your environment.
    • Join Domain: Select Yes so that the server instances are automatically joined to the domain when created.
    • Encrypt Disks: For the purposes of this exercise, accept the default No. If you select Yes, the disks for all servers in this farm are encrypted. After the farm is published, encryption cannot be changed.
    • NSX Cloud Managed: For the purposes of this exercise, accept the default No. If you select Yes, NSX Cloud networking and security management is supported for this farm.
  2. Scroll to the Farm Size section.

4. Set Farm Size

  1. In the Farm Size pane, provide the information to enable the farm to automatically scale up or down on demand:
    • Min Servers: Specify the minimum number of usable servers in this farm so not all servers are running at the same time.
    • Max Servers: Specify the maximum number of servers that can exist at any one time so not all servers will be running at the same time.
      Note: The minimum number of server instances is initially powered on. As demand increases, additional servers are powered on until reaching the maximum. As end-user demand shrinks, servers are powered off until reaching the minimum. Each server is completely empty of user sessions before the system powers it off.
    • Power Off Protect Time: Accept the default of 30 minutes that a VM is protected from powering off after powering on due to a headroom error.
    • Sessions per Server: Specify the total number of sessions you want to allow per server.
      Note: This number cannot be updated after the farm is created.
  2. In the lower left, click Advanced Properties.

5. Provide Advanced Properties

  1. Under Advanced Properties, provide the following information:
    • Computer OU: Enter the Active Directory Organizational Unit where the server VMs are to be located. For example, OU=RootOrgName,DC=DomainComponent,DC=eng, and so on. The entries must be comma-separated with no spaces in between.
    • Run Once Script (optional): You can enter the full executable path of a script that you want run after system preparation completes.
    • Do you have a Windows Server License: Select Yes and check the check box below to verify that you have Windows licenses with active Software Assurance or have an active Windows Server subscription, in order to use Azure Hybrid Benefit to save compute costs.
    • For more information about these settings, see Exercise D2: Explore RD Session Host Power Management.
  2. In the lower right corner, click Next.

6. Provide Rolling Maintenance Information

  1. In the Management tab, provide the information for Rolling Maintenance.
    • Rolling Maintenance: Select the maintenance type, either according to:
      • Scheduled: Select a time cadence such as daily or weekly.
      • Session: Specify the number of user sessions at which the farm should begin rolling maintenance.
    • Recurrence: Indicate the type of recurrence.
    • Recurrence Day: Indicate the day of the week.
    • Scheduled Hour: Indicate the hour of the recurrence.
    • Concurrent Quiescing Servers: Indicate the number of concurrent quiescing servers.
    • Server Action: Select the action that the system should perform on servers that are undergoing maintenance:
      • Restart: Restart the sever VMs.
      • Rebuild: Delete server VMs and then re-provision them from their RDS desktop image.
  2. Scroll to the Power Management panel.

7. Provide Power Management Information

  1. In the Power Management panel, provide the information used to optimize the farm for your unique business needs. This is where you determine the thresholds at which new capacity is powered up or down, for automatic shutdown or deallocation of unused servers. Set the thresholds at which the system automatically grows and shrinks the number of powered-on server instances as it responds to demand and use:
    • Optimized Performance: Keeps more hosts powered on than are needed to service the current end-user workload. As more users log in, Horizon Cloud Service continues to power on hosts in advance, up to the threshold of the maximum farm size. This option increases capacity costs by having the next server ready before requested, but decreases the chance of a delay when users make the request.
    • Optimized Power: Waits as long as possible before powering on the next server instance, and more progressively deallocates unused hosts, leaving fewer available resources for end users. This option decreases capacity costs by using the servers longer before powering new ones, but increases the chance of a delay when users try to log in. You can even set the minimum number to 0, so all servers automatically power down when no users need them. However, the next users who log in experience a delay while the server powers back on, which might take several minutes.
    • Balanced: Strikes a 50:50 balance between optimizing for performance (time-to-availability for users), and optimizing for power (minimizing between capacity costs).
  2. Scroll down to the Timeout Handling section.

8. Provide Timeout Handling Information

  1. In the Timeout Handling panel, provide the required settings. This is where you configure how you want the system to handle different user session types.
    • Empty Session Timeout: Specify how to handle idle user sessions: never timeout idle sessions, or timeout after a specified number of minutes. Note: When a session is disconnected, the session is preserved in memory. When a session is logged out, the session is not preserved in memory, and any unsaved documents are lost.
    • When Timeout Occurs: Leave blank.
    • Log Off Disconnected Sessions: Specify when the system logs the user out of a disconnected session.
    • Max Session Lifetime: Specify the maximum number of minutes the system should allow for a single user session.
    • Session Timeout Retrieval: Leave blank.
  2. Scroll down to Schedule Power Management.

9. Schedule Power Management

  1. Under Schedule Power Management, click Add a row, and set the power management schedule:
    • Name: Provide a recognizable name for this schedule.
    • Days: Select the day or days of the week to run the schedule.
    • Start Time: Select a time of the day to start the schedule. You might need to scroll to see all options.
    • End Time: Select the time of the day to end the schedule.
    • Timezone: Set the time zone if it differs from the default.
    • Min Servers: Enter the minimum number of servers to include.
  2. In the lower right corner, click Next.

10. Verify the Summary Information

  1. In the Summary tab, review all settings to verify they are correct and complete.
  2. In the lower right corner, click Submit.

11. Verify in VMware Horizon Cloud Service

Under Status, verify that the green dot is displayed to indicate that the farm has been created properly.

For more information, see VMware Horizon Cloud Service on Microsoft Azure Administration Guide, and search the guide for Create a Farm.

After you finish creating farms from the image, proceed to the next exercise to review RDS host power management.


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