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Creating Desktop Pools of Several Types

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Administrator can proceed with Add Desktop Pool wizard to create following types of Desktop Pools in zPortal deployments:

    • Using Existing Desktops (Desktop Provisioning type as None)
      • Device Based
        • Using Dedicated Desktops from Dedicated Session Providers VMware/ vCenter Server or Microsoft Hyper-V/ SCVMM
          • Temporary
          • Permanent
        • Using Session based servers e.g. Microsoft RDS
      • User Based
        • Using Dedicated Desktops from Dedicated Session Providers VMware/ vCenter Server or Microsoft Hyper-V/ SCVMM
          • Temporary
          • Permanent
        • Using Session based servers e.g. Microsoft RDS
    • Using Dynamic Desktop Provisioning (Creating New Desktops with Desktop Pool)
      • Device Based
        • Temporary/ Permanent
        • Linked Clone/ Full Clone
      • User Based
        • Temporary/ Permanent
        • Linked Clone/ Full Clone

Each type of pool can be a possible deployment scenario in different environment of different organizations. Administrator can simply choose the best fit case for the requirement and try creating a pool to fulfill it. In the below section of the document we will try to understand the process of creating several types of pools.

Using Existing Desktops or Session Providers

This section will cover creation of Desktop Pools using Desktops which are already present in the configured Dedicated Session Providers. Please note zPortal Controller 2.1 supports Pooling of Dedicated Session Providers only, External Session Providers work without any pools. We will be covering use of External Session Provider Session Providers in a later section of document.

Device Based

Permanent Assignment using Dedicated Desktops

In any deployment, employees or professionals come to office premises, login to their respective desktops located at specific area and work from there.

Device based permanently assigned pools replicate a similar environment where employee login from their respective devices and are provided with session of their dedicated desktops.

Prerequisites

  1. Appropriate Dedicated Session Provider (i.e. VMware/ vCenter Server or Microsoft Hyper-V/ SCVMM) is configured and reachable
  2. Devices are registered with zPortal Controller
  3. Valid authentication server (Microsoft AD, Workgroup or Novell eDirectory) is configured – Required for validating the user credentials used for logon

Desktop Pool Configurations in Different Screens

Device-based Permanently Assigned Dedicated Virtual Desktop Pool
Screen Name Configurations
General Screen Configuration Attribute Name/Description Entitlement Type Desktop Virtualization Type Select Session provider Desktop Provisioning Assignment Life Span
Expected Configuration As Required Device based Dedicated Virtual Desktop As Required None Permanent
Desktops Screen Configuration Attribute Search, select and add desktops as per requirement from selected dedicated session provider
Expected Configuration
Devices Screen Configuration Attribute Search, select and add devices as per requirement from the list of available registered devices
Expected Configuration
Desktop Assignment Screen Configuration Attribute As per requirement:
1. Auto assigned (if needed)
or
2. Manually assign desktops to devices from desktop pool wizard or desktops screen
Expected Configuration
Advance Screen Configuration Attribute Configure as per requirement
Expected Configuration

Temporary Assignment using Dedicated Desktops

In above section, we have created a Device Based Permanent Desktop Pool to keep the assignments forever. However, there could be deployment requirements where the location of the user and thus device is fixed but it does not matter which Desktop has been assigned to the device considering all Desktops are having same configurations and same users log in from the devices. E.g. a hospital where user (doctors) logs-in with a common username ‘doctor’ to access their desktop which does not have any local data rather work on a web based application.

In such scenarios, a temporary Desktop Pool can be very handy. Follow the below steps to create a temporary Desktop Pool:

Prerequisites

  1. Appropriate Dedicated Session Provider (i.e. VMware/ vCenter Server or Microsoft Hyper-V/ SCVMM) is configured and reachable
  2. Devices are registered with zPortal Controller
  3. Valid authentication server (Microsoft AD, Workgroup or Novell eDirectory) is configured – Required for validating the user credentials used for logon

Desktop Pool Configuration in Different Screens

Device-based Temporary Assigned Dedicated Virtual Desktop Pool
Screen Name Configurations
General Screen Configuration Attribute Name/Description Entitlement Type Desktop Virtualization Type Select Session provider Desktop Provisioning Assignment Life Span
Expected Configuration As Required Device based Dedicated Virtual Desktop As Required None Temporary
Desktops Screen Configuration Attribute Search, select and add desktops as per requirement from selected dedicated session provider
Expected Configuration
Devices Screen Configuration Attribute Search, select and add devices as per requirement from the list of available registered devices
Expected Configuration
Desktop Assignment Screen Configuration Attribute Auto assigned (Must)

Note: Manual assignments in temporary pool are retained only until first login and are erased after logout

Expected Configuration
Advance Screen Configuration Attribute Configure as per requirement
Expected Configuration

Shared Virtual Desktop Pool for Shared Hosted Desktops

We will try to create a device based shared virtual desktop Pool considering the following deployment requirement: where a single Session Host Server is available to provide sessions to different users as per provided credentials however user locations are fixed ad user profiles determines the kind of access users will be getting in the session.

To fulfill the above requirement a device based Desktop Pool can be created configuring Microsoft RDS as Dedicated Session Provider.

Prerequisites

  1. Appropriate Session host server (i.e. Microsoft RDS Server installed with zPortal Session Host server module) is configured in session team and reachable
  2. Devices are registered with zPortal Controller
  3. Valid authentication server (Microsoft AD, Workgroup or Novell eDirectory) is configured – Required for validating the user credentials used for logon

Desktop Pool Configuration in Different Screens

Device-based Shared Virtual Desktop Pool
Screen Name Configurations
General Screen Configuration Attribute Name/Description Entitlement Type Desktop Virtualization Type Select Session Team Connection Profile
Expected Configuration As Required Device based Shared Virtual Desktop As Configured If any common profile to be applied to users
Devices Screen Configuration Attribute Search, select and add devices as per requirement from the list of available registered devices
Expected Configuration

User Based

Permanent Assignment using Dedicated Desktops

Consider a deployment scenario where a field employee used to visit different offices all the time and rather than carrying any hardware (Laptop etc.) with them to different offices due to security reasons but the employees need to connect to their desktops only.

In such scenario, a user based dedicated pool can be useful; where Desktops are assigned to the users and irrespective of device, the session of same Desktop is provided to the user.

Prerequisites

  1. Appropriate Dedicated Session Provider (i.e. VMware/ vCenter Server or Microsoft Hyper-V/ SCVMM) is configured and reachable
  2. Valid authentication server (Microsoft AD, Workgroup or Novell eDirectory) is configured – Required for validating the user credentials used for logon
  3. All required users exist on authentication server
  4. Devices are registered with zPortal Controller which will be used to login

Desktop Pool Configuration in Different Screens

User based permanently assigned dedicated desktop pool
Screen Name Configurations
General Screen Configuration Attribute Name/Description Entitlement Type Desktop Virtualization Type Select Session provider Desktop Provisioning Assignment Life Span
Expected Configuration As Required User based Dedicated Virtual Desktop As Required None Permanent
Desktops Screen Configuration Attribute Search, select and add desktops as per requirement from selected dedicated session provider
Expected Configuration
Users Screen Configuration Attribute Search, select and add users as per requirement from the list of available registered devices
Expected Configuration
Desktop Assignment Screen Configuration Attribute As per requirement:
1. Auto assigned (if needed)
or
2. Manually assign desktops to users from desktop pool wizard or desktops screen
Expected Configuration
Advance Screen Configuration Attribute Configure as per requirement
Expected Configuration

Temporary Assignment using Dedicated Desktops

Consider a deployment scenario where field employees used to visit different offices all the time and rather than carrying any hardware (Laptop etc.) with them to different offices due to security reasons and the desktops need not to be specific to employee.

Prerequisites

  1. Appropriate Dedicated Session Provider (i.e. VMware/ vCenter Server or Microsoft Hyper-V/ SCVMM) is configured and reachable
  2. Valid authentication server (Microsoft AD, Workgroup or Novell eDirectory) is configured – Required for validating the user credentials used for logon
  3. All required users exist on authentication server
  4. Devices are registered with zPortal Controller which will be used to login

Desktop Pool Configuration in Different Screens

User based Temporary assigned dedicated desktop pool
Screen Name Configurations
General Screen Configuration Attribute Name/Description Entitlement Type Desktop Virtualization Type Select Session provider Desktop Provisioning Assignment Life Span
Expected Configuration As Required User based Dedicated Virtual Desktop As Required None Temporary
Desktops Screen Configuration Attribute Search, select and add desktops as per requirement from selected dedicated session provider
Expected Configuration
Users Screen Configuration Attribute Search, select and add users as per requirement from the list of available registered devices
Expected Configuration
Desktop Assignment Screen Configuration Attribute Auto assigned (Must)
or
2. Manually assign desktops to users from desktop pool wizard or desktops screen
Expected Configuration
Advance Screen Configuration Attribute Configure as per requirement
Expected Configuration

Shared Virtual Desktop Pool for Shared Hosted Desktops

We will try to create a User based RDS Pool considering the following deployment requirement: where a single Microsoft RDS server is available to provide sessions to different users as per provided credentials however user location is not fixed and user profiles determines the kind of access users will be getting in the session.

To fulfill the above requirement a device based Desktop Pool can be created configuring Microsoft RDS as Dedicated Session Provider.

Prerequisites

  1. Appropriate Session host server (i.e. Microsoft RDS Server installed with zPortal Session Host server module) is configured in session team and reachable
  2. Valid authentication server (Microsoft AD, Workgroup or Novell eDirectory) is configured – Required for validating the user credentials used for logon
  3. Devices are registered with zPortal Controller

Desktop Pool Configuration in Different Screens

Device-based Shared Virtual Desktop Pool
Screen Name Configurations
General Screen Configuration Attribute Name/Description Entitlement Type Desktop Virtualization Type Select Session Team Connection Profile
Expected Configuration As Required User based Shared Virtual Desktop As Configured If any common profile to be applied to users
Users Screen Configuration Attribute Search, select and add users as per requirement from the list of available registered devices
Expected Configuration

Using Dynamic Desktop Provisioning

In above section, we used existing desktops from selected Dedicated Session Providers now there could be scenario where all new Desktops will be required. E.g. an institute where new Windows 7 Desktops with Java development environment for a whole new class room: in such case administrator can prepare a gold image with Windows 7 operating system and then use dynamic Desktop provisioning to deploy new Desktops in zPortal to fulfill requirements.

Now as we have understood the kind of deployments where dynamic Desktop provisioning might be required, let us move to section of creating several types of Desktop Pools which will use Desktop Provisioning in Desktop Pool wizard to deploy new Desktops.

As already explained in above sections that Desktop Provisioning will deploy all new Desktops with similar configurations by cloning (copying) the source VM and thus the Desktop assignment won’t be required as all the Desktops are same. Considering the above fact, the Desktop Assignment screen is not provided in Desktop Pools with dynamic Desktop Provisioning.

Device Based, Permanent Assignment, DYNAMIC Desktop Provisioning Pool with Linked Clones

As we have already understood the possible cases of provisioning new Desktops, let us try to create a Desktop Pool in which Desktops will be provisioned with clone type a Linked Clones and Desktops will be permanently assigned to devices.

Prerequisites

  1. Appropriate Dedicated Session Provider i.e. vCenter Server is configured (Only vCenter Server supports Linked Clones)
  2. vCenter Server has a source VM Ready for creating multiple linked clones of it
  3. Devices are registered with zPortal Controller
  4. Valid authentication server (Microsoft AD, Workgroup or Novell eDirectory) is configured – Required for validating the user credentials used for logon

Create Permanently Assigned Device Based Pool with Linked Cloned Provisioned Desktops

Device-based Permanently Assigned Deployed Dedicated Desktop Pool
Screen Name Configurations
General Screen Configuration Attribute Name/Description Entitlement Type Desktop Virtualization Type Select Session provider Desktop Provisioning Assignment Life Span
Expected Configuration As Required Device based Dedicated vCenter Server Dynamic Permanent
Deployment Screen Configuration Attribute Select a source VM Desktop Name Prefix Clone Type Desktop Creation Schedule Power on Desktop Deployment Configurations
Expected Configuration Gold Image to be cloned As needed Linked Clone On Demand

. Provision Now – # as needed

Spare Desktop Count – # as needed

As needed As needed
Customization Configuration Attribute Configure as per requirement.
Note: Customization requires some prerequisites in gold image machine, please check these configurations in respective section of this document.
Expected Configuration
Devices Screen Configuration Attribute Search, select and add devices as per requirement.
Expected Configuration
Advance Screen Configuration Attribute Configure as per requirement
Expected Configuration
Note:

    • As linked clones are supported with vCenter Server only, hence selected dedicated session provider must be vCenter Server. If it is an ESXi, a Hyper-V or SCVMM server then Linked Clone option will not get enabled in Deployment
    • Desktop Assignment screen will not appear in Dynamic Desktop Provisioning pool, as all the desktops are going to have same configurations and thus any desktop can be assigned to any client (device/ user)

Details in Desktop Pools Tab of Deployed Dedicated Virtual Desktop Pool

The pool creation is completed and now Desktop provisioning is started which can be first observed in Desktop Pools tab as highlighted in below screenshot: initially Desktop Pool status will be Cloning Desktops when Desktop Cloning is in progress and as soon as Desktop Cloning gets completed the status will be ready.

<zportal-create-desktop-pool1.png>

Another important thing to observe is that as per provided Desktop Creation Schedule only 2 Desktops have been created first.

Details in Desktops Tab and Flow of Client Assignments to Clients

Once the deployed dedicated desktop pool wizard is finished, Desktops tab can be used to see the provisioning progress as well understanding the Desktop Creation schedule.

  1. Desktop Provisioning Start: New Desktops are cloned one by one and once the provisioning starts the Desktops to be created first will have following status:
    1. The first Desktop for which cloning is started will be displayed as ‘Creating Desktop’
    2. Other Desktops to be provisioned later will be displayed with status ‘Pending Desktop Creations’
      <zportal-create-desktop-pool2.png>
  2. Desktop Provisioning – Create Now Completed: Initially controller will create desktops equal to the count provided in field No of Desktops to create now in Desktop Creation schedule all the Desktops will be displayed with Status as Powered On (This does not mean that desktops are ready, there will be more processes in backend to complete the desktop provisioning)
    <zportal-create-desktop-pool3.png>
  3. Customization Process: Customization will happen in the following manner:
    1. Initially desktops will be marked with Sysprep Info flag as Required which means customization will be required on this Desktop. To see Desktops detailed status, click on it names in Desktops VMs tab; Desktop Detail dialog will be displayed with all the information about the Desktop
      <zportal-create-desktop-pool4.png>
    2. zPortal Controller will wait for new Desktops IP to be detected and once it’s able to get the IP of new Desktop; it will try communicating with it.
    3. Once Communication establishes, Sysprep will be started on the new Desktop and flag SYSPREP Info will be marked as running suggesting that customization is in progress. New Desktop will get rebooted and will configure the customization as needed.
      <zportal-create-desktop-pool5.png>
      <zportal-create-desktop-pool6.png>
    4. Sysprep Info flag will be marked as Completed, which means Desktop customization is completed
      <zportal-create-desktop-pool7.png>
    5. Desktop Agent status should now be Responding with Desktops DNS Name should display information which can help in identifying if Desktop has been customized correctly or not e.g. we configured Computer Name as DesktopLCWIn7 and configured it domain AmZetta.com so the DNS name of new Desktop after provisioning should be ‘DesktopLCWin7-1.AmZetta.local’.
      <zportal-create-desktop-pool8.png>
    6. Now provisioning is completed for first set of desktops as per specified Create Now Desktops count, but the desktops assignment is remaining (Refer image below).
      1. Assignment will happen when a valid user from one of the configured device logs-in or when administrator manually assigns the device from Desktops tab.
        <zportal-create-desktop-pool9.png>
      2. Let us try to understand Auto Assignment and Desktop Creation Schedule process with an example:
        • We have provisioned Desktops as per below configurations: Maximum Desktop Capacity as 5, Desktop Creation Schedule as On Demand, where 2 Desktops create now and 2 Desktops to be kept in spare. The configured devices in Desktop Pools are Device-1, Device2….Device5.
        • In first step, as per above details also zPortal Controller will create and customize 2 Desktops and will keep them unassigned say Desktop1 and Desktop2
        • Now as soon as a valid user from configured authentication server logs in from Device-1, zPortal Controller will look for the ready Desktop and will assign the Desktop to Device-1. The assignment will also be remembered so if user from Device-1 logs in again same Desktop-1 will be presented.
        • Now as per configuration, zPortal Controller must keep at least 2 Desktops in spare and once Desktop-1 is assigned to Device-1 which makes free Desktop count as 1 and now zPortal Controller will start provisioning one more Desktop to keep spare Desktops as 2 (Refer image below)

<zportal-create-desktop-pool10.png>

Now if admin assigns or user logs in from Device-2, 2nd Desktop will be assigned to this device and zPortal Controller will trigger creation of another Desktop which will be then provisioned and customized as per provided settings

<zportal-create-desktop-pool11.png>

    • The process of provisioning new Desktops will be continued until maximum Desktops capacity is reached which means zPortal Controller has provisioned all 5 Desktops. Now login from Device-4 and Device-5 will be assigned with Desktop-4 and Desktop-5 but zPortal Controller will not provision any new Desktop.

<zportal-create-desktop-pool12.png>

This now completes the Desktop Pool creation of

    • Pool type Device based
    • Assignment Type: Permanent
    • Dedicated Session Provider – vCenter Server
    • Desktop Provisioning – Dynamic
    • Clone Type – Linked Clone
    • Desktop Creation Schedule: On Demand

User Based, Temporary Assignment, DYNAMIC Desktop Provisioning Pool with Full Clones

As we have already understood the possible cases of provisioning new Desktops, let us try to create a Desktop Pool in which Desktops will be provisioned with clone type a Linked Clones and Desktops will be permanently assigned to devices.

Prerequisites

    • Appropriate Dedicated Session Provider i.e. VMware/ vCenter Server or Microsoft Hyper-V / SCVMM is configured (These Dedicated Session Providers support Full Clones)
      • Dedicated Session Provider has a source VM Ready for creating multiple linked clones of it
    • Valid authentication server (Microsoft AD, Workgroup or Novell eDirectory) is configured – Required for validating the user credentials used for logon
    • Devices are registered with zPortal Controller

Create Permanently Assigned Device Based Pool with Full Clone Provisioned Desktops

User-based Temporarily Assigned Deployed Dedicated Desktop Pool
Screen Name Configurations
General Screen Configuration Attribute Name/Description Entitlement Type Desktop Virtualization Type Select Session provider Desktop Provisioning Assignment Life Span
Expected Configuration As Required User based Dedicated vCenter Server Dynamic Permanent
Deployment Screen Configuration Attribute Select a source VM Desktop Name Prefix Clone Type Desktop Creation Schedule Power on Desktop Deployment Configurations
Expected Configuration Gold Image to be cloned As needed Linked Clone Create All Desktops Now As needed As needed
Customization Configuration Attribute Configure as per requirement.
Note: Customization requires some prerequisites in gold image machine, please check these configurations in respective section of this document.
Expected Configuration
Users Screen Configuration Attribute Search, select and add users, groups or OUs as per requirement.
Expected Configuration
Advance Screen Configuration Attribute Configure as per requirement
Expected Configuration

Login and Assignment Flow

Let us try to understand user login and assignment process in case of Temporary user based provisioned pool.

  1. We have provisioned total of 3 Desktops and all Desktops will be initially.
  2. Once User-1 logs in from device-1, it will be assigned with either of 3 available Desktops say Desktop-1
  3. If User-2 logs in with Desktop-1 already in session, User-2 will be assigned with Desktop-2 or Desktop-3 and if User-3 logs in with only Desktop-3 is remaining it will be provided with session of Desktop-3
  4. If any other user logs in with all Desktops are already in use, user will be displayed appropriate error that no free Desktop is available.
  5. Once users log out the session of respective Desktops, all the assignments will be removed
  6. On next logon, again same process will be repeated where users will be assigned automatically as per availability and readiness of the Desktops but the old assignment will not be guaranteed.
Previous Login and Connect to Assigned Desktop
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