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  1. The Evolution of the End User
  2. An Introduction to VMware View, Mirage, and Workspace
  3. Summary
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This chapter is from the book

An Introduction to VMware View, Mirage, and Workspace

So far, this chapter has discussed each product at a high level and reviewed some deployment considerations, but you have not yet read about the basic building blocks of each. This section covers each product and its base-level components.

VMware View

VMware View is made up four major server roles: View Connection Server, View Replica Server, View Security Server, and View Transfer Server, as shown in Figure 1.10.

Figure 1.10

Figure 1.10 View servers

The View Connection Server fulfills the role of the traditional connection broker, which is a core piece of all virtual desktop environments. The Connection Server is to a View environment what vCenter is to a vSphere environment. In other words, it is the one-stop shop for management, maintenance, configuration, and administration of the environment. Because it plays such a key role, it is a good idea to install not one but two Connections Servers. The second Connection Server is referred to as a Replica because it shares the metadata that is stored in the AD LDS. AD LDS provides Active Directory (AD) services for AD-aware applications without the overhead of AD domains and forests. It is designed purely to replicate application information between servers. Both the primary Connection Server and Replica leverage AD LDS to ensure that they are in sync from a configuration perspective. What is unique with View is that neither the Connection nor Replica Server requires a database to synchronize information between them. Database services are used for other services such as the Event and Composer database.

The View Security Server provides a secure gateway service and is typically deployed within a demilitarized zone (DMZ), as shown in Figure 1.11. It enables the entire View environment to be presented securely through PCoIP, HTTPS, or Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), reducing the number of ports that are opened in the forward-facing firewall. It thus acts as a client proxy.

Figure 1.11

Figure 1.11 Security Server

The View Transfer Server enables the local mode client and offloads the checking out or copy of the View desktop and synchronization of the changes from the Connection Server to a dedicated server in the environment, as shown in Figure 1.12.

Figure 1.12

Figure 1.12 Transfer Server

View Composer enables the deployment of linked clones within a View environment. It does require a database to keep track of the connections and components of the service. Because View 5.1 Composer can be a dedicated server versus a service that runs on vCenter, as shown in Figure 1.13, this enables Composer to scale much better than earlier releases.

Figure 1.13

Figure 1.13 Composer can be a dedicated server

Chapter 2, “VMware View Architecture,” provides a more detailed overview of the key pieces of View architecture and related components, such as View Persona.

VMware Mirage

VMware Mirage is designed to take advantage of resources on the endpoint and distributes and manages an image through layered technology, as shown in Figure 1.14.

Figure 1.14

Figure 1.14 VMware Mirage

Several key pieces of the architecture are required to make this work efficiently. At a high level, they are the Mirage Server, Management Server, the CVD, the Mirage client, and the branch reflector, as shown in Figure 1.15.

Figure 1.15

Figure 1.15 VMware Mirage components

The Mirage Server resides in the datacenter. It provides storage and management of the CVDs. Multiple Mirage Servers can be clustered together to ensure availability of the service. It is important that the Mirage Server be dedicated to this role, and it is not recommended that it provide any other services.

The CVD is a layered desktop image that includes five layers. A base layer generally includes the OS and core applications such as antivirus software. It is possible for a CVD to exist without a base layer. In addition, there is an app layer, which is a department- or user group-specific application. A driver profile is a repository of drivers designed to be used with specific hardware platforms, and a customized layer includes machine state information such as the hostname and unique identifier for the desktop. There is also a user settings and data layer, which encompasses any changes made by the end user.

The Mirage agent is installed on the endpoint device and enables the execution of a CVD. In addition to running a CVD, it can also convert an existing desktop image to a CVD, so it is used to migrate images to the datacenter as well.

The branch reflector optimizes downloads of base layers, the driver library, and app layers to avoid each Mirage client downloading the CVD directly or synchronizing all the changes directly. The branch reflector proxies the download requests to reduce the number of client connections. In a remote site, the Mirage clients connect to the branch reflector on the local LAN, and the branch reflector connects to the Mirage Servers, as shown in Figure 1.16.

Figure 1.16

Figure 1.16 Branch reflector

You’ll learn more about these high-level components in Chapter 9, “VMware Horizon Mirage.”

VMware Workspace

VMware Workspace architecture is made up of a series of virtual appliances that provide various services to the Workspace environment, as shown in Figure 1.17.

Figure 1.17

Figure 1.17 Horizon Workspace

The six virtual appliances (VAs) provide the services listed in Table 1.3.

Table 1.3 VMware Workspace vApp Virtual Appliances

Virtual Appliance


Configurator VA

The configurator VA is used to set and configure and push the configurations to the other VAs.

Service VA

The service VA provides ThinApp synchronization and user and group management through a web interface.

Connector VA

The connector VA provides synchronization of directories, View pools, and ThinApp catalogs along with user authentication.

Data VA

The data VA controls the file storage and sharing service (formerly Project Octopus).

Gateway VA

The gateway VA routes end-user connections to the appropriate backend Workspace virtual appliance.

Horizon Mobile Management

HMM controls, manages, and enables you to configure corporate workspace on a user's smartphone. Rather than an enforced management model like in a Mobile Device Management (MDM) platform, access is managed, enabling the user to self-select the corporate applications. This is generally referred to as Mobile Access Management (MAM).

To access VMware Workspace, you need a Workspace web client. VMware makes a Windows, Android, iOS, and OS X client. In addition to these standard clients, there is also a web client for agentless installations.

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