Today I had a great session via the VMware EUC Champion group about – Horizon 7 on VMware Cloud Foundation 2.3.
So VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) is an automated SDDC solution that includes ESXi, vSAN and NSX along with a SDDC Manager for provisioning. The new version is 2.3.1. The idea is this is a standard platform, integrated stack running on-premises or in the public cloud. The recent partnership with AWS runs VCF within AWS that is automatically deployed and managed for you. VCF can be bought and delivered on-premises today. SDDC manager provides the automated deployment and life-cycle management. During initial power up, SDDC manager will check the components and ask the user for parameters such as DNS and AD etc. Workloads can then be deployed. The SDDC can then manage on going operations for patching and upgrades. For on-premises, hardware must be on a HCL.
In version 2.3, vRealize Automation and Operations along with Log Insight it also deployed. Pretty big addition.
VCF supports up to 32 nodes in a rack and up to 8 racks per VCF instance. These are split out into management workload domains and virtual infrastructure domain, including a Horizon workload domain. As an add-on, Horizon 7 can be added to VCF along with App Volumes. Horizon and App Volumes deployment is automated along with the other SDDC components. A workload domain will each have its own PSC and vCenter deployed in enhanced linked mode (ELM) with support up to 15 workload domains including management, standard and horizon workload domains. The limit is due to the PSC ELM limit.
With VCF 2.3 the underlying versions of VMware components look like the following
- ESXi 6.5 P02
- PSC/vCenter 6.5 U1
- vSAN 6.6
- NSX 6.3.5
- Horizon 7.2
- App Volumes 2.12
- vRA 7.3
- vROps 6.6.1
Ill not go over the management workload or virtual infrastructure workload domain steps but instead focus on Horizon workload, given the title of this post. The benefits of running Horizon on VCF include the speed of deployment, from weeks of planning to hours and as its automated its repeatable and reliable while taking advance of advanced VMware products such as NSX. Up to 14 workload domains can be Horizon, the 15th is used for management.
As part of the deployment, the user numbers and workload types such as persistent or clones can be selected along with all the management functions for vSphere, vSAN, NSX and Horizon. Below is the what is new in 2.3. Notice the NSX load balancer work, micro segmentation is also enabled.
Redundant Connection servers are deployed along with redundant Unified Access Gateways. Optionally App Volumes can be deployed redundantly along with a UEM and a SQL server. All of which is deployed in the management workload domain with the require PSC / vCenter. Additional file servers and AD servers can be deployed manually into the management workload domain. The environment is then sized. The automated deployment will use this information and deploy Horizon in a way to support the numbers and make sure its redundant.
Once deployed the Horizon environment will be available with pool configuration specified. Whats also cool is NSX will configure the service composer to use micro segmentation from deployment. For me NSX for Horizon just makes perfect sense and is a great use case.
For more information see https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-Cloud-Foundation/