Horizon View Design Considerations

This is the VMware Horizon View Design Deep-Dive.  I have aggregated all of the design considerations that Wayne Conrad and myself needed to answer for our VMware Horizon View architecture design.  Brevity and bullet-points are used to keep the information concise and readable. They are phrased as questions the architect needs to answer.

List of articles in my VCDX Deep-Dive series (more than 80 posts)

I have separated the design considerations into the areas specified by the VCDX-DTM blueprint. This was before the new VCDX-DTM 2019 blueprint was released, which has been re-organized to include new components and areas.

Business Goals/Problems

  • What are the business goals of the solution?
  • What are the business problems to be solved?

VDI Assessment

  • What was the analysis of the VDI assessment?
  • How does that translate to the design?

Customer Use-Cases

  • What are the customer use-cases for the solution?


  • What are the requirements, constraints and assumptions of the solution?

Risk Analysis

  • What are the risks of the solution and how have you mitigated them?  Are there specific implementation tasks, tests or procedures that can be referenced?

A. Desktop Management Infrastructure – Management Components

Logical Design Decisions

  • Private Cloud, Public Cloud or Hybrid Cloud EUC Services?
  • Number of Pooled Compute, Network & Storage Resources?
  • Management, Control and Data Planes?
  • Redundancy of EUC infrastructure?
  • IT Service Management integrations?
  • EUC infrastructure logging?
  • Enterprise Service integrations?
  • Advanced Operations Management?

Physical Design Decisions

  • VMware Horizon Suite components and version?
  • VDI solution integration points?
  • Horizon View Sizing and Availability?
  • Connection Server Quantity?
  • Remote access termination?
  • Remote Access Protocols?
  • Desktop Pools?
  • 3D Graphics Acceleration?
  • vROps?
  • vRLI?
  • Management Cluster?
  • vCenter Servers?
  • Resource Cluster?
  • Enterprise Services?
  • Licensing?
  • Future expansion of resources?

B. Desktop Management & Resource Infrastructure – Compute Layer

Logical Design Decisions

  • Traditional Monolithic Compute, Server-Side Flash Cache Acceleration (with 3-Tier Legacy), Converged Infrastructure, Hyper-Converged Infrastructure or Open-Converged Infrastructure?
  • Minimum Hypervisor Hosts per Cluster?
  • Host sizing: “Scale Up” or “Scale Out”?
  • Number of Sockets per Host?
  • Host spanning and rack redundancy?
  • Hypervisor Workload Protection Mechanism?
  • Hypervisor Workload Resource Balancing Mechanism?
  • Required CPU Capacity?
  • Required Memory Capacity?

Physical Design Decisions

  • Compute vendor and model?
  • x86 processor type?
  • x86 processor features?
  • vGPU needed?
  • Number of hosts required?
  • vSphere High Availability?
  • vSphere DRS?
  • Host striping?
  • Future expansion of compute resources?

C. Desktop Management & Resource Infrastructure – Network Layer

Logical Design Decisions

  • Legacy 3-Tier Switch, Collapsed Core, Clos-type Leaf/Spine (TRILL/SPB) fabric, Manhattan Mesh Fabric, Layer 3 fabric?
  • Clustered Physical or Standalone EoR/ToR Switches?
  • Stretched or Per Rack VLANs?
  • Functional traffic types separated with virtual Switches or VLANs?
  • MTU size?
  • Quality of Service?
  • Load Balancing?
  • IPv6 or IPv4?
  • WAN requirements?
  • Required Network Capacity?
  • Single-vNIC or Multi-vNIC VMs?

Physical Design Decisions

  • Access switches?
  • Layer 3 Gateway?
  • LAG?
  • Out of Band management?
  • Physical LAN performance?
  • Host connectivity?
  • WAN links?
  • QoS?
  • VLANs and Spanning Tree?
  • SR-IOV?
  • TCP Offload?
  • Virtual Switch?
  • Virtual Switch teaming?
  • VMkernels?
  • Portgroups?
  • Layer-2 overlay?
  • Campus network?
  • Future expansion of network resources?

D. Desktop Management & Resource Infrastructure – Storage Layer

Logical Design Decisions

  • Traditional Monolithic Storage, Server-Side Flash-Cache Acceleration, Converged Infrastructure, Hyper-Converged Infrastructure or Open-Converged Infrastructure?
  • Block-based or IP-based Storage Access?
  • Automated storage management?
  • RDM devices?
  • Hypervisor DAS boot, LUN boot or network boot?
  • Thin or Thick Provisioning?
  • Required Storage Resources?
  • Storage replication needed for VM Templates, User Profiles and User Data?

Physical Design Decisions

  • Storage vendor?
  • Storage policies?
  • Hybrid or All-Flash?
  • Storage services?
  • Cache device?
  • Storage controller and queue depth?
  • Storage disk design?
  • Fault domains?
  • Datastores?
  • Host boot method?
  • Enterprise file services?
  • Storage replication?
  • Future expansion of storage resources?

E. Desktop Resource Infrastructure – View Virtual Machine Layer (this is not listed in the blueprint, however it is called out in the VCDX application form)

Logical Design Decisions

  • Virtual Machine Sizes?
  • Virtual Machine CPU and RAM management?
  • Virtual Machine files?
  • Standard or Non-Standard/32-bit or 64-bit Guest OS?
  • Virtual Machine templates?
  • Virtual Machine Guest OS settings?

Physical Design Decisions

  • VDI CPU and RAM sizing?
  • vDisks?
  • Thin or thick provisioning?
  • VDI snapshots?
  • VDI OS?
  • VDI vSCSI?
  • VDI vNIC?
  • VDI VMware Tools?
  • VDI VM options?

F. End User Experience Infrastructure – Endpoint Devices

Logical Design Decisions

  • Thin Clients, Thick Clients, or Zero Clients?
  • Browser Accessibility?

Physical Design Decisions

  • Endpoints?

G. End User Experience Infrastructure – Peripherals

Logical Design Decisions

  • Peripherals?

Physical Design Decisions

  • Peripherals?

H. End User Experience Infrastructure – Application Integration

Logical Design Decisions

  • Application Lifecycle Management and Application Layering?
  • Application integration?

Physical Design Decisions

  • App Volumes Sizing?
  • App Volumes sites?
  • App layering?
  • App Lifecycle Management?

I. End User Experience Infrastructure – Profile Management

Logical Design Decisions

  • Profile Management?

Physical Design Decisions

  • UEM Configuration and Profile Location?
  • Environment customization?

J. Desktop Management & Resource Infrastructure – Data Protection

Logical Design Decisions

  • VM Image Backup Frequency?
  • Application and Database Consistent Backup Frequency?
  • Backup Restore Times?

Physical Design Decisions

  • VADP used?
  • Backup/Recovery solution?
  • Backup/Restore mechanism?

K. Desktop Management & Resource Infrastructure – Information Security

Logical Design Decisions

  • Zones of Trust?
  • Defence-in-Depth?
  • EUC security mechanisms?
  • Physical separation requirements?
  • Microsegmentation?
  • Compliance standards?
  • Virtualisation security requirements?
  • Required Network Security Capacity?

Physical Design Decisions

  • Physical and Virtual Network Zoning?
  • VMware NSX-v/NSX-T required?
  • RBAC?
  • Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)?
  • Network Security Performance?
  • VDI security settings?
  • Security Information & Event Management (SIEM)?
  • ESXi host security?
  • Network security?
  • Storage security?
  • Data Protection security?
  • VM security?

L. Desktop Management & Resource Infrastructure – BC/DR

Logical Design Decisions

  • Protection Mechanisms?
  • Manual or Automated Run-books?
  • RPO, RTO, WRT and MTD of VDI services?
  • Global Site Load Balancers?
  • DNS TTL for clients?

Physical Design Decisions

  • DR Automation solution?
  • GSLB solution?

M. Data Center Facility

Logical Design Decisions

  • Data Center types?
  • Number of sites?

Physical Design Decisions

  • Data Center Facility locations?
  • Power, cooling and weight calculations?

One Reply to “Horizon View Design Considerations”

  1. […] Horizon View Design Considerations – René van den Bedem […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Website Powered by WordPress.com.
%d bloggers like this: