I often like to put together these types of 101 for colleagues getting to learn the vmware stack. Well here is another one for the horizon view 7.5.
To use VMware View for VDI, you need a few different View components, including the View Agent, vCenter Server and View Connection Server.
VMware’s approach to VDI is modular, which means there are a number of VMware View components that must all work together so you can create and manage virtual desktops.
Deploying virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is always a big undertaking, regardless of which VDI platform you use. One of the most common platforms for deploying virtual desktops is VMware View. Even though there are a lot of VMware View components, View is very flexible. As such, not every deployment uses every component.
Before you take on a View deployment, here are the VMware View components you need to understand:
Hypervisor. The first requirement for deploying virtual desktops with VMware View is a hypervisor that can host the desktops. View allows you to use ESX or ESXi servers, which are typically connected to a storage area network, which is where the virtual machines (VMs) actually reside.
VCenter Server. So they can be used for VDI, the ESX/ESXi servers must belong to a vCenter Server, a server that acts as a central administration point for the ESX/ESXi servers. The vCenter Server is commonly used to provision and manage VMs.
View Agent. The virtual desktops themselves must run a component called the View Agent. The View Agent allows VMware View to manage the virtual desktop. The Agent also adds some capabilities to the virtual desktop, such as USB support and single sign-on capabilities.
View Composer. Administrators also need to be familiar with linked clones. The idea behind linked clones is that it's possible to create a master virtual desktop image and then create a series of logical clones of that image. These clones are really just links to the master image, and they help save storage space in much the same way that deduplication does.
If you plan on using linked clones, then you will need to install a software service called the View Composer onto your vCenter Server. The View Composer makes it possible to deploy linked clones from a centralized base image.
View Connection Server. The most important VMware View component is the View Connection Server. The View Connection Server is a connection broker, and it is responsible for authenticating clients and connecting them to the appropriate virtual desktop (or physical desktop or terminal server). Although the View Connection Server is responsible for authenticating clients, it is typically configured to use Active Directory for authentication.
The Horizon View Replica Server, as the name suggests, is a replica or copy of a View Connection Server and serves two key purposes.
The first is that it is used to enable high availability to your Horizon View environment. Having a replica of your View Connection Server means that, if the Connection Server fails, users are still able to connect to their virtual desktop machines.
Secondly, adding Replica Servers allows you to scale up the number of users and virtual desktop connections. An individual instance of a Connection Server can support 2000 connections, so by adding additional Connection Servers allows you to add another 2000 users at a time, up to the maximum of five connection servers and 10,000 users per Horizon View Pod. When deploying a Replica Server, you will need to change the IP address or update the DNSrecord to match this server if you are not using a load balancer.
How does the Replica Server work?
So, the first question is, what actually gets replicated? The Connection Broker stores all its information relating to the end users, desktop pools, virtual desktop machines, and other View-related objects, in an Active Directory Application Mode (ADAM) database. Then, using the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) (it uses a method similar to the one AD uses for replication), this View information gets copied from the original Connection Server to the Replica Server.
As both, the Connection Server and the Replica Server are now identical to each other, if your Connection Server fails, then you essentially have a backup that steps in and takes over so that end users can still continue to connect to their virtual desktop machines.
Just like with the other components, you cannot install the Replica Server role on the same machine that is running as a Connection Server or any of the other Horizon View components.
View Client. Users who want to connect to a virtual desktop must establish a connection from their physical device to a View Connection Server. To do so, the user's device must be equipped with the View Client.
Although the View Client is normally sufficient for establishing connectivity, VMware also offers a client called the View Client with Local Mode. This client makes it possible for users to actually download a VM and run it on their local desktop. If you plan to use Local Mode, you must also run a service called the View Transfer Service, which manages network traffic between your data center and the virtual desktops that are running on users' local systems.
View Administrator. One last VMware View component that you need to be aware of is the View Administrator. The View Administrator is a Web component for deploying and managing virtual desktops.
The Horizon View Security Server
The Horizon View Security Server is another component in the architecture and is essentially another version of the View Connection Server but, this time, it sits within your DMZ so that you can allow end users to securely connect to their virtual desktop machine from an external network or the Internet.
How does the Security Server work?
To start with, the user login process at the beginning is the same as when connecting to a View Connection Server, essentially because the Security Server is just another version of the Connection Server running a subset of the features. The difference being is that you connect to the address of the Security Server. The Security Server sits inside your DMZ and communicates with a Connection Server sitting on the internal network that it is paired with. So now we have added an extra security layer as the internal Connection Server is not exposed externally, with the idea being that users can now access their virtual desktop machines externally without needing to first connect to a VPN on the network first. The Security Server should not be joined to the Domain.
@Credit to VMware for the definitions and the VMWare Blog community for diagrams.