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USING CONTENT LIBRARY FOR HORIZON MASTER IMAGE DISTRIBUTION

I have found the vCenter Content Library(vCL) feature to be very useful in distributing a Horizon Master Desktop Image to multi cluster’s(Block’s), Pod’s & Sties.

The way vCL works, upload a Gold Master Desktop Image (vGMDI) to the VCL that will turn it into a template VM. If vCL is setup correctly, your vGMDI will be replicated out to all the external vCL Block connections. Using the internal syncing functionality built into vCL.

I will go through the process and procedures I have used for my customers.

 

vCenter Gold Master Image Infrastructure

  1. Create a Gold Master Image folder under the primary Block (Cluster) you will manage the Desktop images from, going forward will be the Primary Block.
  2. Create Master Image folders that will only house the image(s) that are created from the vCL templates.                                                                   
  3. Create a Gold Master Image that references the use case, place two signifiers in the name to refer to it being a Gold Master Image and what version of the Image. By creating these signifiers, it allows to quickly see what type of image and to build newer images from base-line images.

*Will get into snapshot management for the vGMDI, next.

  1. I suggest you keep the same name of the image for all your snapshots, but you will increment the version number buy 1.
  2. Place the Snapshot Name at the top of the description field and then place other information as needed. This allows for the description to follow the image into the vCL, when imported.

vCenter Content Library Configuration

Create vCL Library from Primary Block (Cluster)

  1. From the Home tab, select Content Libraries
  2. Select the Create new content library icon.
  3. Give the library a name that will reference the location and use case of the template.
    1. The Primary Block will be the only entry that will have ‘-Library’ suffix.
      1. Example: (QDC-IOP-P1B1) Site-UseCase-Pod#Block#-Library
    2. All other location Blocks with have ‘-External’ as the suffix.
  4. Select the vCenter that is associated to the Primary Block (Cluster) you have designated.
  5. Select Local content library
  6. Enable Publish content library externally

 

 

  1. Select, Select a datastore
  2. Select the datastore you want the Primary Block vGMDI templates to be stored.
    1. If the data store is spanned across multiple blocks (clusters), do not use these datastores for housing the templates.

Your ‘Ready to complete’ dialog should look something similar.

 

 

Create vCL from External Block’s (Cluster)

  1. From the Home tab, select Content Libraries
  2. Select the Create new content library icon.
  3. Give the library a name that will reference the location and use case of the template.
    1. All External Block’s will have ‘-External’ suffix.
      1. Example: (QDC-IOP-P1B1) Site-UseCase-Pod#Block#-External
    2. Select the vCenter that is associated to the External Block (Cluster) you have designated to subscribe to the Primary Block (Cluster) vCL.

 

  1. Select Subscribed content library
  2. Paste the URL link copied from the Primary vCL into the Subscription URL:
  3. Enable Download all library content immediately

 

  1. Select, Select a datastore
  2. Select the datastore you want the External vCL templates to be stored.
    1. If the data store is spanned across multiple blocks (clusters), do not use these datastores for housing the templates.
      1. Example: VDI-APP-VOL-REPOSITORY is spanned, so we used another datastore to keep from corruption and duplication for failovers.

Your ‘Ready to complete’ dialog should look something similar.

 

 

Import Gold Master Image to vCL Primary Block

  1. Select the Gold Master Image you want to clone to a vCL template.
  2. Click Clone/Clone to Template in Library…
  3. Use the same Gold Master Image name as the Template name, change the version to the version number of the snapshot being used.
  4. Copy the template name to notes section and add any other information.
  5. Select the Primary Library for this Gold Master image use case.
  6. Click OK.

 

vCenter Content Library Monitoring

  1. Select the Primary or External Library navigator. This will display the Summary, Manage and Related Objects tabs.
  2. Select the Related Objects tab, to see a list of the templates that have been clones to this library.
    1. I suggest always leaving two to three versions of the template to revert back in case of new template corruption.

View a second Site (TDC) to see if the syncing has completed

  1. Select Content Libraries in the navigator.
  2. Select Objects tab to see a full summary of all external libraries.
  3. Example of how many templates in each External Libraries.

 

 

Create Desktop Master Image(vMDI) on Ext-Library Block’s

After the content libraries have been replicated to all the destinations, you can now create a vDMI in each Block (Cluster) that needs the use case of the vGMDI.

  1. Select the Master Image folder that you want the vMDI be deployed.
  2. Name the VM to reference the location and use case.
    1. Example: SitePod#Block#-UseCaseAbvMaster-OsVerType-Version
  3. Repeat these steps for all other Blocks (Clusters)

 

Prep Master Desktop Images (vMDI) for Horizon Deployment

At this stage you will create one snapshot for the vMDI to allow you to configure a Link-Clone and/or Instant-Clone desktop pool.

Note: If you are using a version of Horizon View 7.0 and earlier, you will have to create a snapshot for each vLAN you have in your VDI Block. All versions of Horizon 7.1and greater have a new Network configuration option during the creation of an Instant-Clone Desktop Pool deployment. The following examples are with Horizon 7.0.

  1. Open the snapshot manager after creating each snapshot for your vLANs.
  2. You can name your snapshots what fits you naming standards, I suggest something simple like vLANs and their port numbers because it is simple and quick. Naming like this, help;
    1. Knowing what vMDI settings have changed between snapshots.
    2. Easier to read in the Horizon View Admin Console Desktop Pool Configuration wizard.
  3. You can snapshot in a multi-layer format as seen in this image, but I like to take the little extra time to put the snapshots in a linear format. This way, as I’m looking in the IC configuration wizard option for snapshots, I don’t see a long string of vLANs to select the one I need for this pool deployment.
    1. It works with either format you chose.

TIPS: When you are starting to take snapshots, I found this procedure to be the most successful.

  • If you have multiple vLANs that you need a snapshot for, change the vLAN setting of the vMDI to one that is not of the vMDI.
    • Example: vMDI = vLAN88, change vLAN64 then take snapshot after initializing the network adapter with this vLAN.
  • Power cycle the VM once, login and make sure you receive no errors. Then run your Pre-shutdown script, if you have one.
  • If you have a script that shutdown the VM, take snapshot, if not power down the VM and then take your snapshot.
  • Remember, if you want a linear format for your snapshots, you have to keep reverting back to the first snapshot after every consecutive snapshot and change the vLAN settings.

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