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Archive for the ‘View Manager’ Category

VMware View 5 is ready to download

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At this years VMworld in Las Vegas, VMware announced the new version of VMware View. View 5 brings up to 75% bandwidth reduction, persona management and VoIP support and lots more to you. Today I’ve seen that the download is now availabe. Go and try it!

Bildschirmfoto 2011 09 14 um 08 09 21


Written by Christoph Harding

September 14th, 2011 at 8:12 am

Posted in View Manager,VMware View

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Sysprep vs. Quickprep

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In a VMware View environment you can either use Microsoft Sysprep or VMware Quickprep for the personalization of your Linked Clone desktop pools, while you can only use Sysprep for the personalization of traditional desktop pools based on VM templates.

Every Windows operating system is generating a unique SID (Security Identifier) during the first installation of the system. This SID is used to clearly identify the operating system in a network environment. But this local SID is only used until the computer is a member is a Windows Workgroup only. As soon as you add the computer to a Active Directory domain a new SID for the computer account will be created and the local SID is no longer in use. The Microsoft Sysprep tool does change the SID for the operating system as the SID should be unique for each OS instance. The Sysprep operation needs several minutes to change the SID on a Windows OS as it needs to change all files on the hard disk drive.

The VMware Quickprep tools which comes with VMware View is used for the same reason but only with Linked Clone desktop pools. Quickprep is faster compared to Sysprep as is does not change all files on the hard disk. It does change the SID in the Active Directory which is only used as described above.

Also other software vendors use their own tools to change the SID on Windows instances, especially companies from the software deployment, like Altiris.

The Quickprep process is started by the View Composer during the creation of the Linked Clones. After the View Composer has created the replica disk and the Linked Clone own OS disk is mounted, the View Composer communicated with the Active Directory and creates a new computer account for the Linked Clone desktop and sets a random password. This process uses the standard Windows API interface and also the user account you’ve configured for the View Composer in the View Administrator GUI. If the configured user account does not have sufficient permissions the action will fail. If the action is successful, a configuration file which includes information about the desktop (hostname, domain and more) is created on the OS disk of the Linked Clone. After the file is written the desktops gets restarted. During the next boot process the View Agent hooks in. It does that in two modes. Firstly it runs in the native mode just before the Win32 subsystem is started. During that time it can still access system files which are usually locked. Secondly it starts the Service Agent which does the most tasks i.e. the communication with the View Server or writing to the Windows Registry. The native part of the agent reads the information which is written in the configuration file by the View Composer before and sets the hostname for the Windows operating system before the system comes up. After that the Service Agent writes the needed Windows domain information into the Registry.

Both applications, Sysprep and Quickprep give you the same result: A Windows desktops with a unique SID.

It’s a good decision to choose Quickprep for the Linked Clone pools because the personalization process is faster but there are also reasons for choosing Sysprep. Sometimes software products i.e. Antivirus software or network access control need a unique local SID. But anyway using vShield Endpoint is better than having a anti virus scanner in each desktop.

If you’re choosing Sysprep for your Linked Clone desktops please consider the following points.

  • All vSphere servers in your cluster must run a 4.0 or 4.1 version.
  • A recompose does force the system to create a new SID. (That takes a long time depending on the number of files in the VM)
  • The View Agent on the VM needs the View Composer component to be installed. (Usually this is the standard)
  • The Active Directory controllers must be reachable  from all the desktops.

Written by Christoph Harding

May 16th, 2011 at 9:00 am

RES Virtual Drive Extender (VDX) to support VMware PCoIP in June 2011

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A RT from @PCoIP_Guru brought this video to my attention which shows the RES Virtual Drive Extender in action on a VMware View PCoIP Session.

#RES VDX and VMware PCoIP expected June 2011.

The tweet says that this should come in June 2011.

VDX from RES is a technology which enables you to use local installed applications in a VDI session. If you’re interested in the solution, please check:


Written by Christoph Harding

May 5th, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Posted in Video,View Manager

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No session information shown in View Administrator

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If you’re running a VMware View proof of concept you might run into an issue which I’ve seen very rarely in the last few years. After a successful installation of all components you’re connecting to a virtual desktop for the first time and everything seems to be fine. You logoff the user and you may login again to your dedicated desktop from a automated pool. But then you spot that you’re getting a new desktop every time you logon to the View Manager. Strange you might think, because you’ve configured a dedicated desktop for the user. In the next step you login to the View Administrator and you check the configuration. It seems to be finde but then you figure out, that you can’t see the session information for a user who’s currently connected to a virtual desktop. I didn’t see this issue for a long time now but today my colleague Kim from the Global Desktop team came to me with it again. I thought it might be worth sharing the information with you so please go on with reading if you’re interested.

As I said, the session information for active sessions to the virtual desktops  is not shown in  the Session tab, which has the same root cause as the issue with the dedicated desktop described above.

The reason for this is a process which is not running, but needed on the virtual desktop. As you know may know there is a software component called the View Agent, which must run on the virtual desktop in order to connect to it via the View Manager/View Client. The View Agent manages loads of tasks on the virtual desktop, i.e. starts the PCoIP server, controls the USB redirection and also sending information about the current status/user to the broker component. And here is the root cause! The user/session information is managed by a process called wssm.exe which is running in the user’s context. This process will be started every time the operating system starts up, by a registry key called userinit.

When everything is ok, you’ll see the wssm.exe process via the Task Manager on your Windows box, if not, you should check the Windows registry key: HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Userinit.

Can you see the wssm.exe here? If not, this is your problem. But don’t worry if it is there and it’s still not working. In that case you should check if each entry is separated from each other by a comma. This issue may occur if you’re using software on the virtual desktop which modifies the userinit key. Sysprep for example could do that.

Written by Christoph Harding

March 30th, 2011 at 2:57 pm

PCoIP Gateway configured for home lab usage

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One of my colleagues from the US, Chris Colotti published a nice article on his blog which describes how he connected his wife’s iPad with his View 4.6 Security Server running in the home lab. The interesting part in his article is not the fact that you can connect to your home lab via the iPad, no it’s how to setup the PCoIP aware Security Server in View 4.6 that it works with your DynDNS connection.

Update (16.03.2011) – Gabe does have a nice article on how to use dynamic IP addresses for PCoIP.

Link: Chris Colotti’s blog

Written by Christoph Harding

March 16th, 2011 at 12:37 am

VMware View Security Server to support PCoIP soon

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Mark Benson, a View architect in the VMware End User Computing CTO office published a new article about the VMware View Security Server. In this article Mark explains in detail how the new component works. He says that the new Security Server will be part of the forthcoming View release.

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Written by Christoph Harding

December 14th, 2010 at 5:53 pm

Posted in PCoIP,View Manager

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Renaming a View Connection Server? No!

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There are several cases where it is a requirement to rename a View Connection Server respectively the Windows Server running the broker. This could happen for example during a network migration or a merger of two companies. To come directly to the point: Don’t do it, never just rename the Windows box  computer name. There

are to many dependencies between the name and the View LDAP and other components of the View installation.

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Written by Christoph Harding

September 28th, 2010 at 10:09 am

New VMware View Manager release 4.0.2

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Yesterday VMware published a new maintenance release for VMware View Manager. The new version 4.0.2 does resolve issues in different areas.

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Written by Christoph Harding

September 16th, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Using the event database in View 4.5

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A new function in View 4.5 is the event database which stores as the name already says events. The event database can be configured via View Administrator but must be created before. The following example shows how to create a database on a Mircosoft SQL Server Express. Open a command prompt on the server running the database and use this command to create a database:

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Written by Christoph Harding

August 30th, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Posted in View Manager

Wrroooom… View 4.5 hits the street

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We have been waiting for a long time but now it’s here: VMware View 4.5 was announced today and it’s coming with loads of new stuff. I can’t write in detail about all new features in one article so I’ve decided to give you an overview of the enhancements and the new UI first  and then publish several articles on the specific topics. I’ll go in details as soon as the product is availabe.

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Written by Christoph Harding

August 28th, 2010 at 5:50 pm

Posted in View Manager,VMware View

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