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What’s New in VMware vCenter Operations Manager for Horizon View 1.5?

Tina de Benedictis

Author: Tina de Benedictis

Tina de Benedictis is Senior Manager in the End-User-Computing Technical Marketing group at VMware. Her team writes and edits white papers, blog posts, and knowledge base articles on VMware End-User-Computing products.

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By Charles Windom, Solutions Architect, Management Business Unit, VMware; David Wooten, vC Ops for View Product Line Manager, End-User Computing, VMware; Tim Whiffen, Staff Engineer, VMware; and Cynthia Heyer, contract technical writer, End-User Computing Technical Marketing, VMware

How many times have you been monitoring your Horizon View environment, and wished you had a dashboard that made sense? One that could immediately tell you what was wrong – not only with the Horizon View desktop and infrastructure, but with the vSphere infrastructure, too. One that could tell you before your users call your help desk complaining of access and performance issues? What if you could forestall executive staff complaints that they could not access their virtual desktops? What if you could prevent their desktop sessions from experiencing any issues in the first place?

The new release of VMware vCenter Operations Manager for Horizon View 1.5 (vC Ops for View) helps solve these problems. Here are three ways this new release gets us excited:

Easier Installation

When we set out to monitor an environment, we want to concentrate on monitoring, and not spend a lot of time trying to get the product installed correctly. The vC Ops for View product installs in less than an hour because it is simply an extension of the enterprise version of vCenter Operations Manager (vC Ops). Right away you can start monitoring your Horizon View environment.

In a Horizon View 5.2 desktop environment, monitoring Horizon View is easy because the vC Ops for View data collector agents are automatically deployed with Horizon View agents. Security tokens are created for each virtual desktop to facilitate secure communications with the monitored Horizon View 5.2 environment.

To ensure security in monitoring a VMware View 5.0 or 5.1 desktop environment, you need a single install of the agent on the master image, a recompose of the VMware View environment, and a group policy object.

VMware vC Ops for View 1.5 can be deployed either by migrating an existing vC Ops for View 1.0.x installation to vC Ops for View 1.5 (after updating your Horizon View desktops to 5.2 if your desktops are being updated), or by freshly installing 1.5 with a new Horizon View 5.2 deployment.

See the vCenter Operations Manager for Horizon View 1.5 documentation for more information about installing vC Ops for View in your environment.

Greater Scalability

Previous versions of vC Ops for View were limited to a single environment of no more than about 3,000 desktops. To monitor more desktops, you had only two choices. You could monitor a subset (pool level generally) of the virtual desktop machines, or you could install an additional instance of vC Ops for View. This was limiting because multiple vC Ops for View monitoring environments were fragmented and did not provide a “single pane of glass” for monitoring, management, and control.

This new release of vC Ops for View supports up to 8,000 concurrent Horizon View virtual desktop users within a single instance of the vC Ops for View console. Multiple Horizon View pods can be monitored with the same vC Ops for View adapter instance, or you can install additional adapter instances on remote collector servers to collect data across different data centers. For additional scalability, multiple options for metrics collection are also now available. You can collect a partial set of metrics instead of the full set, which enhances scalability.

Licensing for vC Ops for View is by concurrent Horizon View user, just like Horizon View. This means you pay only for what you use, with the option of extending licensing in 10- or 100-user component packs.

See the vCenter Operations Manager for Horizon View 1.5 documentation for more information about scalability of vC Ops for View.

Better Monitoring

Administrators and monitoring teams spend less time troubleshooting end-user problems when they use vC Ops for View. The advanced analytics engine of vC Ops takes the metrics about the Horizon View infrastructure collected by the vC Ops for View adapter, and correlates those metrics to the effects on the end-user experience. These analytics create “dynamic thresholds,” which are used both proactively to reduce the number of alerts requiring attention, and reactively when a real problem occurs. This enables your monitoring teams to address “real” problems (rather than “false positives”), focus on their root causes, and correct problems before they impact your end users’ desktop experience.

VMware vC Ops for View uses dynamic thresholds to determine the expected range of resource behavior through learned upper and lower ranges of a metric’s value. Dynamic thresholds are superior to the static thresholds often relied upon by other monitoring solutions. Dynamic thresholds intelligently reduce the number of alerts and alarms that need to be evaluated or diagnosed. Whenever the monitored value of a resource metric exceeds a dynamic threshold (goes beyond the upper range), the behavior is considered abnormal, and the monitoring team is alerted. This pattern of behavior is also learned for future analysis of what is normal and abnormal behavior. These functions are all carried out automatically without operator intervention, reducing the complexity and overhead in monitoring large-scale virtual desktop deployments.

What about our wish for a dashboard that tells us everything? VMware vC Ops for View comes with preconfigured dashboards that can be completely customized to the customer’s requirements. Monitoring personnel can customize the dashboards to view only the components they are responsible for or must focus on. Your monitoring teams can analyze individual user sessions that might be experiencing issues. They can monitor a whole picture of the individual user’s environment to check for impending problems, or problems currently affecting the end user’s virtual desktop session.

Other vC Ops for View dashboards – such as the pool heat map – allow virtual desktop or help desk administrators to see exactly which virtual desktop sessions might be experiencing performance issues, as well as those virtual desktop sessions that might soon experience performance issues.

The vC Ops for View product can monitor the Horizon View infrastructure down to the host and datastore level, and alert your desktop operations team or administrators about problems in the vSphere environment as well. VMware vC Ops for View utilizes the familiar vC Ops badges, widgets, and skittles to provide a simplified picture of the whole virtualization “stack,” and provide a deep, under-the-covers view of the performance of the monitored vSphere environment.

These are just a few of the reasons we are excited about the release of VMware vCenter Operations Manager for Horizon View 1.5. We are sure this will excite you as you test-drive the product in your Horizon View environment.

See the vCenter Operations Manager for Horizon View 1.5 documentation to get up and running.

VMware vCenter Operations Manager for Horizon View documentation center

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