VMware App Volumes VMware Horizon

New Horizon 6 Reference Architecture Highlights App Volumes and Virtual SAN

By Donal Geary, Desktop Virtualization Reference Architecture Engineer, VMware
Gary Sloane, Consulting Writer and Editor, VMware

Hardly a day goes by without somebody asking how to deploy App Volumes or take advantage of Virtual SAN on View virtual desktops in VMware Horizon 6. This new VMware Horizon 6 with App Volumes and Virtual SAN Reference Architecture provides the answers.

Based on the proven approach of modular pod and block design principles, this validated architecture offers a standard, repeatable, scalable design that IT architects, consultants, and administrators can adapt to their own requirements and environments.


The reference environment and hardware configuration were both subjected to rigorous performance benchmarking, workload simulation, and operations testing.

Wherever possible, this reference architecture offers alternate ways to answer customer needs. For instance, Horizon 6 provides end users with access to all their desktops and applications through a single, unified workspace, whether they connect to their View desktops directly or use RDSH to connect to a desktop session. Similarly, RDSH application remoting and App Volumes AppStacks and writable volumes provide different methods for delivering applications. These alternatives and many more are supported by Virtual SAN.


Test results support the following conclusions:

  • App Volumes improved the desktop consolidation ratio and reduced CPU and memory usage while providing satisfactory or better end-user experience.
  • Storage provisioning and management required little effort, and performance was excellent, with low latency from Virtual SAN, even under heavy load.
  • Desktop maintenance, storage provisioning and management, and application delivery and patching required only minimal time and effort from one administrator for this large deployment.

The bottom line is that the VMware Horizon 6 with App Volumes and Virtual SAN Reference Architecture shows how a deployment for 960 users on 700 linked-clone View desktops and 260 RDSH sessions can provide performance equivalent to high-end physical computers.