VMware Horizon

VMware Horizon and Avi (NSX Advanced Load Balancer) – Better together!

You’ve done the smart thing and built your desktop and application virtualization multi-cloud infrastructure using Horizon. But delivering the same is like trying to feed a horde of 5-year-old kids – you just don’t know what the demand is. You’ve prepared everything, you have enough ingredients to feed all the kids in the neighborhood, but they gobble it all down like a bunch of Hoover vacuums and they want more. The consequence is that the end-user experience was diminished due to the inability of delivering food at the speed of consumption. So next time you prepare everything in advance, you have everything ready and served on the table, but only to realize that no one is hungry, so you just wasted a bunch of food. What you really need is the ability to scale up cooks to deliver food based on demand.

The same is true for your VDI infrastructure. Network saturation, overtaxed servers or overburdened storage diminish your end-user’s experience severely – they want more. Since your shift towards software-defined data centers and cloud delivery models, you’ve noticed the architectural limitations of appliance-based load balancers (either as hardware or virtual appliances) have become inflexible – there’s only one cook in the kitchen. They slow down your application rollouts, lack the comprehensive visibility into your end-user’s experience and the application performance you need to support your applications and they require over-provisioning to ensure peak demand does not diminish the experience. Conversely, resources that aren’t being used are not ideal for your wallet – you prepared a bunch of food only to realize no one is hungry. Ensuring consistent superior end-user experience and the complexity of building a reliable VDI delivery infrastructure are some of the headaches that you are trying to solve.

You have come to the realization you need a different load balancing solution

To really make the return on your VDI investment stick, the right load balancing solution must have the ability to automatically scale with resource demands and deliver application services securely – you need the ability to scale up cooks to deliver food based on demand.

VMware’s NSX Advanced Load Balancer (Avi Networks) provides enterprise-grade load balancing, web application firewall and many other application services, that combined with VMware Horizon solve these problems. Like Horizon, Avi is built on a software-defined architecture delivering the flexibility and operational simplicity you need to ensure a consistent end-user experience while reducing your operational cost. Unlike legacy, appliance-based load balancers or virtual load balancers, which are architecturally constrained, Avi separates the data and control planes to deliver load balancing as a dynamic pool of resources that is centrally managed. The platform delivers an unprecedented level of automation and application insights to simplify VDI deployments and troubleshooting of end-user experience issues.

Consistent multi-cloud capabilities

As a software-defined platform with separate control and data planes, Avi is not constrained by hardware or by the underlying operating environment. The platform delivers a consistent set of features such as multi-cloud load balancing, global server load balancing (GSLB), web application firewall (WAF), machine-learning-driven automation and application analytics with over 700 metrics monitored across private data centers and public cloud platforms such as VMC, AWS, Azure or Google.

At the center of Avi’s modern architecture is the Avi Controller which manages load balancers that can be deployed for Horizon UAGs as well as Connection Servers on a granular per-tenant basis. The platform enables you to provision secure, multi-site VDI deployments all administered from a single controller. With comprehensive application analytics and end-user insights, you can diagnose and fix end-user experience issues with point-and-click simplicity. This enables you to deliver desktop and application services with a consistent end-user experience.

On-demand resource availability

Like most businesses, you have a fluctuating demand for your services and applications. To accommodate potential demand spikes, you would have to over-provision traditional load balancers based on historical high watermarks you have seen, but that still does not mitigate the risk of poor application performance by not having enough load balancing resources. Avi can seamlessly scale load balancers up and down in seconds, based on historical and current demand, to maintain consistent application availability and end-user experience.

Real-world VDI deployment in record time

Case and point, Avi is VMware’s preferred multi-cloud load balancer for Horizon, and has replaced legacy appliance-based load balancers to deliver VMware’s VDI infrastructure. Read VMware’s IT Case Study: VMware IT Delivers Virtual Desktops to Thousands of Remote Employees with VMware Horizon and Avi.

“Avi helped us deliver a large VDI deployment in a day instead of weeks with legacy load balancers. It saves costs, simplifies ops and gives us great app and client insights.” – Swapnil Hendre, Director of Solutions Engineering and Design, VMware IT.

Horizon and Avi – better together

The VMware Horizon integration with Avi provides benefits and functionality, including but not limited to:

  • End-user experience: Consistent superior end-user experience for your VDI applications
  • Scalability: Dynamic, on-demand autoscaling seamlessly scales to deliver virtual desktops and apps in any data center or cloud
  • High Availability and Fault Tolerance: If any of your servers fail, the service is maintained with minimal or no interruption
  • Analytics: Real-time telemetry and end-user insights simplifies troubleshooting and resolution of end-user issues
  • Reduced TCO: Simplify your operations through on-demand autoscaling, faster deployments and centralized control
  • SSL Acceleration: The elastic scale-out architecture of the Avi platform enables to offload over 1 million SSL transactions per second reducing processor utilization on servers accelerating the encryption/decryption process
  • Security: The Avi platform includes the full suite of application security capabilities including application rate limiting, URL filtering, DDoS protection, a web application firewall (WAF) and OWASP top 10 threats with real-time app security insights and visibility enabling regulatory compliance for web applications
  • Central Management: Avi offers a single point of administration for load balancing, WAF, DNS/IPAM and analytics


Horizon VDI is designed to quickly deliver secure virtual desktops and applications to your end-users. Having enterprise-grade, high-performance load balancing is a necessity for your VDI environment to deliver great end-user experiences.

Unlike legacy appliance-based load balancers, which require several manual steps, costly overprovisioning and cumbersome individual instance maintenance, Avi is not constrained by hardware or by the underlying operating environment. Avi can be provisioned in just minutes and dynamically scale up and down to support the necessary volume of your VDI transactions.

Horizon together with Avi delivers desktops and applications through a single platform with the ability to consolidate security and policies for your end-user compute resources, far exceeding the power and functionality of outdated hardware load balancers.

For more information about Avi in VDI environments:


Best Practices to Achieve Pain-Free Application Delivery for Virtual Desktops

In this deep-dive demo session, you learn to:

  • Shorten and simplify the steps needed to deliver virtual desktops and apps
  • Troubleshoot employee experience issues with point-and-click simplicity
  • Eliminate costly over-provisioning of load balancers and save costs for VDI deployments
  • Deploy load balancing consistently for virtual desktops in any cloud environment

Thousands of New Remote Employees? Bring it On. The VMware IT Story

In this webinar, you will learn:

  • How the team planned their deployment and succeeded in on-boarding the new employees in just a few days with the help of cloud-ready infrastructure
  • Learn best practices from the team that implemented the necessary load balancing and VDI infrastructure to ensure business continuity, with use case discussions and an interactive Q&A

Remote Work Deployments with Horizon VDI and Advanced Load Balancing

In this webinar, you will learn:

  • The modern architecture for VDI deployments in any data center or cloud
  • How to deploy load balancing natively in the public cloud or on VMware cloud infrastructure
  • The use of load balancing analytics to understand the employee experience
  • How to deploy secure, scalable virtual desktops