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This blog has been created to share technical information, interesting innovations that I notice on daily basis and Architectural/Consulting overview of various technologies. My areas of interest, on which I would be blogging, are VMware, Microsoft and Citrix Technologies. I hope you will enjoy this blog and share your experience with me.

The Secret Sauce Behind VMware’s Internal Horizon Desktop Deployments – VMworld 2017

This year at VMworld, myself and my colleague Simon Long had the opportunity to talk about a project we’ve been working on for the past few years. We’ve been re-redesigning and deploying VMware’s internal Horizon Desktop environments.

Session Summary

“How does VMware architect its own global VMware Horizon desktop environment?” “Has it encountered the same obstacles we are facing?” Over the past two years, VMware has been re-architecting and deploying its virtual desktop infrastructure with VMware Horizon, VMware App Volumes, and VMware User Environment Manager running on top of the full VMware software-defined data center stack (VMware vSphere, VMware vSAN, VMware NSX) and integrating with VMware vRealize Operations Manager and VMware vRealize Log Insight. In this session, the lead architects will reveal all.

Our session (ADV1255BU – The Secret Sauce Behind VMware’s Internal VMware Horizon Desktop) includes the following sections:

  • Where we we? – Why did we need to kick off this project (from the beginning)
  • What do we need? – Revisiting the business and technical requirements (from 3:05)
  • How do we do this better? – How do we design this new infrastructure making sure we don’t hit the same issues again (from 5:13)
  • Where we are today? – A look at what we architected and deployed  (from 9:12)
  • What did we learn? – What challenges did we face along the way (from 30:45)
  • Where do we go from here? – How can we improve upon what we have built (from 41:51)

I hope you enjoy it and find it useful. Please contact myself or Simon if you have any questions around our session.

Thanks,
Aresh

VMware CIO Innovation Award – OneDesk

I thought I would share some pretty exciting news with you guys, I’ve recently received an award internally within VMware for a cool project that myself and my colleague Simon Long have been working on for the past 6-8 months. The project in question is called OneDesk. I’ll explain more about OneDesk shortly.

CIO Innovation Award

The award we won is called the VMware CIO Innovation award. Here is the description of the Innovation category:

“The team which best accomplished the goal of creating and developing new products and/or services.”


Aresh Sarkari – VMware CIO 2017 Innovation AwardCIOAward-Aresh

I wasn’t very lucky to receive the award in-person as the award arrived in India a couple of days late and by then Bask Iyer had to leave back for PA, CA.

OneDesk

The project myself and Simon Long have been working on is called OneDesk. For those of you who attended our VMworld session: The Secret Sauce Behind VMware’s Internal Horizon Desktop Deployments you’d have heard us talking about it during our session. For those of you who were unfortunate enough to miss it, I’ll explain all about it now.

What is OneDesk?

OneDesk is many things to many people. Here are some of its main functions:

EUC Dogfooding environment
OneDesk is an End User Computing (EUC) environment created from un-used production hardware where we deploy pre-release versions of our EUC software (Horizon, App Volumes and User Environment Manager). This allows us to test our products before we make them publicly available to our customers and providing feedback to the product teams of any issues that we encounter throughout or testing.

Pre-Production Horizon Environment
OneDesk also acts a Pre-Production environment for VMware’s internal Production Horizon desktop environments in the US, EMEA and India. The availability of our production Horizon deployments is extremely important to the business and often updating software can lead to service outages. By deploying the newly released EUC software into OneDesk as early as possible, we can use our experiences to make decisions on when we will upgrade the production environments.

Next-Generation EUC Environment
OneDesk also acts a ‘Next-Generation’ environment for our production Horizon desktop environments in the US, EMEA and India. The availability of our production Horizon deployments is extremely important to the business and often introducing new products or configuration changes can lead to service outages. We will be deploying all new products and configurations into OneDesk first, allowing us to iron out any creases and monitor stability before we consider deploying these changes into the production environments.

VMware on VMware
Last but not least, this is a VMware on VMware initiative. Where there is a business need, we look to utilize as many of VMware’s products as possible. By utilizing our own products early in the development cycle we are able to identify bugs and offer feedback to our product teams to help improve our customer’s experience once the products are released.

How is OneDesk different from the VMware production Horizon desktop environments?

The table below gives you an idea of how the services differ:OneDeskVSProduction

The table below gives you an idea of how the product version differs between OneDesk and Production: (Version may have changed since publication)
Products-OneDeskVSProduction

Here is a list of features that we’ve used OneDesk to test before we deploy the features into our production environments:

  • Instant Clones
  • Blast Extreme
  • Unified Access Gateway
  • Enrollment Server / True SSO
  • Skype For Business Plugin
  • Horizon Smart Policies (UEM)
  • NSX Edge Load-Balancer
  • NSX Distributed Firewall (Micro-Segmentation)
  • Sparse Swap Files
  • Client Cache

Product Improvement

Not only does deploying early releases of software allow us to test some really cool new features that we’ve been able to implement into Production, this also allows us to capture many bugs before we release the products to our customers. Hopefully, this means that you, our customers, have a must most stable product that you can rely on.

I’ve really enjoyed designing and deploying OneDesk and watching its value to VMware grow as we utilize it more and more. I’m looking forward to seeing where we can take OneDesk in the future. Watch this space.

Thanks,
Aresh Sarkari

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