Posted by: thomast74 | 2011-01-17

VMware View 4.5 Local Mode

The new version of VMware View is out and I will use this to test and play around to see if what is new, different and hopefully better. This is very exciting. The following list layouts the plan I have in mind (but subject to change) to cover VMware View 4.5:

The last part in this serious (for now) I’m looking into the local mode. The Local Mode allows you to work without direct connection to the Connection Server. When you are back in the company network (or have a secure connection to it) you can sync the changes back.


Prepare Server Components

In one of earlier posts I described the Transfer Server Component. This Server Component will be installed in a Virtual Machine and the OS must not be joined to your Domain. This is all you need to do. Pretty simple. There is no local configuration required.

Prepare Client Components

For the local mode you need to install the View Client with Local Mode module. If you already have installed the View Client but without the Local Model module, just execute the installation exe with and select modify. In the list select the Local Model module and proceed with the installation.

image

After you have done that your PC or laptop is ready to run a virtual desktop in Local Mode. There are some requirements that I covered in a previous post. One important fact is that for 64-bit Virtual Desktops you need hardware support virtualisation enabled in Bios.

Configure Transfer Server Repository

To be able to check out a desktop you need to configure a repository first. The Transfer Server must be in Maintenance Mode. To do that you have to do the following steps:

  1. Log in into View Administrator
  2. Go to View Configuration –> Servers
  3. If you not already have a Transfer Server you to add one by clicking Add
  4. When the Transfer is added you need a while until the status states it is ready
  5. Select the Transfer Server and click Enter Maintenance Mode…
  6. Wait until you see that the Status changes to Maintenance

Now we can go to View Configuration –> Transfer Server Repository and configure the Repository. You can add one repository. The repository can either be on the local file system of the Transfer Server or a network share. The repository must be reachable from the client that is checking out the client. See here an example:

image

Configure Desktop Pool

The next step is to check if the Desktop Pool allows users to have a Virtual Desktop in Local Model. By default all Desktop Pools allowing the users to check out there desktops.

If you want to make changed you can do the in the Global Policies or the Desktop Pool Policies.

Publish the Desktop Pool image

After we have checked that our Desktop Pools allows us to have a Local Mode we need to publish the image. This process makes the image available on the repository for clients.

To do that you we need to do the following:

  1. Go to View Configuration –> Transfer Server Repository
  2. Click on the Publish button
  3. From the list select the image you want to have published and made available for check out
  4. Click OK to start the publish process

The process of publishing can take a while and depends on the size of your virtual desktop and your network if the it will be published to a share drive.

Check Out Desktop

To check out your Virtual Desktop you just need to start the View Client and log into the Connection Server. You will get a list of your Virtual Desktops. At the end of each Virtual Desktop you can a little arrow. When  you click on this arrow you have the option to check out this desktop.

The process starts right after you clicked on it. This process can take a long time and depends very much on your network and the size on of your virtual Desktop. The virtual desktop files are Thin Provisioned, this means less data to transfer but a small virtual desktop can already have 5GB or more.

After you have checked out your desktop you should start the desktop. If this is the first time, the Desktop needs to install some drivers because your local client has different hardware installed compared to the ESX server. This again takes a while.

When this first start is done, you need to login into your Virtual Desktop while your are connected to your company network, with access to your domain controller. If you don’t do that your desktop can not verify your credentials. With a successful login the credentials are stored locally and you can log in offline.

Check In Desktop

If you have a Dedicated Virtual Desktop you can make changes, means install software and save files. If you do not want to loose this information you need to check in your desktop, or at least sync it back from time to time.

This step is also very easy. When you start the View Client and log in into Connection Server you can see your checked out desktop. Click on the arrow behind and select Check In.

You can run your Local Mode Desktop checked out all the time. As Administrator you can define when a user is connected to the company network to sync back the desktop in the background. The user itself will still run the desktop in local mode.

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