“VMware Horizon on Azure VMware Solution (Horizon on AVS)” where users build Horizon on Azure VMware Solution in the same way as on-premises. In the same way, VDI runs on Azure, but unlike “Horizon Cloud on Azure”, the Horizon part is also user-managed. This time, Net One Systems conducted verification in collaboration with Networld, and confirmed that it has high affinity in a hybrid configuration with the same management as on-premises. Many companies are beginning to want to move their on-premises VDI to the cloud, which has the same Horizon as on-premises and is easy for experienced users to use. However, in the case of a large-scale VDI environment, the reality is that there are concerns about whether a smooth transition will be possible. Therefore, “VMware Horizon on Azure VMware Solution (Horizon on AVS)” is attracting attention. Horizon on AVS is a configuration in which VMware Horizon is built on AVS in a VMware private cloud environment on Microsoft Azure in the same way as on-premises. VDI on Azure has “VMware Horizon Cloud on Azure (Horizon Cloud on Azure)”, but Horizon on AVS is different in that the Horizon part is also user (customer) management (Fig. 1). “There is an opinion that Horizon Cloud, which is easier to manage, is better, but that is not always the case,” said Hirokazu Kobayashi, Team 1, 3rd Applied Technology Department, Business Development Division, Net One Systems.
Figure 1. Differences from Horizon Cloud on Azure Horizon on AVS has the following advantages. Although there are some restrictions, the same Horizon as on-premises can be used, and high-speed cloning methods such as the same management console and instant clone can be used. Also, because it is ESX-based, it is easy to link with other VMware products, it can be linked on-premise with the Horizon Cloud Pod architecture, and since it is on AVS, VDI is no longer pay-as-you-go. Furthermore, since power management is not required, the merit is greater in the case of dedicated allocation. As you can see, Horizon on AVS has a very high affinity for users who use Horizon on-premises. Horizon Cloud on Azure, on the other hand, is ideal for simplifying management component operations, using Windows 10 multi-sessions, and using GPU-powered machines. The Horizon on AVS configuration recommended by VMware has an upper limit on the VDI that can be deployed on the AVS side, so in a large-scale environment it is necessary to divide the AVS into multiple parts. Therefore, vCenter and VDI on multiple AVS are managed by Horizon, and a Horizon management machine is set up on the Azure native service side. This time, Net One Systems adopted a small-scale configuration for joint verification with Networld (Fig. 2). Build Horizon management components on AVS to reduce pay-as-you-go because you don’t reach the maximum number of machines you can deploy to AVS. If necessary, the Connection Server (CS) and Unified Access Gateway (UAG) can be redundant with the NSX load balancer. Use the public IP function to publish UAG. The person in charge was Mr. Hirokazu Kobayashi, 1st Team, 3rd Applied Technology Department, Business Development Division, NetOne Systems, Mr. Jinichi Tamura, 1st Team, 3rd Applied Technology Department, and Mr. Masaomi Kudo, Solution Architect Division, Networld SI Technology Headquarters. It’s a person. If it is about 50 VM per server, it can sufficiently cope with a sudden increase in load.
Figure 2. Verification configuration The first verification is the difference in environment construction from on-premises. First of all, when installing CS of Horizon 8 or later, you can select the deployment destination, and by selecting Azure, functions that are not available in AVS are automatically disabled. Also note that it consists of the same on-premises software, but some features are not supported by AVS. Second, we conducted a load test on the number of virtual desktops that can be set up on AVS. “Although users don’t pay much attention to it, performance verification is as important as on-premises in order not to reduce VDI performance,” says Kobayashi. In this verification configuration, a total of 150 VDIs, 50 each, were instantly cloned to the Horizon management machine, file server, and 3 hosts on AVS. Then, I created a virtual machine for Horizon Client on the on-premises side and applied a load of 150VDI connection. The Horizon version uses the latest 2012, and the VDI performance uses the same 2vCPU and 8GB memory as the Azure instance. Since the host performance of AVS is a server with 36 CPUs and 576 GB memory, we limited it to 50 VDI per server so as not to overcommit memory. The load test was conducted with all 150 users logging in in 5 minutes, assuming login in the morning from 8:55 to 9:00. The result was server CPU usage 45%, login time 20 seconds with OS customization, server CPU usage 63%, login time 1 minute 20 seconds without OS customization. There is no problem with the load on the CPU and vSAN, and a server of about 50 VM can handle a sudden load. This time it is a small environment, but in the case of a large scale, the management server goes to the Azure side according to the reference architecture, so it is possible to increase the number. However, since the installed memory is currently 576GB, even if the management server is placed on the Azure side, it will be about 60-65VM, so the memory capacity will be a bottleneck. Also, the login time is very fast with OS customization, but it will be slightly slower without OS customization. Therefore, as with on-premises, OS customization is required.