It was that time of the year to perform a VMware End-User Computing (EUC) stack upgrade on the environment, and I thought of sharing the overall thought process and decisions made along the way. It will be interesting to share with others who might be in a similar situation or process of developing their upgrade/migration strategies. In this post, we shall take a look into these topics:
- Current versions of the VMware EUC Stack
- What version numbers did we upgrade/migrated to?
- Why did we migrate to these versions?
- Wishlist (Someone Listening?)
- Valuable links to reference during upgrade/migration
Current versions of the VMware EUC Stack
- VMware Horizon 7.11 (Connection Server/Agents)
- VMware Horizon Client 5.5
- VMware App Volumes 2.18.1.x Manager/VMware App Volumes 2.18.5 Agent version
- VMware Workspace ONE Access 20.01/Connector 1903 (Not in scope for the upgrade)
- VMware Dynamic Environment Manager 9.10
- VMware Unified Access Gateway 3.10
What versions numbers did we upgrade/migrated to?
- VMware Horizon 7.13.1 (Connection Server/Agents)
- VMware Horizon Client 5.5.2
- VMware App Volumes 126.96.36.199 (Manager/Agents)
- VMware Dynamic Environment Manager 2103
- VMware Unified Access Gateway 2103.1
Why did we migrate to these versions?
The obvious question everyone might ask is the latest versions are Horizon 8.x and App Volumes 4.x why are you picking older versions for the upgrade? The short answer is the limitations and trade-off, and the following matrix tries to uncover in more detail.
Note – Not all customers might fall under the limitation category, or the limiting feature/functionality could be different in your case. By no means this should be your defacto reasons. Make sure to evaluate your situation and create a matrix to make a data-driven decision. If the project is greenfield/no-limitations applied, it’s a no-brainer to opt for the latest product releases.
|Product||Upgrade Decision||Verison of Choice|
|VMware Horizon||++ We had all the boxes ticked from a feature/functionality standpoint to be able to upgrade/migrate to Horizon 8.x version. (Instant Clones, Printing, UAG etc.). Infact everything worked well in the development environment|
++ The latest vROPS Horizon Adapter 1.2/Horizon 8.x version doesn’t include the built-in Horizon reports. We use the reporting feature for all sorts of custom reporting on Horizon PODs. The older version of vROPS Horizon Adapter 6.7.1/Horizon 7.x has all the existing metrics and reporting available but doesn’t include support for Horizon 8.x on the support matrix
++ The no reporting on the Horizon Adapter 1.2 + limited metrics on RDSH limited our ability to move to the latest version of Horizon 8.x. Once the built-in reports\metrics and guidance is made available, we shall jump onto the latest version (n-1)
|VMware App Volumes||++ Lack of Writable Volumes (UIA+Profile and UIA) migrations from 2.18.x to 4.x. Need official guidance or tool/script/guidance to upgrade all the wrtiable of the 2.18.x environment to 4.x. I am sure alot of enterprise customers will have plenty of Writable Volumes to migrate and don’t have the flexibility to start from scratch on a new version|
++ VMware AppStack Migration fling is the perfect migration utility to migrate AppStacks 2.18.x to 4.x need something similar for Writable Volumes
|App Volumes 188.8.131.52|
|VMware Dynamic Environment Manager||++ This was the only piece of software that didn’t have interoperability or upgrade complexity. The obvious choice was to upgrade to the latest (n-1)||DEM 2103|
|VMware Unified Access Gateway||++ The appliance has no interoperability issues with Horizon 7.13.1 or upgrade complexity. The obvious choice was to upgrade to the latest (n-1)||UAG 2103.1|
The above stack provides us with the required General Availability support until Q2 FY2022 and beyond.
I am looking forward to vROPS Horizon Adapter XX to include the built-in Horizon Reports/Additional Metrics for RDSH in the new version or provide detailed guidance on creating meaningful reports in future releases. Additionally, the App Volumes team releases tools and advice on migrating 4000’s+ Writable Volumes from 2.18.x to 4.x. Once the above is released, I plan to upgrade to the branch of Horizon 8.x and App Volumes 4.x releases version numbers.
Valuable links to reference during upgrades
Here is the cheat sheet for all the useful links to review and formulate an upgrade plan:
I hope you will find the above information useful in your enterprise upgrade/migrate strategy for VMware EUC Stack. I would love to hear your strategy and similar situations limiting your ability to migrate to the latest and greatest versions.