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VMware EUC stack upgrade – Legacy? or Modernizing? or Middleground?

14 Sep

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 2.18.10.10 (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.

ProductUpgrade DecisionVerison 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)
Horizon 7.13.1
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 2.18.10.10
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
Upgrade Decision Matrix

The above stack provides us with the required General Availability support until Q2 FY2022 and beyond.

Wishlist

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:

DescriptionLinks
VMware Product Interoperability MatrixProduct Interoperability Matrix (vmware.com)
Product DocumentationVMware Horizon Documentation
VMware App Volumes Documentation
VMware Dynamic Environment Manager (Formerly Known as VMware User Environment Manager) Documentation
Techzone Migrating Legacy Horizon Components to Modern Alternatives

View Composer –> Instant Clones
Security Server –> UAG
Persona –> DEM
Persistent Disk – FSLogix
Modernizing VDI for a New Horizon | VMware
App Volumes Upgrade considerationsVMware App Volumes 4 Installation and Upgrade Considerations | VMware
Fling Migrate App Volumes AppStack from 2.18.x to 4.xApp Volumes Migration Utility | VMware Flings
Supported Windows 10 versions based on Horizon AgentSupported versions of Windows 10 on Horizon Agent Including All VDI Clones (Full Clones, Instant Clones, and Linked Clones on Horizon 7) (2149393) (vmware.com)
VMware EUC Stack Agent OrderAgent installation order for Horizon View, Dynamic Environment Manager, and App Volumes (2118048) (vmware.com)
Supported Windows 10 versions based on App Volumes AgentVMware App Volumes and Microsoft Windows 10 Support
VMware Product Lifecycle – End of LifeProduct Lifecycle Matrix (vmware.com)
Reference Material

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.

Thanks,
Aresh Sarkari

vRealize Operations Manager – Monitor Management Packs for Availability and Notification

25 Apr

If you are using multiple vRealize Operations Manager (vROPS) – Management Packs like Horizon, VSAN, NSX and vCenter and want to monitor their availability of the adapter/POD in terms of whether they are “Collecting Data” and get notified via email when the collection of data stops due to unknown reasons. Then go ahead and read further.

If you don’t setup the monitoring one doesn’t get notified until someone logins to the vROPS Manager and see the adapter status physically.

Adapter Status:
vROPS VMware Horizon Management Pack

Collection State/Status:
vROPS - Hoirzon Adapter

To achieve the above its a 3 steps process. You will have to create the following:

  • Custom Symptom Definition
  • Custom Alert Definition
  • Custom Notification

Symptom Definitions

We will create four custom Symptom Definition (SD) for Horizon Adapter, Horizon POD as it collects data, vCenter instances and VSAN Adapter. Following are the SD combined:

Custom Symptom Definitions
  • Horizon Adapter Instance
    • Open the vROPS Manager and navigate to Alerts – Symptom Definitions
    • Click on the +
    • Under the Base Object Type Select – View Adapter Instance
    • Under Metrics Select vRealize Operations Generated – Availability
    • Enter a Symptom Definition Name – SD_Horizon_Adapter_Avail
    • is – Critical
    • metric – is less than
    • Numeric Value – 1
    • Under Advance
      • Wait Cycle – 3
      • Cancel Cycle – 3
      • Recommended – The wait/cancel cycle of 3 means that in case of any failure user will be notified after 15 minutes (3 cycles x default 5 minutes data collection interval)
Symptom - View Adapter Instance
  • vCenter Adapter – vCenter

    • Open the vROPS Manager and navigate to Alerts – Symptom Definitions
    • Click on the +
    • Under the Base Object Type Select – vCenter Server
    • Under Metrics Select vRealize Operations Generated – Availability
    • Enter a Symptom Definition Name – SD_vCenter_Adapter_Avail
    • is – Critical
    • metric – is less than
    • Numeric Value – 1
    • Under Advance
      • Wait Cycle – 3
        • Cancel Cycle – 3
          • Recommended – The wait/cancel cycle of 3 means that in case of any failure user will be notified after 15 minutes (3 cycles x default 5 minutes data collection interval)
      Symptom - vCenter Adapter Instance
      • View POD

        • Open the vROPS Manager and navigate to Alerts – Symptom Definitions
        • Click on the +
        • Under the Base Object Type Select – View POD
        • Under Metrics Select vRealize Operations Generated – Availability
        • Enter a Symptom Definition Name – SD_View_POD_Avail
        • is – Critical
        • metric – is less than
        • Numeric Value – 1
        • Under Advance
          • Wait Cycle – 3
            • Cancel Cycle – 3
              • Recommended – The wait/cancel cycle of 3 means that in case of any failure user will be notified after 15 minutes (3 cycles x default 5 minutes data collection interval)
          Symptom - View POD

          • VSAN Adapter Instance
            • Open the vROPS Manager and navigate to Alerts – Symptom Definitions
            • Click on the +
            • Under the Base Object Type Select – VSAN Adapter Instance
            • Under Metrics Select vRealize Operations Generated – Availability
            • Enter a Symptom Definition Name – SD_VSAN_Adapter_Avail
            • is – Critical
            • metric – is less than
            • Numeric Value – 1
            • Under Advance
              • Wait Cycle – 3
                • Cancel Cycle – 3
                  • Recommended – The wait/cancel cycle of 3 means that in case of any failure user will be notified after 15 minutes (3 cycles x default 5 minutes data collection interval)
              Symptom - VSAN Adapter Instance

              Alert Definitions

              We will create four custom Alert Definition (AD) for Horizon Adapter, Horizon POD as it collects data, vCenter instances and VSAN Adapter. Following are the AD combined:

              Custom Alert Definitions
              • Horizon Adapter Instance
                • Open the vROPS Manager and navigate to Alerts – Alert Definitions
                • Click on the +
                • Enter a Name – AD_Horizon_Adapter
                • Under the Base Object Type Select – View Adapter Instance
                • Under the Alert Impact
                  • Impact – Health
                  • Criticality – Symptom Based
                  • Alert Type and Subtype – Virtualization/Hypervisor: Availability
                  • Wait Cycle – 1
                  • Cancel Cycle – 1
                • Under Add Symptom Definitions
                  • Defined on – Self
                  • Symptom Definition Type – Metric /Property
                  • In the search box enter the previously created Symptom Definition – SD_Horizon_Adapter_Avail
                • Under Add Recommendations – Search and Select “Check if the resources are available. If it isn’t restart it. If it is available check the network connectivity between the remote checks and the resource
              Alert - Horizon Adapter


              • vCenter Adapter Instance
                • Open the vROPS Manager and navigate to Alerts – Alert Definitions
                • Click on the +
                • Enter a Name – AD_vCenter_Adapter
                • Under the Base Object Type Select –  vCenter Server
                • Under the Alert Impact
                  • Impact – Health
                  • Criticality – Symptom Based
                  • Alert Type and Subtype – Virtualization/Hypervisor: Availability
                  • Wait Cycle – 1
                  • Cancel Cycle – 1
                • Under Add Symptom Definitions
                  • Defined on – Self
                  • Symptom Definition Type – Metric /Property
                  • In the search box enter the previously created Symptom Definition – SD_vCenter_Adapter_Avail
                • Under Add Recommendations – Search and Select “Check if the resources are available. If it isn’t restart it. If it is available check the network connectivity between the remote checks and the resource
              Alert - vCenter Adapter
              • View POD
                • Open the vROPS Manager and navigate to Alerts – Alert Definitions
                • Click on the +
                • Enter a Name – AD_View_PODS
                • Under the Base Object Type Select –  View Pod
                • Under the Alert Impact
                  • Impact – Health
                  • Criticality – Symptom Based
                  • Alert Type and Subtype – Virtualization/Hypervisor: Availability
                  • Wait Cycle – 1
                  • Cancel Cycle – 1
                • Under Add Symptom Definitions
                  • Defined on – Self
                  • Symptom Definition Type – Metric /Property
                  • In the search box enter the previously created Symptom Definition – SD_View_PODS_Avail
                • Under Add Recommendations – Search and Select “Check if the resources are available. If it isn’t restart it. If it is available check the network connectivity between the remote checks and the resource
              Alert - View POD
              • VSAN Adapter Instance
                • Open the vROPS Manager and navigate to Alerts – Alert Definitions
                • Click on the +
                • Enter a Name – AD_VSAN_Adapter
                • Under the Base Object Type Select –  vSAN Adapter Instance
                • Under the Alert Impact
                  • Impact – Health
                  • Criticality – Symptom Based
                  • Alert Type and Subtype – Virtualization/Hypervisor: Availability
                  • Wait Cycle – 1
                  • Cancel Cycle – 1
                • Under Add Symptom Definitions
                  • Defined on – Self
                  • Symptom Definition Type – Metric /Property
                  • In the search box enter the previously created Symptom Definition – SD_VSAN_Adapter_Avail
                • Under Add Recommendations – Search and Select “Check if the resources are available. If it isn’t restart it. If it is available check the network connectivity between the remote checks and the resource
              Alert - VSAN Adpater

              Notifications

              We will create four Notification Rules for Horizon Adapter, Horizon POD as it collects data, vCenter instances and VSAN Adapter. Following are the Rules for Email Alerts combined:

              Custom Notification Rules
              • Rule – Horizon Adapter Instance is down
                • Open the vROPS Manager and navigate to Alerts – Notification Settings
                • Click on the +
                • Enter a Name – _Horizon_Adapter is down
                • Under Method Select – Standard Email Plugin
                • Instance – SMTP (previous configured)
                • Enter Recipients – Email Address
                • Notification Trigger – Alert Definition
                • Add the previously created _AD_Horizon_Adapter
              Notification - Horizon Adapter

              • Rule – vCenter Adapter Instance is down
                • Open the vROPS Manager and navigate to Alerts – Notification Settings
                • Click on the +
                • Enter a Name – _vCenter_Adapter is down
                • Under Method Select – Standard Email Plugin
                • Instance – SMTP (previous configured)
                • Enter Recipients – Email Address
                • Notification Trigger – Alert Definition
                • Add the previously created _AD_vCenter_Adapter
              Notification - vCenter Adapter

              • Rule – View POD is down
                • Open the vROPS Manager and navigate to Alerts – Notification Settings
                • Click on the +
                • Enter a Name – _View_POD is down
                • Under Method Select – Standard Email Plugin
                • Instance – SMTP (previous configured)
                • Enter Recipients – Email Address
                • Notification Trigger – Alert Definition
                • Add the previously created _AD_View_POD
              Notification - View POD

              • Rule – VSAN Adapter is down
                • Open the vROPS Manager and navigate to Alerts – Notification Settings
                • Click on the +
                • Enter a Name – _VSAN_Adapter is down
                • Under Method Select – Standard Email Plugin
                • Instance – SMTP (previous configured)
                • Enter Recipients – Email Address
                • Notification Trigger – Alert Definition
                • Add the previously created _AD_VSAN_Adapter
              Notification - VSAN Adapter

              I hope you will find this post useful and will help you improvise on monitoring/alerting of your vROPS Management Packs. A big thanks to Gagik Manukyan in demonstrating the ability to configure this in our internal setup.

              Thanks,
              Aresh Sarkari