Horizon View 5.3 Appendix D – Pool Settings

In Part 12, I went over how to create an automatic linked clone pool.  One area I quickly glossed over was what the options on the Pool Settings page were and what they controlled.  When setting up your desktop pools, it is important to understand what these options control.

The settings are grouped into four categories: General, Remote Settings, Remote Display Protocol, and Adobe Flash Settings.  General provides options for logins.  Remote Settings handles general desktop behavior for the pool.  Remote display protocol controls options for the display settings in the pool, and Adobe Flash Settings controls how Adobe Flash is managed. 

General Settings

There are two options in the General settings section.  These two options are:

State: State controls whether users can log into the pool or not.  If the pool is set to enabled, entitled users can log in.  If it is disabled, entitled users cannot log in.

Connection Server Restrictions: Horizon View allows Connection Servers to be tagged or grouped.  These tags can be used to control which connection servers can be used to access a pool.  For instance, if you had connection servers tagged Internal and External, you can use the tags to ensure that a pool used by Accounting cannot be accessed from Internet-facing connection servers.


Remote Settings

Remote Settings is an odd name for this group, and it probably should be renamed Pool Settings or merged with general.  This group of settings controls desktop power behavior, logon behavior, and idle session duration.

Remote Desktop Power Policy: This setting controls how the power-state of desktops are managed after the user logs off or the desktop is no longer being used as a spare. The options are:

Take No Power Action: If this option is selected, View will not change the power state after a user logs out or the desktop is no longer needed.  Powered on desktops will remain powered on and desktops that are shut down will remain shut down.

Suspend: Desktops that are no longer needed will be suspended by vCenter instead of shut down. 

Power Off: The desktop is shut down and powered off after the user logs off or the desktop is no longer needed as a spare.

Ensure Desktops are Always Powered On: The desktop is always powered on, even when it is not needed.

More information on these options can be found here.

Automatically Log Off After Disconnect: This setting determines how long a session will remain in a disconnected or idle state before the user is logged out.  The options are:

Never: This is the default option.  Users will remain logged in but disconnected indefinitely.

Immediately: The session will be immediately logged out after disconnection.

After X Minutes: The session will remain disconnected for a length of time determined by the administrator before the session is logged out.

Allow Users to Reset Their Desktop: This setting, if enabled and set to Yes, allows users to reset their desktop manually to a known good setting.

Allow Multiple Sessions Per User: This setting controls whether users are allowed to have multiple concurrent sessions in a pool. 

Delete or Refresh Desktop on Logoff: This setting controls what happens to the virtual desktop after the user logs off.  The options are:

Never: Nothing happens to the desktop after logoff, and it may go into an ‘Already Used’ state.

Delete Immediately: The desktop is deleted from the environment and recreated from scratch.  The VM-ID of the desktop changes with this operation.

Refresh Immediately: The desktop is rolled back to the last good snapshot, but it is not deleted.  The VM-ID of the desktop is not changed when this operation occurs.

Remote Display Protocol

The Remote Display Protocol section controls some of the settings that govern remote connections to the pool. 

Default Display Protocol: This setting controls the default protocol that is used between the virtual desktop and the client.  The two options are PCoIP and Microsoft RDP. 

This isn’t the only place that display settings are configured.  Fine-grained control over the PCoIP protocol is done via Group Policy through the included ADM files on the Connection Server.

Allow users to choose protocol: If this is set to yes, the user can change the protocol when logging into the pool.  If set to no, the user will always use the default protocol.

3D Renderer: If the pool is using a desktop built on Windows 7 or newer, PCoIP is the default protocol, and the user is not allowed to choose the protocol, 3D rendering settings can be configured for the pool.  Hardware, software, and automatic are the options that can be selected, and the amount of video memory can be configured as well.

Max Number of Monitors: The maximum number of monitors that users will be able to utilize when logging into their virtual desktop when using PCoIP.  The default is 2, but four monitors can be supported as well.  This setting, along with Max Resolution, is used to determine video RAM if 3D Rendering is disabled.

Max Resolution of any one monitor: This is the maximum screen resolution supported on any desktop when using PCoIP.  This setting, along with Max Resolution, is used to determine video RAM if 3D Rendering is disabled.

HTML Access: If the HTML Access component is installed on your connection brokers and Feature Pack 1 is installed on the desktop, you can enable HTML Access.  When this setting is enabled, users can log into the desktop pool using VMware Blast and any HTML5 compatible browser.


Adobe Flash Settings

The final group of settings that can be configured are for managing Adobe Flash.  These settings can control the quality of Flash content in order to reduce the amount of bandwidth that a virtual desktop utilizes.

The two settings that can be configured here are:

Adobe Flash Quality: This setting controls the image quality of Flash content.

Adobe Flash Throttling: This setting controls the framerate of the Flash content.  The more aggressive the setting, the lower the frame rate.

As I mentioned above, there are settings that can control image quality, bandwidth usage, and other settings inside the virtual desktop that can be set with Group Policy.  I’ll go over more details on how to do that in an upcoming appendix.