VMwareTV releases new VMware View 5 videos

VMwareTV, VMware’s YouTube channel, just released some great videos on View 5.

This video shows the steps in entitling users to a pool of desktops using the View 5.0 Administrator.

This video shows the steps in creating a linked clone pool of desktops using the View 5.0 Administrator.

This video shows the steps in entitling a ThinApp application to a pool of desktops using the View 5.0 Administrator.

This video shows the steps in importing and editing the VMware View persona management group policy in an Active Directory server supporting a View 5.0 infrastructure.

Understand the PCoIP protocol that powers VMware View desktops. Learn how to tune the PCoIP protocol for different workloads to optimize performance.

This session will cover the basic features of VMware View Persona Management and the appropriate use cases where it provides the right fit. It will contain a brief demo of setting it up, including the most common settings to be used.

Learn how to troubleshoot VMware View from some of the best field troubleshooters. See how to identify the failure domain and obtain clues that point to root causes and how to resolve problems quickly and efficiently. You will be able to identify key logs and critical indicators of problems as well as determine if View is running smoothly.

Learn the tips and tricks to provide your business a data back up and recovery solution for the datacenter. This session covers back up requirements and storage design for different components and provides a reference architecture used to build this solution.

These videos are also available at VMware View Bootcamp page: http://communities.vmware.com/community/vmtn/desktop/view/bootcamp

VMware View and OS activation

This is on the same note as my previous post so please check that out here.

So when using VDA licences you either get MAK or KMS licenses. Also sometimes you don’t want to setup a KMS infrastructure.

I will not go into detail what the difference is between MAK and KMS because that will require a long and tedious post.

Activating a Virtual Desktop with these two kind of license models are quite different.


  • When using KMS, the desktop only needs access to the KMS server and it will be activated.
  • You can create desktops using both QuickPrep or SysPrep.
  • As such VMware View was intended to use KMS activation.


  • When using MAK, you use a “multiple activation key” to activate the desktops.
  • You can only create desktop using QuickPrep. You will need to activate the “golden” image for recomposing.
  • Sysprep will not allow the desktops to activate as the user needs to be a admin on the desktop. Thats really nothing you would want.


VMware View and Microsoft OS licensing

This subject is very important for all View setups and designs, especially for the SMB. Which Microsoft OS packages are best for VMware View implementations?
The answer is, as always, it depends 🙂

First we have several ways of licensing desktops; OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer), FPP (Full Packaged Product), Volume Licensing and SA (Software Assurance).

  • OEM: Pre-installed on hardware manufactured by authorized computer manufacturers. These licenses are non transferable and are not an option in VDI infrastructures.
  • FPP: Boxed software sold by resellers. Includes one license for retail machines. Not used with large-scale VDI deployments. Can be used as a single VM per server (not really an option), or buy a another FPP for each VM that will accessed on a device with a FPP (cheaper to get SA). Can not move VM’s between servers.
  • VL: Used by organization that need five or more licenses. Has the same limitations as FPP licenses. Can be used with VDA (Virtual Desktop Access) subscriptions.
  • SA: Upgrade from VL. Includes VDA rights.

Second we have the two licensing offerings that can be used in View environments.

  • Software Assurance Windows Virtual Desktop Access Use Right (SA).
    • Can not use this with Zero clients.
    • Only usable with licensed PCs.
    • Roaming rights – user can access their VM on corporate devices.


  • Windows Virtual Desktop Access subscription (VDA) using VL.
    • If using Zero Client you will need VDA.
    • Monthly fee – paid per year – contract for 3 years.
    • About 100$ p. year for each device
    • Access to Win 7, Vista and XP on View virtual machine
    • Single licence allows 4 concurrent access to 4 VM’s
    • Reassignment rights to another device after 90 days, or in case of a failure.
    • KMS or MAK activation.
    • Call support + other SA stuff (training and such)
    • Extended roaming rights – user can access their desktop on personal devices.
    • OS entitlement: Win 7 Enterprise, Win 7 Pro.
    • *Note; not available for Campuses or Schools.

So there you have two packages, but what about availability?

  • You can either buy VDA licences for their solution or upgrade their current licence agreement to include SA.
  • SA is available from any Microsoft representative.
  • VDA subscription is available as an additional product on most organizations agreements.

Examples of use:

Corporate use:

  • 100 Devices, but only 50 concurrent users = 100 VDA licences or part of SA
  • 50 thin clients, 50 devices= 50 VDA licences for thin clients (and 50 for the device if not under SA)
  • 100 Devices, accessing 150 VMs = Part of SA, or 100 VDA licensing.
  • So as you can see its, all about devices, and if you are using thin clients you need licences for each client.

Home use:

  • Occasional use: no additional licences if the user is the primary user of the device in work.
    • I’m not sure what occasional use is or what primary user means. But this is the one for employee owned tablets and PCs.
  • 100% home users: VDA licence for each device, even if its employee owned.

Contractor PC’s: VDA licence for each device within 6 months.

So there you have it:

  • Either you have SA or buy an additional VDA subscription for your organization agreements.
  • If you will be using Thin clients, you will need a VDA licence for each.
  • Licence amount depend on device count, and seemingly if the device has a “main” user.
  • Note: As Ian Forbes (thanks!) pointed out in the comments, is that you will need CALs (on the server side, AD etc)  for the VDI VMs just to connect to various Microsoft services. So make sure to include those licences as  well as a part of a design (if they aren’t a part of a higher level licencing, like SA or ELA agreements).

You can also read everything about Microsoft Desktop licensing here:

License Windows for Virtual Desktops

Microsoft: Licensing for Virtual environments


VMware View 5 User Management Overview

I just set up a View 5.0 enviroment the other day and I found my self discussing with the client where the user profiles should be stored and how important user experience in View deployments is.

So I thought it would help a lot creating a small list of pros and cons of user profiles in View deployments, based user assignment in pools versus Windows profile management.

Dedicated Pool with Persistent Disk:

No User Management: The persistent disk is used to store Application Data, Registry Entries, My Documents and all folders in C:\Users/Documents and Setting/%username%. This is done using local GP.

With Windows Roaming Profile: The persistent disk take precedence. Nothing is roamed as Windows Roaming Profiles are applied as domain Group Policy.

With Windows Folder Redirection: The persistent disk takes precedence. Nothing is redirected. UPDATE* You can turn on Folder redirection. (Thx NetMedic 🙂 )

With View 5 Persona Management: Nothing is managed unless the Group policy is applied on the Image is self.

Dedicated without Persistent Disk:

No User Management: Everything is saved on the C: drive and will be deleted next time the pool is recomposed.

With Windows Roaming Profiles: The Profile is downloaded at first login to the VM, and when the pool is recomposed, the profile needs to be downloaded again. This will increase the size of the OS disk. Danger of profile corruption or the profile is not uploaded correctly at log-off.

With Windows Folder Redirection: Redirect folders to a network share rather than use the OS disk for data storage. Often used with Windows Roaming Profiles to streamline the login process. Used in all organizations that like to backup/control their user data J.

With View 5 Persona Management: A network share is used to store User Profiles and they are streamed to the View Desktop as needed. Data is synchronized every few minutes.


No User Management: Everything is saved on the C: drive and will be deleted next time the pool is recomposed or refreshed. Users gets a random VM from the pool and setting will never be the same.

With Windows Roaming Profiles: The profile is downloaded every time the user gets a new machine from the pool. Not a feasible choice with Floating Pools.

With Windows Folder Redirection: Folders are redirected but this is needs to be used with other user management tactics. Used with Windows Roaming profiles to decrease the size of the roaming profile.

With View 5 Persona Management: A network share is used to store User Profiles and they are streamed to the View Desktop as needed. If organizations are licensed for this feature this is the one that should be used instead of the slower Windows roaming profiles+folder redirection.

A small Excel chart for some overview of the user management:


Change in the certification Path for VMware Desktop Certifications

I received a email from VMware certification team received a email from the VMware certification team today informing there has been a change in the path for their desktop certifications.
Now instead of taking the VCA-DT first to take the VCP-DT, you have to have a “normal” VCP to be able to take the VCP-DT.  See here.

So VCA-DT isn’t a prerequisite for anything :). Its still good for View Administrators that won’t be doing a lot of planning for View enviroments though

75% improvement in WAN bandwidth with View 5

I saw this in the blogosphere :http://blogs.vmware.com/euc/2011/07/pcoip-enhancements-coming-to-vmware-view-75-bandwidth-improvement.html
Like the sound of that! Can’t wait for the next version of View.


So I got a letter the other day saying I passed the VCP-DT beta exam 🙂
The exam itself was longer than usual as this was a beta exam. All I can recommend studying is the View architecture notes and it helps to have designed some View enviroments.
Next up is VCP5 in the beginning of September 🙂


Yesterday I finished taking the VCA-DT exam at a Pearson Vue test center. Somehow I thought this test would be easier as there were some tough ones there. I passed though. 🙂
My recommendations for studying for this exam is to focus on the Admin guide and get lots of hands on with View setups.
Next I need to wait for the results from the VCP-DT beta exam I took 9 weeks ago 🙂

SSO timeout in VMware View

While browsing the View MGMT guide, like I do every coffee break 🙂 I saw this this nice feature that should be regarded as a critical config in all View enviroments.

When View users use the software View client the screen locks after 15 min, but anyone can disconnect the client and reconnect and voila, their desktop is unlocked and free for browsing.

This setting in View is the Single-Sign-On timeout, so after the time out period the user needs to sign in again.

So here is what needs to be done: Edit the LDAP directory with a edtior (ADSI Editor).

Change the pae-SSOCredentialCacheTimeout value, and it is set to minutes:

-1 = never timeout

0 = disable SSO

Anything greater then 0 is the amount of minutes that the Connection Server waits until the credentials timeout.