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  • Learning the Basics of VMware Horizon 7.12 – Part 3 – Virtual Machine and Computer Details

    June 3, 2020

    Blog, VMware

    [Updated 4-Sep-2021]

    With an overview of the Horizon lab and the required software downloaded, it is time to go over the VM details.

    From Part 1, here is the list of computers built for this lab.

    1. Server 2019 domain controllers
    2. Server 2019 file server
    3. Server 2019 Windows Certificate Authority
    4. Server 2019 IGEL management server
    5. Server 2019 ControlUp management server
    6. Server 2019 for Microsoft SQL Server 2017
    7. Windows 10 1909 Enterprise Edition for the Horizon 7 Management PC
    8. Windows 10 1909 Enterprise Edition for the physical computer install
    9. Server 2019 for the Connection Server
    10. Server 2019 for the RDS Server Master Image
    11. Windows 10 1909 Enterprise Edition for the Windows 10 Master Image

    The first six computers are part of my “permanent” infrastructure and run on XenServer 8.1. I added number seven to the XenServer pool just for this lab, as shown in Figure 1.

    Figure 1
    Figure 1

    Computer eight is a physical computer that doesn’t require a hypervisor.

    Computers 9 through 11 eventually are in vCenter.

    In my vCenter, as shown in Figure 2, I have the vCenter appliance, an old XenApp 6.5 server (because I don’t want ever to install and update Windows Server 2008 R2 again), a Server 2019, and a Windows 10 1909 template.

    Figure 2
    Figure 2

    These two articles explain why I recommend DirectPath I/O is disabled.

    DirectPath I/O

    DirectPath I/O option is enabled automatically when a virtual machine with VMXNET3 is created using the vSphere WebClient

    Comments from one of my VMware mentors on disabling DirectPath I/O on the vmxnet3 NIC.

    This feature mention in the docs is only not usable if the virtual machine is configured with a passthrough PCI device. When the feature is only enabled at the VM configuration level, then the KB does not apply.

    Regarding the KB article, it would be good to mention that it’s better to disable it when using DirectPath I/O in the environment (if there is used for DirectPath I/O in the environment at all then keeping it enabled as a feature at the VM level will not have any kind of impact).

    I made sure power management on the NIC was disabled for every virtual and physical computer, and Receive Side Scaling was enabled, as shown in Figures 15 and 16. Every computer is domain-joined.

    Figure 15
    Figure 15


    Figure 16
    Figure 16

    For the two Master Images, I made no image optimizations and implemented no Folder Redirection or Profile Management policies or systems. You are free to do what you need to test in your lab.

    You may not have the lab resources I have. Feel free to combine multiple roles on one server if you follow the vendor’s system requirements.

    For example:

    • Don’t install IGEL UMS on a domain controller
    • Don’t install SQL Server on a domain controller
    • Please don’t install a Certificate Authority on a domain controller; otherwise, a kitten may die
    • The Connection Server must be a dedicated server

    Up next: A look at my ControlUp and IGEL management servers

    About Carl Webster

    Carl Webster is an independent consultant specializing in Citrix, Active Directory, and technical documentation. Carl (aka “Webster”) serves the broader Citrix community by writing articles (see and by being the most active person in the Citrix Zone on Experts Exchange. Webster has a long history in the IT industry beginning with mainframes in 1977, PCs and application development in 1986, and network engineering in 2001. He has worked with Citrix products since 1990 with the premiere of their first product – the MULTIUSER OS/2.

    View all posts by Carl Webster

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