Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Deploying virtual desktops with Virtual Iron on Windows (2/2)

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...Continued from part 1

Configuring the Virtual Access Suite

The first step in configuring the Virtual Access Suite is to create a new database. Start the Provision Management Console and then click the New Data Source button when you are prompted to configure the Provision database. Provide the following information to create your new data source:

  • Server Name: servername (name of your Windows 2003 Server virtual machine)\PROVISION
  • New Database: (accept the default)
  • SQL Admin Name and Password: sa (and use the password from earlier. Example: "Prvi$in1"
  • New Provision SQL Login Name: (accept the default)
  • New Provision SQL Login Password: (accept the default)
  • New Data Source (DSN): (accept the default)
  • Click Create and confirm passwords
  • Enter your company and contact information, click Save and Close.

Next expand the servers node in the left-hand pane of the Provision Management Console, right-click the Connection Brokers node and select New Connection Broker. On the General tab put the name or IP address of your Windows 2003 Server virtual machine.

Adding your Virtual Infrastructure to the Virtual Access Suite

We are now going to provision the XP virtual machines to complete our Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. In the left-hand pane of the Provision Management Console, right-click the Managed Desktops node and select New DataCenter and then select Create Manually. Name your new data center and click OK. Right-click the name of the new data center you just created and select New Managed Desktop Group. A wizard will guide you through this process.

When prompted for a domain administrative account, use the VAS account we created earlier in the Preparing the Virtual Infrastructure section. After you click Finish you will be prompted to add desktops to the new Managed Desktop Group. You can enter new desktops to the group by choosing one of the tabs labeled Browsing for Computer, Computer Name or IP Address Range. I used the IP address range option and entered the range containing the XP virtual machines. You should now see all your XP virtual machines listed in the Managed Desktop Group you created.

Next install the PNTools agent to your XP virtual machines. Select all your XP virtual machines listed in the Managed Desktop Group you created, right-click and select Install\Update. If this process fails, double check the VAS account to make sure it has admin rights to all your XP virtual machines and that the desktop firewall is not blocking communication between the Windows 2003 Server virtual machine and the XP virtual machines.

The last step is to publish your virtual desktops. In the left-hand pane, select the Managed Desktop Group you created. Select the tab Managed Applications in the right-hand pane. From the Actions menu select New Application and provide a unique name on the general tab for the published desktop. Click Change Type button and select Desktop. On the User Experience tab select a folder to display the published desktop to the client. In the Desktop Integration section check the Desktop box. Use the defaults on the Published On tab and lastly on the Access Control List tab add the XP Users group we created earlier.

Client configuration

The VDI environment is finally ready to test. Use a physical client computer which has network connectivity to your virtual infrastructure. Download and install the VAS client from Provision Networks website. After the client is installed, launch the Virtual Access Client. Select the Actions menu and then select Manage Connection. Click New and then Create Manually. Add the IP address of your Windows 2003 Server virtual machine and 8080 for the TCP port. Click the Test Connection button and enter the username and password for one of the users you created earlier. Click OK.

The Virtual Access Client should now be connected to your VDI, and you should be able to launch a virtual desktop.

For more information, you can check out the VAS Admin Guide 5.8 (doc. rev. 2).

Source: Excerpts from the article written by Scott Floyd, the Director of security for a financial institution.

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