Evaluation Guide for VMware Horizon Cloud Service on Microsoft Azure

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This evaluation guide exposes you to VMware Horizon® Cloud Service™ on Microsoft Azure. Horizon Cloud Service’s administration features and Azure’s cost-cutting capabilities, such as Azure Virtual Desktops, come together in this solution.

Manage virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and published applications on Microsoft Azure, RDSH servers, or Windows 10/Windows 11 Enterprise multi-session desktops with Horizon Cloud. You have the flexibility to choose the deployment option that best matches the needs of your company or use cases.

This article outlines the process of deploying Horizon Cloud Service components into your Microsoft Azure capacity. The result of this procedure is the Horizon Cloud pod, which interacts with the flying control centre. You may then utilise the control plane to establish farms of RDSH servers and Windows 10 or Windows 11 Enterprise multi-session desktops, and to manage and distribute virtual desktops and published applications to your end users. Simple agent updates for virtual machines hosting VDI and RDSH can also be automated.

Why This Manual Exists

The tutorials in this guide help you evaluate this product through a series of practical tasks. You will deploy the Horizon Cloud manager–based pod into your Microsoft Azure capacity and then study essential capabilities and critical features.

Warning: This guide’s exercises are intended just for gauging the feasibility of a basic deployment and do not test all of its capabilities. The generated environment should not be used as a template for deploying a production environment. To deploy a production environment, consult the Horizon Cloud Service documentation.


Those in the roles of security architect, engineer, or administrator with an interest in or experience with setting up a Horizon Cloud Service on Microsoft Azure infrastructure may find this book invaluable.

You should be comfortable with VMware Horizon® and VMware Unified Access GatewayTM, as well as common Windows data centre technologies including Microsoft Azure and Active Directory. See What Is VMware Horizon for an overview.

Virtualization, cloud computing, network routing, and firewall security architecture are other helpful skills to have. Knowledge of compatibility is also useful when using VMware Horizon Cloud Service on Microsoft Azure (see VMware Product Interoperability Matrices) (see VMware Product Interoperability Matrices).

Please be aware that not all of the information presented in this guide will apply to your deployment. Parts that aren’t required to be filled out have been labelled as such. Please contact your VMware sales rep if you have any questions about your order.

An Overview of the Technology and Its Key Components

Horizon Cloud Service offers scalable desktop as a service (DaaS) for the delivery of virtual desktops and apps. Together, VMware’s hosted cloud service, your allocated Azure capacity running on top of Azure Virtual Desktops, and the VMware applications you deploy into that capacity make up the Horizon Cloud tenant environment.

VMware’s Horizon Cloud Service delivers a unified cloud control plane for managing and orchestrating remote desktops and apps hosted on Microsoft Azure from a central location. The Horizon Universal Console, or console for short, is a unified user interface for cloud and web-based management that is hosted in the cloud control plane.

To deploy VMware software into an Azure capacity that supports it, you will first need to log into the Horizon Universal Console, a cloud-based gateway. The pods are physically positioned in your provided capacity surroundings.

Horizon Cloud’s pod management technology, as opposed to Horizon Connection Server software utilised in a VMware vSphere® architecture, serves as the foundation for a Horizon Cloud pod.
When the pod has been successfully deployed, it must be onboarded, or connected to the cloud’s management system.
There, you can set up users with their own digital workstations, RDSH servers, multiple desktop virtual machines, and application distribution quotas.
You can also use all of the capabilities provided by the Horizon Control Plane to exert authority over numerous Horizon clouds.

Capabilities and Advantages

Horizon Cloud Service on Microsoft Azure is notable for the following features:

Virtual desktop infrastructure allows for the delivery of applications and desktops in both static and dynamic desktop configurations (VDI). When you utilise Azure Virtual Desktop, you can take advantage of features like in-built licencing, discounted Azure instance pricing, and the multi-session desktop OS Windows 10 or Windows 11 Enterprise.
Affordable power monitoring and hourly billing: You benefit from consumption-based pricing for capacity, as well as no upfront expenditures or termination fees. Horizon Cloud includes built-in tools that automatically allocate and deallocate RD Session Hosts according on demand. For VDI machines, you can schedule powering off for weekends, holidays, and non-working hours. Read the Tech Zone article Power Management on VMware Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure for more information.
Easy setup and administration: Service deployment to your own Microsoft Azure machine can take as little as 60 minutes, depending on the complexity of your configuration. Even though you have deployments across several Microsoft Azure regions, you still utilise the same cloud-based management UI to configure and administer all your Horizon Cloud environments.
Horizon Cloud Service on Microsoft Azure eliminates the requirement for a third-party or other tool for cloud monitoring and image management. We’ve included a new cloud-based monitoring function that lets you keep tabs on your deployment without leaving the unified user interface. With image management, you can easily deploy consistent, up-to-date images to all of your on-premises and cloud-based Horizon VMs.
VMware is a Certified Azure Virtual Desktop Solution provider, meaning customers with a Microsoft 365 subscription or Enterprise Agreement can use the Azure Virtual Desktop features in Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure. This includes Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session, which is specific to Azure Virtual Desktop.
Aspects of the Structure and Components

The core elements of Horizon Cloud Service include:

  • Managing the Horizon Cloud using the Horizon Universal Console
  • VM for Horizon, the Cloud Manager (VM)
  • Cisco Systems’ Meraki BSS/OSS
  • In other words, Horizon Agent is a component of VMware Horizon® Client and VMware App VolumesTM.
  • Virtual Machine Infrastructure Manager (VMware VEIM)
  • The Deployment Overview section of Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure Architectural describes the interconnections between these parts and provides a logical architecture picture.