VMware Horizon Community
ir1shm1ike
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View + Specific Application?

We currently are looking at VIEW, to consolidate our Storage of Virtual Desktops using Composer, because our SAN Storage is getting used at a rapid pace because of the Thin-Clients. So View could definitely save us on space with their features. My concern and this seems to be a problem. We have a Terminal Emulation Program that connects to our Unisys Mainframe, which about 95% of our Users use on a regular basis. My problem is each User has their own dedicated # that lets them connect to this mainframe through the Terminal Emulation Software. Which seems like it will pose a problem. Has anyone else encountered this issue when using VIEW and if so, did they find a way to get around it?

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daleallenc
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. . .My problem is each User has their own dedicated # that lets them connect to this mainframe through the Terminal Emulation Software. Which seems like it will pose a problem.

What kind of problem are you referring to exactly? Or maybe, explain what the user scenario is today (without View) to better illustrate what you're looking at. . .

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ir1shm1ike
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Today, Users with Thin-Clients use a RDP Connection to their Virtual Desktop. We have 130 Users and 130 1-1 Ratio Desktops. Each machine has 12GIG Disks, so essentially we are using over a Terabyte of Space on our SAN for these 130 Thin-Clients. We would like to consolidate them. Each user has Office, VirusScan, Adobe Reader, etc....and also each user has a Terminal Emulation Program called PCLINK32 by a company called VirtualSoft. When you setup this PCLINK32, it asks you to enter a Station ID, which you enter a # such as ST2039, then when you open the PCLINK Program up, that ST2039 connects you to our Mainframe, and gives you the security of what you can and can't access on the Mainframe. Hope that explains it.

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daleallenc
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I'm still not quite clear on what the problem might be unless what you're talking about has to do with persistence.

With View, you can create a pool of persistent machines. As the users log in, each user will be assigned a machine of their own and be able to save data and settings in that machine. You can still save SAN space by making this a linked clone pool. In contrast, with a non-persistent pool, users login to a randomly assigned machine which doesn't save any user data or settings.

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ir1shm1ike
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Ok. Let's say I have User A, User B, and User C. I setup my Master Template, Install Office, etc...nothing needs to change. They all can have Word, they all can have Excel, etc...it is a standard program. So on my Master Template these programs reside. Now, I install this Terminal Emulation program. On the Master Template, if I configure Terminal Emulation program to use Station ID # 2039....User B logs in would also try to access using Station ID #2039 and User C as well. Correct?? Whereas, I need User A, B, and C when they get their Desktops to each have this program configured individually for them speicifically. I was under the impression that your Master Template has all the programs each User gets when they log in, configured a specific way. Is that not right?

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daleallenc
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OK, I can see that.

Let me ask you some more questions then:

1. Do you have to configure the Terminal Emulation Station ID number during installation of the program, or after it's installed?

2. Can you install this program through the command line, and if you can, are there optional switches you can use during installation?

3. Can you configure this program after it's installed through the command line?

I was under the impression that your Master Template has all the programs each User gets when they log in, configured a specific way. Is that not right?Mostly.

As you figured, most standard applications that don't require per-user or per-machine configuration are installed in the Parent VM (what you're calling the Master Template) and there's no further issues with those when the user needs to access them.

Getting back to my questions. If you have to configure the program during installation, AND you can use the command line, it may be possible to run a script (or combination of scripts) to install this program after the machine is provisioned by View and configure it when the user first logs into their machine.

OR

If you do not have to configure the program during installation, and you can configure it from the command line after it's installed, it may be possible to run a script to configure the Station ID when the user first logs in to the machine.

Let me give you an example:

On my latest Parent VM, I have Microsoft Office 2007, Adobe Reader, etc., installed. No problem.

The users also need SQL Server 2005. Uh oh. While there are work-arounds, the SQL Server database engine likes to have the local machine name as an identifier. So if my Parent VM has SQL Server installed and I'm going to deploy multiple VMs, all with different machine names, how do I get SQL Server to also change it's name. With a script - actually with mulitiple scripts.

In Virtual Center, I created a customization specification (which will use Microsoft's sysprep in the background), and in that specification, I ask it to run a batch file that I previously prepared and saved on the Parent VM. The batch file opens SQLCMD (SQL's command line utility) and runs a SQL Server query script (that I also previously created and saved) to change the name of the database engine to match the machine name.

So. Depending on what you can do with this Terminal Emulation program, it may be possible to automate it's installation and/or configuration per user. That or you're going to have to touch 130 machines. . .

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