A pod is a unit of organization determined by Horizon 7 scalability limits.

Pod Example Using Five Building Blocks

A traditional Horizon 7 pod integrates five 2,000-user building blocks that you can manage as one entity.

Table 1. Example of a LAN-Based Horizon 7 Pod Constructed of 5 Building Blocks
Item Number
Building blocks for a Horizon 7 pod 5
vCenter Server and View Composer 5 (1 virtual machine that hosts both in each building block)
Database server 5 (1 standalone database server in each building block) MS SQL Server or Oracle database server
Connection Servers 7 (5 for connections from inside the corporate network and 2 for connections from outside)
vLANs See Table 1.
10Gb Ethernet module 1
Modular networking switch 1

Each vCenter Server can support up to 35,000 registered virtual machines. This support enables you to have building blocks that contain more than 2,000 virtual machine desktops. However, the actual block size is also subject to other Horizon 7-specific limitations.

For both examples described here, a network core can load balance incoming requests across Connection Server instances. Support for a redundancy and failover mechanism, usually at the network level, can prevent the load balancer from becoming a single point of failure. For example, the Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol (VRRP) can communicate with a load balancer to add redundancy and failover capability.

If a Connection Server instance fails or becomes unresponsive during an active session, users do not lose data. Desktop states are preserved in the virtual machine desktop so that users can connect to a different Connection Server instance and their desktop session resumes from where it was when the failure occurred.

Figure 1. Pod Diagram for 10,000 Virtual Machine Desktops
A VMware View pod includes 5 VMware View building blocks and can accommodate 5,000 virtual desktops.

Pod Example Using One vCenter Server

In the previous section, the Horizon 7 pod consisted of multiple building blocks. Each building block supported 2,000 virtual machines with a single vCenter Server. VMware has received many requests from both customers and partners to use a single vCenter Server to manage a Horizon 7 pod. This request arises from the fact that a single instance of vCenter Server can support 10,000 virtual machines. Customers have the ability to use a single vCenter Server to manage a 10,000-desktop environment. This topic illustrates an architecture based on using a single vCenter Server to manage 10,000 desktops.

Although using one vCenter Server and one View Composer for 10,000 desktops is possible, doing so creates a situation where there is a single point of failure. The loss of that single vCenter Server renders the entire desktop deployment unavailable for power, provisioning, and refit operations. For this reason, choose a deployment architecture that meets your requirements for overall component resiliency.

For this example, a 10,000-user pod consists of physical servers, a vSphere infrastructure, Horizon 7 servers, shared storage, and 5 clusters of 2,000 virtual desktops per cluster.

Table 2. Example of a LAN-Based Horizon 7 Pod with One vCenter Server
Item Example
vSphere clusters 6 (5 clusters with one linked-clone pool per cluster, and 1 infrastructure cluster)
vCenter Server 1
View Composer 1 (standalone)
Database server 1 (standalone) MS SQL Server or Oracle database server
Active Directory server 1 or 2
Connection Server instances 5
Security servers 5
vLANs 8 (5 for the desktop pool clusters, and 1 each for management, VMotion, and the infrastructure cluster)