You create farms using the Farms page.


The RDS-enabled image is also called an RDS host or an RDSH (Remote Desktop Services Host) image.


  • Verify that you have at least one image listed on the Images page, that image has an RDS-enabled Windows server operating system, the Images page shows that image is in Published state, and that image is located in the node in which you want to create the farm. You cannot create a farm in a node without such an image available in that node.

  • Decide whether this farm will serve session-based desktops or remote applications. In this release, the same farm cannot serve both.


  1. In the Administration Console, navigate to Inventory > Farms.

    Farms page in the Administration Console

  2. Click New.

    The New Farm wizard opens.

  3. In the wizard's Definition step, complete the fields and make your selections as appropriate and then click Next.

    You might have to use the scroll bar to see all the required fields.




    Enter a name for this farm.


    Enter an optional description.

    VM Names

    Base name for all of the server VMs created for this farm. The VM names will have numbers appended to this base name, for example, win2016-1, win2016-2, etc. The name must start with a letter and can contain only letters, dashes, and numbers.

    Farm Type

    Specify the type of asset this farm provides to end users:

    • Select Desktops to use this farm to provide session-based desktops.

    • Select Applications to use this farm to provide access to remote applications. After an applications farm is created, you can use the New Application workflow's Auto-scan from Farm option to import applications from the farm's servers into your application inventory.


    This option only displays if your data center is configured with multiple pods.

    Pods contain specific assignable images and server model capacities for assignments. You can only create assignments from images in the same pod.


    If your data center is configured to use specific network mappings to assignments, select the network that you want this farm to use. For example, if you have a DHCP server on a specific network and your data center is configured to use that network for assignments, you might select that network.


    If Load Balance value is selected, no specific network mapping is used for the assignments using on this farm.


    Select the assignable RDSH image.

    Preferred Protocol

    Select a default display protocol you want the end-user sessions to use.

    Circumstances might occur that cause another protocol to be used instead of the default protocol. For example, the client device does not support the default protocol or the end user overrides the default protocol selection.

    Preferred Client Type

    Select the preferred client type used when end users launch their session-based desktops from the Workspace™ ONE™ platform's portal, either a Horizon Client or a browser for HTML Access.


    Select the Active Directory domain registered with your environment.

    Join Domain

    Select Yes so that the farm's server instances are automatically joined the domain when they are created.


    Specify the number of servers you want in this farm.


    If the remaining capacity displayed appears to be too low, it may be because the default limit of 2,000 VMs per pod has been reached. This includes VMs created in earlier versions of the product, but does not include Utility or Imported VMs. For more information, contact your VMware representative.

    Sessions per Server

    Specify the number of concurrent end-user sessions per server that this farm will allow.

    Optionally configure the advanced properties.



    Computer OU

    Active Directory Organizational Unit where the server VMs are to be located. Enter the Active Directory Organizational Unit using the distinguished name, for example, OU=RootOrgName,DC=DomainComponent,DC=eng, and so on. The OU and each path in a nested OU can contain any combination of letters, numbers, special characters, and spaces, and can have a maximum of 64 characters.

    If you need to use nested Organization Units, see Working with Nested Organizational Units.


    For traditional clones, if the Computer OU is set to CN=Computers, the system uses the default Active Directory Computers container for VMs. Note that this default container may have been redirected to an organizational unit class container.

    Run Once Script

    (Optional) Location of a script that you want run in the farm's server VMs after the VM creation process.


    The script should end with a reboot step to reboot the VM. A sample reboot line as a Windows command is:

    shutdown /r /t 0

    The script is run after the Microsoft Windows System Preparation (Sysprep) process. When the system creates a server VM for the farm, the VM starts up and completes the Sysprep process in the Windows operating system. When the Sysprep process completes, the agent in the VM reaches out to do the domain join. At the same time, the agent gets the script path you specify here. The agent sets the Windows RunOnce path (System run once) and then restarts the server VM. On the next restart, the system logs in to the Windows operating system using the local administrator account and runs the script.

    Enable Windows Hot-Plug

    (Optional) Keep the default No setting to prevent end users from dynamically adding or removing external devices from their virtual desktops, such as CD/DVD drives, Ethernet adapters, and similar device types.


    Setting this toggle to Yes can result in users accidentally interfering with connectivity to the virtual desktops if the users dynamically remove the networks cards (NICs) or other operational components by mistake. Even though you might choose to enable this setting for special cases, such as supporting the use of thumb drives in your virtual desktops, be aware that the setting is enabled for all such plug-and-play devices in the resulting desktops.

  4. In the wizard's Management step, complete the fields and make your selections as appropriate and then click Next.



    Rolling Maintenance

    Select the maintenance type, either according to a time cadence (Scheduled) or based on user sessions to this farm's servers (Session).

    When Scheduled is selected, configure the maintenance cadence, either daily or weekly. If you choose a daily recurrence, specify the hour at which the maintenance will start. If you choose a weekly recurrence, specify both the day of the week and the hour.

    When Session is selected, specify the number of sessions at which the farm should begin rolling maintenance.


    Sessions which are logged off within 15 minutes are not counted for the purposes of the rolling maintenance calculations, to prevent restarting or rebuilding the servers based on a count of short running sessions.

    In the Concurrent Quiescing Servers field, specify the number of servers that can be in the quiescing state at the same time. When a server is in quiescing state, the server continues to work for the user sessions already connected to that server, but it does not accept any new user connections.

    Server Action

    Select the action that the system should perform on the servers undergoing maintenance.

    • With Restart, the server VMs are restarted.

    • With Rebuild, the server VMs are first deleted and then reprovisioned from their RDS desktop image.

    Timeout Handling

    Configure how you want the system to handle certain types of user sessions.


    The user sessions governed by these settings are the user logins to the Windows operating system session of the RDS session desktop or application. These sessions are not the user logins in Horizon Client, Horizon HTML Access, or Workspace ONE.

    The user's session begins when the user authenticates to the Windows operating system that underlies the session-based desktop or the remote application that is served from this farm's servers.

    • Empty Session Timeout - For applications farms, select how the system should handle idle user sessions, whether to never time out idle sessions or to time out after a specified number of minutes. Idle timeouts are based on the activity on the endpoint device, not on the session-based desktop or application. If you specify to time out an idle session, select what happens when the timeout period is up: whether to disconnect the session or log the user off. When a session is disconnected, the session is disconnected from the network and preserved in memory. When a session is logged off, the session is not preserved in memory, and any unsaved documents are lost.

    • Log Off Disconnected Sessions - Select when the system logs the user off of a disconnected session.

    • Max Session Lifetime - Specify the maximum number of minutes the system should allow for a single user session.

    Session Timeout Interval

    This time interval is the amount of time the end users' sessions can be idle before the system forces a log off from the session-based desktops or applications that are served by this farm. This timeout applies to the logged-in session to the underlying Windows operating system. The time you specify here is different from the time out settings that govern the end users' Horizon Client or HTML Access logged-in session.


    When the system forces the log off in the underlying Windows operating system session, any unsaved data is lost. To prevent an unintended loss of data, set this interval high enough to accommodate the business needs of your end users.


    If no user activity occurs before the timeout interval is reached, a message indicates that the user will be logged off if they do not click OK in the next 30 seconds. If the logout occurs, any unsaved user data, such as documents or files, is lost.

  5. In the wizard's Summary step, review the settings and then click Submit to begin creating the farm.


The system starts creating the farm. You can monitor the progress using the Activity page. When the farm's status shows a green dot on the Farms page:

  • If you created a desktops farm, you can use it to create a session-based desktop assignment.

  • If you created an applications farm, you can use it to load applications from the servers' underlying RDS-enabled operating system into your Horizon Cloud applications catalog.

Farms in ready state on the Farms page


Creation of an encrypted farm server VM takes approximately twice as long as creating a non-encrypted VM. As a result, the end-to-end time to complete creating a farm that has disk encryption enabled is approximately twice as long as creating that farm without disk encryption enabled.

What to do next

If you created a desktops farm, you would next create a session-based desktop assignment for your end users by following the steps in Create an RDSH Session Desktop Assignment.

If you created an applications farm, you would next scan that farm to load applications into Horizon Cloud and then create an applications assignment so your end users can use the remote applications from that farm.

For more information, see Applications, Importing New Applications from an RDSH Farm Using Auto-Scan from Farm, and Manually Adding Custom Applications from an RDSH Farm.