To provide a data disk in your pod-provisioned virtual desktops and remote applications, you create a managed data disk using the Microsoft Azure portal and add that data disk to the image VM. Then you initialize the data disk and format it. After formatting the disk, you can optionally load it with any content you want in the disk's initial configuration. You must perform those steps before you convert the image to a published image.

In Horizon Cloud, you can use data disks both with image VMs automatically created by the Import Virtual Machine from Marketplace wizard or image VMs that you have manually created and paired with your environment. For information about using data disks in your Horizon Cloud environment, see Using Data Disks with Virtual Desktops from a Horizon Cloud Pod in Microsoft Azure.

This topic describes the best practice workflow in the context of your Horizon Cloud pod, when the VM already exists in a state where it is paired with Horizon Cloud and the VM does not already have a data disk attached to it. The system's automated Import wizard creates a VM without a data disk. If you manually created a base VM and attached a data disk at creation time, you must log in to the VM and initialize the data disk before publishing the image. To initialize a VM's data disk, follow the steps described in the Microsoft Azure documentation topic Initialize a new data disk.

The general steps for adding a data disk to a VM and initializing it are available in the Microsoft Azure documentation topic Attach a managed data disk to a Windows VM by using the Azure portal. An overview of the process is:

  • In the Microsoft Azure portal, you locate the image VM and add a data disk to it.
  • You log in to the VM and initialize that data disk.

Prerequisites

Verify the Imported VMs page indicates the agent-related status is active for the VM. To get that status for a VM created in a pod at manifest 1600 and higher, use the Imported VMs page's Reset Agent Pairing action on the VM. That action is located in the More drop-down list.

Obtain the VM's name and IP address as displayed on the Imported VMs page. You use the name to locate the VM in the pod's resource groups in the Microsoft Azure portal so you can attach the data disk to the VM. You use the IP address to log in to the VM to initialize the data disk after it is attached.

Note: When using the Microsoft Remote Desktop Client as your RDP software to connect to the VM, ensure it is the most up-to-date version. For example, the default RDP software in the Windows 7 operating system is not at a high enough version. The version must be version 8 or higher.
Verify you have at least one of the following credentials (user name and password) to log in to the VM's guest Windows operating system, according to how the VM was created.
When the VM was created How the VM was created Credentials to use to log in
Prior to the December 2019 service release going live in production

Import Virtual Machine wizard, from the Imported VMs page.

Prior to the December 2019 service release date, the Import Virtual Machine wizard created VMs that were always automatically joined to the Active Directory domain that was specified in the wizard. To log in to such a VM, you can use one of the following:

  • The credentials for the local administrator account that were specified in the wizard.
  • The credentials for a domain account in that Active Directory domain.
After the December 2019 service release went live in production

Import Virtual Machine wizard, from the Imported VMs page.

Starting with the December 2019 service release date, the Import Virtual Machine wizard provides the option of either having the wizard-created VM joined to a specified Active Directory domain or not having the VM joined to the domain at the end of the creation process.

  • If the VM was created with the wizard's Domain Join toggle enabled, you can use either the credentials for a domain account in the specified Active Directory domain or use the local administrator account that was specified in the wizard.
  • If the VM was created with the wizard's Domain Join toggle turned off, you must use the local administrator account that was specified in the wizard. In this case, because the VM is not joined to the domain, the local administrator account is the only account that has access to log in.
In any service release

Manual preparation steps.

Typically you do not need to join the VM to your Active Directory domain when you manually build the VM. To log in to that VM, use one of the following:

  • The credentials for the local administrator account that was specified when the manually built VM was created in the Microsoft Azure portal.
  • If you manually joined that VM to an Active Directory domain, the credentials for a domain account in that domain.
Important: Starting with pod manifest 1230 and later, domain accounts can direct connect to domain-joined image VMs that have the agent software installed. Prior to pod manifest 1230, the agent software installed in a domain-joined VM prevented domain accounts from directly connecting to that VM. However, if you have not yet updated your pod to a manifest of 1230 and later, before a domain account can direct connect to a domain-joined image VM that has the agent software installed, you must first perform the steps in When Your Pod is Not Yet Updated to Manifest 1230 or Later, How to Configure the Ability for Domain Accounts to Remote Connect to the Imported Image.

Procedure

  1. In the Microsoft Azure portal, locate the image VM.
    1. Use the portal's search bar to search for the VM's name.
      The following screenshot is an illustration of searching for a VM named la48win-1. The first result is the virtual machine.
      Screenshot of searching in the Microsoft Azure portal for an image VM by name.

    2. Display the VM's page in the portal by clicking the virtual machine in the search results list.
    3. Make note of the VM's resource group to use it in the Create Managed Disk page
      Image VMs used in Horizon Cloud are located in a resource group with a name in the pattern vmw-hcs-podID-base-vms where podID is the pod's identifier. In the Horizon Cloud administrative console, the pod ID is listed in the pod's details page from the Capacity page.
  2. Add a new data disk to the VM.
    1. Open the VM's Disks page by clicking Disks under Settings.
    2. Click Add data disk.
      A data disk row displays.
    3. Use the drop-down to click Create disk.
      The disk creation page opens.
    4. In the disk creation page, specify the required values.
      Setting Details
      Name Type a name for the data disk.
      Resource Group Select a resource group in which to locate the data disk. Typically you would select the same resource group in which the VM is located (vmw-hcs-podID-base-vms).
      Note: You can locate the data disk in a resource group other than the pod's resource groups.
      Location Displays the Microsoft Azure region in which the VM is located.
      Account type Select the type you want.
      Source type Select None (empty disk).
      Size Specify the size of the disk.

      The following screenshot is an example of the fields filled out.


      Screenshot of the disk creation page.

    5. Click Create.
      After a little time during which the system creates the disk, the portal re-displays the VM's Disks page with the new data disk listed.
      Note: The new data disk is added with Host Caching set to None by default. You can choose a setting that is appropriate for your intended use of the data disk.

      The following screenshot illustrates the VM's Disks page and its listed data disk.


      Screenshot of the VM's Disks page with the new data disk listed.

    6. At the top of the VM's Disks page, click Save to complete attaching the new data disk to the VM.
    At this point, the data disk is attached but uninitialized.
  3. Log in to the VM.
    1. Use the VM's IP address in your RDP software to connect to the Windows operating system.
      • If the VM was created with a public IP address, you can use that IP address in your RDP software
      • If the VM has a private IP address, you must RDP into it by one of these two methods:
        • Using another VM in your Microsoft Azure subscription that does have a public IP address and doing an outbound RDP into the image VM.
        • Use your VPN and RDP into the image VM over your corporate network
      Note: To access a VM that is running the agent-related software components, the version of the Remote Desktop Client must be version 8 or later. Otherwise, the connection fails. Using the most up-to-date Remote Desktop Client is recommended.
    2. Log in to the Windows operating system using credentials (user name and password) as described in the prerequisites here.
      When using the local administrator account credentials that were specified in the Import Image wizard when the VM was created, enter the username as \username.
      Note: When the VM is a domain-joined VM, as described in the prerequisites here, and you want to use a domain account instead of the local administrator account, enter the user name as domain\username where domain is the name of the domain.
  4. In the VM, perform the steps to initialize and format the data disk, as described in the Microsoft Azure documentation topic Initialize a new data disk.

Results

At this point, the image VM has a formatted, empty data disk. If you want to load the data disk with any content you want to provide to your end users in the disk's initial configuration, you can add the content at any time until you publish the image.