In a Horizon Cloud environment, to provision VDI or remote desktops to your end users, you define what are known as desktop assignments. Each desktop assignment associates a published image with a set of entitled users. You use the Horizon Cloud Administration Console to create these desktop assignments.

A Horizon Cloud pod in a Microsoft Azure environment provides for the following types of desktop assignments.

Session desktop assignment
In a session desktop assignment, a Remote Desktop Services (RDS) desktop experience is shared across multiple users. These desktops are session-based connections to the RDSH-capable VMs running in a pod's RDSH farms. Before creating an RDSH session desktop assignment, you must have at least one desktops farm that was created based on the published image. See Create a Farm.
Dedicated VDI desktop assignment
In a dedicated VDI desktop assignment, each virtual desktop gets mapped to a specific user. Each mapped user returns to the same desktop at every login. When a particular dedicated VDI desktop is mapped to a specific user, that desktop is said to be assigned to that user. A specific dedicated VDI desktop gets mapped to a particular user in one of two ways:
  • An administrator explicitly assigns that specific desktop to that particular user, using the Assign action.
  • The user is entitled to the assignment (in the Users tab) and makes an initial launch of a desktop from the assignment. At that point, that user has claimed that dedicated VDI desktop from the set of all dedicated VDI desktops defined by that assignment. When the user has claimed a dedicated VDI desktop in this way, the system maps that particular desktop to that specific user and that dedicated VDI desktop gets the Assigned status. That particular dedicated VDI desktop remains in Assigned status until either an administrator explicitly unassigns the desktop (using the Unassign action) or that user's Active Directory account is removed from the assignment's set of entitled users.

Dedicated assignments require a one-to-one desktop-to-user relationship and should be sized based on the total user population. For example, you need an assignment of one hundred desktops for a group of one hundred users. The primary use for such dedicated desktop assignments is to ensure that the host name of the desktop virtual machine for each user remains the same between sessions. Certain software packages might require this use for licensing.

Floating VDI desktop assignment
In a floating VDI desktop assignment, a user receives a different virtual machine with a different machine name with each login. With floating desktop assignments, you can create desktops that shifts of users can use and that should be sized based on the maximum number of concurrent users. For example, three hundred users can use an assignment of one hundred desktops if they work in shifts of one hundred users at a time. With floating desktop assignments, the user might see different host names for each desktop session.

When deciding between dedicated and floating VDI desktop assignments, the floating VDI desktop assignments are a best practice because they provide more flexible pool management capabilities than dedicated VDI desktop assignments and they avoid dedicating virtual machine resources for each user. As a result, floating VDI desktop assignments typically cost less than dedicated VDI desktop assignments.

To create a desktop assignment, you must have at least one image VM in the Published state that the system will use as the underlying configured operating system for the end users' desktops.

Note: Neither session-based desktops or floating VDI desktops provide persistence of user data, settings or profiles. When a user logs off from a floating VDI desktop, that floating VDI desktop is reset to the same state it was in before that user logged in. You can provide persistence of user data, settings, and profiles by setting up VMware Dynamic Environment Manager and configuring it for your environment. Images created using the automated Import Desktop wizard have the VMware Dynamic Environment Manager agent installed by default. For information on configuring persistence of those items, see these resources:

About Creating These Desktop Assignments

The desktop assignment creation workflows are different depending on which type of broker is configured for your tenant environment. To see which broker type is configured in your environment, navigate to Settings > Broker in the console.

When your tenant environment is configured for Universal Broker
Follow the workflows described in Pods in Microsoft Azure - Create a VDI Multi-Cloud Assignment
When your tenant environment is configured for single-pod broker
Follow the workflows described in Create a Floating VDI Desktop Assignment Provisioned by a Single Pod in Microsoft Azure and Create a Dedicated VDI Desktop Assignment Provisioned by a Single Pod in Microsoft Azure.