This topic introduces the broker transition process for your Horizon Cloud tenant and the benefits you can gain from performing the transition. Learn about the differences between a single-pod broker and Universal Broker environment and what you can expect before, during, and after the broker transition.
What is the Broker Transition Process?
When you complete the broker transition, your Horizon Cloud tenant environment changes from using single-pod brokering to using Universal Broker to broker resources from your end-user assignments. As the new tenant-wide broker, Universal Broker manages your users' connection requests and routes them to the best available resource from the requested assignment.
The broker transition process makes the following changes to your end-user assignments.
- VDI desktop assignments are converted to multi-cloud assignments brokered by Universal Broker. A multi-cloud assignment can include VDI desktops from multiple pods.
- Session-based desktop and application assignments remain unchanged. A session-based desktop or application assignment can include resources from a single pod only, but the assignment is now brokered by Universal Broker.
The transition feature is available to you if your environment currently uses single-pod brokering and meets the prerequisites described in Horizon Cloud - System Requirements for Transitioning to Universal Broker.
Why Should You Make the Transition to Universal Broker?
When you transition to using Universal Broker, the latest cloud-based brokering technology from VMware, you gain the following key benefits.
- End-user assignments with VDI desktops from multiple pods
With single-pod brokering, all the desktops in a VDI assignment must come from the same pod. The desktop brokering is done on a per-pod basis.
With Universal Broker, you can create an assignment of VDI desktops from multiple pods, also known as a multi-cloud assignment. An end user can access the assignment and receive a desktop from any pod included in that assignment. For more information, see Introduction to VMware Horizon Service Universal Broker and its subtopics.
You can also continue to use your session-based desktop and application assignments as before. The difference is that the session-based desktops and applications from these assignments will be brokered by Universal Broker instead of a per-pod brokering.
- Single connection FQDN for all remote resources
With single-pod brokering, end users must connect to each pod's fully qualified domain name (FQDN) individually to access assignments from that pod. The brokering is done on a per-pod basis.
With Universal Broker, users can access all assignments by connecting to just one FQDN, which you define in the Universal Broker configuration settings. Through the single FQDN, users can access assignments from all participating pods—including both Horizon Cloud pods in Microsoft Azure and Horizon pods on a VMware SDDC-based platform—from any site in your environment. No internal networking between your pods is required.
- Global pod connectivity and awareness for optimal performance
- Universal Broker maintains direct connectivity with every pod participating in multi-cloud assignments and stays aware of the availability status of each pod. As a result, Universal Broker can manage end users' connection requests and route them to virtual resources directly from these pods. There is no need for global server load balancing (GSLB) or any interpod network communication which can result in reduced performance and latency issues.
- Smart brokering
- Universal Broker can broker resources from assignments to end users along the shortest network route, based on an awareness of your geographical sites and pod topology.
Is There Any Reason Not to Make the Transition?
This release of Universal Broker has a few feature limitations. If your use case requires a feature that Universal Broker does not support, you consider keeping your tenant environment using the single-pod brokering until Universal Broker supports the feature. For a list of the current Universal Broker limitations, see Universal Broker - Feature Considerations and Known Limitations.
What Happens During the Broker Transition?
The transition workflow consists of several stages. For detailed step-by-step instructions on performing the transition, see Schedule and Complete the Transition from Single-Pod Broker to Universal Broker.
Here is a high-level overview of the processes that occur before and during the transition.
- To initiate the workflow, you must first schedule a date and time for the transition to take place. Along with this scheduling task, you define the configuration options that will be used to set up the Universal Broker service during the transition.
- At least 15 minutes before the scheduled start time, complete all in-progress operations in the console and save any changes that you want to keep. Close all configuration wizards and dialog boxes. Also, ensure that all your pods in Microsoft Azure are online and in a healthy, ready state.
- When the transition is about to start, you are prompted to log out from the console and log in again.
- During the first stage of the transition, you can expect the following:
Note: This stage of the transition typically takes around 10 minutes, but can take up to one hour if your tenant environment contains a high number of assignments.
- You cannot access any of the console's editing controls and the console displays a banner stating that the transition is in progress.
- All your pods in Microsoft Azure are added to a site named Default-Site.
- Your VDI desktop assignments are converted to multi-cloud assignments brokered by Universal Broker. In the default assignment settings, the connection affinity is set to Nearest Site and the scope is set to Within Site.
- Your session-based desktop and application assignments remain unchanged. After the transition, the resources in these assignments will be brokered by Universal Broker.
- All assignments remain available to your end users and all active user sessions remain open and fully operational during this time.
When this stage of the transition is complete, you are prompted to log out from the console and log in again.
- During the second stage of the transition, the Universal Broker service completes its setup process and becomes fully enabled. You can access all edit operations in the console except for creating and editing assignments.
Note: This stage of the transition typically takes up to 30 minutes. However, depending on your system and network conditions and the total number of assignments and dedicated user-to-desktop mappings in your environment, this stage can take several hours to complete.
When this stage of the transition is complete, the Enabled status with a green dot.page shows the
At this point, the overall broker transition is complete.
What Can You Expect After the Broker Transition?
For a detailed list of the changes made to your tenant environment after the broker transition, see What's New in Your Tenant Environment After the Transition to Universal Broker.
After you complete the transition, you can start to take advantage of the benefits offered by a Universal Broker environment. The following list provides a short glimpse of what to do next and links to detailed pages.
- Modify your site and multi-cloud VDI assignment settings to make full use of the Universal Broker capabilities. For example, you can add more pods to an existing assignment or adjust the site settings to fine-tune how Universal Broker allocates resources to your users. For detailed information, see Creating and Managing Assignments in Your Universal Broker Environment and Working with Sites in a Universal Broker Environment.
- If you have an existing integration between your Horizon Cloud tenant and Workspace ONE Access, you must update the integration to accommodate the use of Universal Broker. For complete instructions, see Horizon Cloud Environment with Universal Broker - Integrate the Tenant with Workspace ONE Access and Intelligent Hub Services.
Note: As confirmed by the VMware Workspace ONE Access product team, when Universal Broker is used with your Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure deployments, the VMware Workspace ONE Access product's Virtual Apps Collections feature is unsupported with that configuration. The reason is because Universal Broker is the more modern brokering technology than the old-style per-pod brokering, which means the integration of Universal Broker with Workspace ONE Access supersedes the use of the legacy per-pod Virtual Apps Collections for Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure deployments. Therefore, Universal Broker does not have a concept of Virtual Apps Collections for Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure deployments at all, which makes use of Virtual Apps Collections with the Universal Broker and Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure configurations as not supported.
When Universal Broker is configured for your Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure deployments and you plan to use Workspace ONE Access and Intelligent Hub Services with those Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure deployments, in the integration process as part of the console's Clean Up action, you will be required to clean up any existing Virtual Apps Collections those deployments might have. Completing the clean-up activities will make the same apps continue to work in Workspace ONE Access and Intelligent Hub Services by using the modern features of the integrated Universal Broker and Workspace ONE Access and Intelligent Hub Services.