Different end users have different needs. After you have customized a golden image for use in your Horizon Cloud environment, you'll want to ensure it will result in giving your end users optimal performance when using their assigned desktops and applications that are based on that image. This topic provides some prescriptive guidance to help you in achieving the optimal performance based on end-user personas.

This topic includes the following sections:

Tip: Among other sources, these five key steps are informed by the VMware Digital Workspace Tech Zone's VMware Blast Extreme Optimization Guide and Creating an Optimized Windows Image for a VMware Horizon Virtual Desktop.

The Five Key Steps

  1. To prepare the image's Microsoft Windows operating system for the optimal remote experience, download the VMware OS Optimization Tool fling to the golden image VM, run the tool, and follow the tool's on-screen advice.
    Icon for the VMware Operating System Optimization Tool in its Flings page

    Note: The Terms of Use page of the VMware Flings site states that all VMware Flings are provided on an as-is and as-available basis. As of this writing, to get help on the VMware OS Optimization Tool, use the Comments area within its location in the VMware Flings site.
  2. In the golden image's operating system, enable the setting to use the WDDM graphics display driver for Remote Desktop Connections. This setting can be enabled in multiple ways. One way to enable the settings is using the Local Group Policy Editor:
    1. In the Local Group Policy Editor, navigate to Local Computer Policy > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Remote Desktop Services > Remote Desktop Session Host > Remote Session Environment. The following screenshot is an illustration of this location.
      Location of Remote Session Environment in the Local Group Policy Editor

    2. Set the policy named Use WDDM graphics display driver for Remote Desktop Connections to Enabled.
      Screenshot that illustrates the Enabled choice for the WDDM setting.

    You must restart the VM after enabling the WDDM graphics display driver for the changes to take effect.

  3. In the VM, set a codec that is appropriate for the anticipated end-user workloads.

    For VDI desktop assignments, see the Codec Options section of the VMware Blast Extreme Optimization Guide and its table of ideal applications for each codec.

    For farms, which use images built on Microsoft Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session or Windows Server operating systems, see the guidelines in the following section Codec Selections and VM Series Sizing Recommendations For Farms Used By Various End User Personas and Workload Types.

    Important: As described in Table 2 of the VMware Blast Extreme Optimization Guide's Enabling Codecs and Codec Options section, some codec options require a corresponding Horizon Client setting. For the Blast codec and H.264 codec, the end users must make an appropriate selection in their Horizon Client.
  4. As described in Create a Base Virtual Machine Automatically from the Microsoft Azure Marketplace and Pair it with Horizon Cloud on a Per-Pod Basis, under Advanced Options, the wizard gives you options to enable Horizon remote experience features in the golden image at the time it is being created. Some of those toggles are enabled by default for installation in the image. In the wizard, you should verify that only those remote experience features that are specifically required by your business needs are enabled before you submit the wizard to create the VM. As a simple example, the client drive redirection toggle is on by default, and unless you have determined your business needs require your end users to have client drive redirection, you would switch off that toggle to prevent enabling the client drive redirection.
  5. Ensure the VM is set for your desired performance by opening the VM's System Properties > Advanced System Settings > Performance Options and verifying the settings. The optimal setting is Adjust for best performance. The following screenshot illustrates the location of these settings.
    Location in System Properties of the Windows performance settings

Optional: Install a User Experience Monitoring Tool

Installing a user experience monitoring tool helps to measure various performance metrics within the VM's operating system, such as FPS, bandwidth, CPU consumption, codec type, and so on. One such tool is the third-party tool RDAnalyzer.

Codec Selections and VM Series Sizing Recommendations For Farms Used By Various End User Personas and Workload Types

The following VM examples and sizing suggestions are based on typical workloads from farms in Horizon Cloud. Farms provision session-based desktops and remote applications to your end users. Farms are based on images that are running Microsoft Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session or Microsoft Windows Server operating systems. You must determine the optimal sizing that will give you the best results in your individual business scenarios. To help you determine that optimal sizing, VMware recommends you use simulation tools to run tests in your environment, especially as Microsoft debuts newer and faster VM sizes over time. If you need additional guidance, please contact your VMware representative. For more details about setting the codecs listed below, see the VMware Blast Optimization Guide's Enabling Codecs and Codec Options and Configuration Settings for Administrators sections.

VM Series in Microsoft Azure Workload Type Maximum Users per vCPU/Total Users Personas Optimal Codec Description Application Examples
D2s_v3, F2s_v2 Light

Maximum per vCPU = 6

Total = 12

Task worker Blast codec Low CPU and bandwidth usage. Tighter bandwidth and frame rate control for optimal experience. Database entry applications, command-line interfaces (CLIs)
D4s_v3, F4s_v2 Medium

Maximum per vCPU = 4

Total = 16

Consultants and market researchers Blast codec Low CPU and bandwidth usage. Tighter bandwidth and frame rate control for optimal experience. Database entry applications, command-line interfaces (CLIs), Microsoft Word, static web pages
D4s_v3, F4s_v2 Heavy

Maximum per vCPU = 2

Total = 8

Engineers and content creators H.264 Moderate CPU and bandwidth usage. Good experience for multimedia. Database entry applications, command-line interfaces (CLIs), Microsoft Word, static web pages, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft PowerPoint, dynamic web pages
D4s_v3, F4s_v2, NV6 Power

Maximum per vCPU = 1

Total = 4

Graphics designers H.264 Moderate CPU and bandwidth usage. Can deliver exceptional experience for multimedia and 3D graphics applications by changing the frame rate to 60 FPS (frames per second). When using NV6, leverage hardware acceleration for graphics. Database entry applications, command-line interfaces (CLIs), Microsoft Word, static web pages, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft PowerPoint, dynamic web pages, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM)

Additional Information

For more information on optimizing VMs for remote experience use cases, see: