This article is a brief introduction to the Universal Broker, one of the Horizon Control Plane services. The Universal Broker is a cloud-based service that enables the brokering of resources that span multiple pod deployments regardless of the infrastructure they are running on. The service also makes intelligent brokering decisions based on the geographic sites of users and pods.

Overview of Universal Broker

Universal Broker, the latest cloud-based brokering technology from VMware, is available for use when your tenant has one or more of the following:

  • Horizon pods - pods which are based on Horizon Connection Server technology
  • Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure pods, and all of those pods are running pod manifest 2298.0 or later.

For detailed information about how the system components of the Universal Broker solution work together to manage users' connection requests to assignments, see System Architecture and Components of Universal Broker.

High-level diagram of Universal Broker system architecture

Key Features

Universal Broker offers the following key features:

  • Single connection FQDN for all remote resources

    End users can access multi-cloud assignments in your environment by connecting to a fully qualified domain name (FQDN), which you define in the Universal Broker configuration settings. Through the single Universal Broker FQDN, users can access assignments from any participating pod in any site in your environment. No internal networking between your pods is required.

    Diagram of single FQDN connection for Universal Broker
  • 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.

Brokering and End-User Desktop Pools and Remote Apps

Assignments are conceptual entities in the Horizon Universal Console. Using the console, assignments are the way you define pools of end-user virtual desktops and remote apps and entitle them to your end users. For example, in the console, you create assignments of VDI desktops or assignments of RDSH resources, and then entitle those assignments to your end users.

The Universal Broker manages a client user's connection request to an entitled assignment and negotiates the connection session to an appropriate resource that fulfills that request. The Universal Broker is aware of geographical locality and pod topology. Using this information, the Universal Broker searches for the best resources to fulfill users' connection requests based on the site configuration and resource availability.

See the following sections for the list of assignment types available, by pod type.

End-User Assignments Using Resources from Horizon Cloud Pods Deployed into Microsoft Azure

With the Universal Broker configuration completed for the Horizon Cloud pods in your pod fleet, these assignment types are possible:

End-User Assignments Using Resources from Cloud-Connected Horizon Pods

With the Universal Broker configuration completed for the Horizon pods in your pod fleet, these assignment types are possible:


As with almost all software, the current release has some feature considerations and known limitations. For more information, see Universal Broker - Feature Considerations and Known Limitations.