Your overall Horizon Cloud tenant environment consists of the VMware-hosted cloud service and your pods deployed into their corresponding capacity environments and connected to the cloud service. When a pod, consisting of VMware software deployed into a supported capacity environment, is appropriately onboarded, then it is a cloud-connected pod. When at least one pod is completely onboarded into your tenant environment, you can onboard additional pods to make for a fleet of cloud-connected pods. To work with your tenant environment's fleet of cloud-connected pods and the desktop-as-a-service features that the service provides, you log in to and use the tenant environment's cloud-based portal, named the Horizon Cloud Administration Console, or the console for short.
Horizon Cloud
A control plane hosted in the cloud by VMware for the central orchestration and management of virtual desktops and applications.
cloud-connected pod
VMware software deployed into a supported capacity environment and onboarded to the cloud control plane. Supported capacity environments are ones such as Microsoft Azure cloud or VMware Cloud™ on AWS or on-premises infrastructure. Each of these capacity environments provides for a specific pod type:
  • Pod in your Microsoft Azure subscription
  • On-premises Horizon pod
  • Horizon pod in VMware Cloud on AWS

Depending on the type of capacity environment you are using, you can use the cloud-based console for an automated pod deployment and connection to Horizon Cloud. For some of those pod types, even though they cannot be automatically deployed and configured, you can still onboard those pods to Horizon Cloud.

For a high-level overview of the pod-onboarding concept, see Onboarding to Horizon Cloud for Microsoft Azure, Horizon On-Premises, and Horizon on VMware Cloud on AWS.

Control Plane

VMware hosts the control plane in the cloud. This control plane provides services that enable the central orchestration and management of virtual desktops, remote desktop sessions, and remote applications for your users. The control plane enables the management of your pods. The pods are physically located in your provided capacity environments. When you log in to the cloud-based console, you can see all of your cloud-connected pods and perform management activities across them, regardless of where they are physically located.

VMware is responsible for hosting the service and providing feature updates and enhancements for a software-as-a-service experience. Horizon Cloud is a multi-tenant environment, and has several regional control plane instances. Each regional control plane instance corresponds to its hosting geographic data center, as described in the service description document available from the VMware Horizon Service Description and Service Level Agreement page. Your tenant account is associated with a specific regional instance at the time the account is created.

The cloud control plane also hosts the common cloud- and web-based management user interface called the Horizon Cloud Administration Console, or console for short. This console runs in industry-standard browsers. It provides IT administrators with a single location for management and administrative tasks involving user assignments and the virtual desktops, remote desktop sessions, and applications. This console is accessible from anywhere at any time, providing maximum flexibility.

Important: The administrative console is dynamic and reflects what is available at the current service level. However, when you have cloud-connected pods that are not yet updated to the latest levels of the pod's software, the console does not display those features that depend on the latest pod software level. Also, in a particular release, Horizon Cloud might include separately licensed features or features that are only available for particular tenant account configurations. The console dynamically reflects the elements related to such features only when your license or tenant account configuration includes use of such features. For examples, see Tour of the Cloud-Based Horizon Universal Console for Administrative Tasks in Horizon Cloud.

When you are expecting to see a feature in the administrative console and do not see it, contact your VMware account representative to verify whether your license and tenant account configuration entitles its usage.

Pod Types You Can Connect to Horizon Cloud

This Horizon Cloud release provides for the following deployment types.

Note: To connect a pod to Horizon Cloud or use the administrative console for an automated deployment, your customer account must have the appropriate licensing. For licensing information, contact your VMware account representative.
Table 1. Pod Deployment Types
Deployment Type Description
VMware Horizon pod located in your on-premises infrastructure Deploy the Horizon Cloud Connector in your on-premises infrastructure and configure it to connect that pod to Horizon Cloud.
VMware Horizon pod that you manually installed and configured in your VMware Cloud on AWS SDDC Deploy the Horizon Cloud Connector in your VMware Cloud on AWS SDDC and configure it to connect that pod to Horizon Cloud.
Horizon Cloud pod deployed by Horizon Cloud into your Microsoft Azure cloud capacity Deploy the pod using the administrative console's automated deployment wizard.
Important: For production environments, ensure the VM models used for your farms and desktop assignments have a minimum of two (2) CPUs. VMware scale testing has shown that using 2 CPUs or more avoids unexpected end-user connection issues. Even though the system does not prevent you from choosing a VM model with a single CPU, you should use such VM models for tests or proof-of-concepts only.
Important: Before launching the pod deployment wizard and starting to deploy your pod, in addition to the requirements below, you must be aware of the following key points:
  • Starting with the July 2020 service release, in brand new environments, new pods are required to deploy with at least one gateway configuration. If your customer account was created prior to the July 2020 release, but you have not yet deployed your first pod, deployment of that first pod will require configuring at least one gateway configuration at the time of pod deployment.
  • Successful pod deployment requires that none of the Microsoft Azure Policies that you or your IT team have set in your Microsoft Azure environment block, deny, or restrict creation of the pod's components. Also you must verify that your Microsoft Azure Policies Built-in Policy definitions do not block, deny, or restrict creation of the pod's components. As an example, you and your IT team must verify that none of your Microsoft Azure Policies block, deny, or restrict creation of components on Azure storage account. For information about Azure Policies, see the Azure Policy documentation.
  • The pod deployer requires that your Azure storage account allow for the deployer to use the Azure StorageV1 and StorageV2 account types. Ensure that your Microsoft Azure Policies do not restrict or deny the creation of content requiring the Azure StorageV1 and StorageV2 account types.
  • As part of the pod and gateway deployment processes, Horizon Cloud creates resource groups (RGs) in your Microsoft Azure subscription that do not have tags on them, including the initial resource group that is created for the temporary jump box that orchestrates those deployment processes. Pod deployment will fail if you try to deploy a pod into a Microsoft Azure subscription that has any type of resource tag requirement at the time of deployment, or at the time of pod updates or adding a gateway configuration to a pod. You must verify that your Microsoft Azure Policies allows creation of the pod's untagged resource groups in the target subscription. For the list of RGs that the deployer creates, see the Administration Guide's Resource Groups Created For a Pod Deployed In Microsoft Azure topic.
  • All cloud-connected pods must have line-of-sight to the same set of Active Directory domains at the time you deploy those pods.