Friday, September 12, 2014

How to tell who deleted your Horizon View VM

It's happened to all of us - we go to find a particular desktop in the View Inventory only to find it's not there. You didn't delete, so who did?

Luckily we know better than to survey our co-workers - we can confirm from the logs!

On the Connection Server, navigate to C:\ProgramData\VMware\VDM\logs and check out the DEBUG logs.

Typically you will see a line similar to:

2014-09-11T10:45:18.210-07:00 DEBUG (0B1C-0B47) [ws_TomcatService] STDOUT: 2014-08-11 10:45:18 [com.vmware.vdi.desktopcontroller.PendingOperation]-[DEBUG] Pool floating::Stopping & deleting VM /EUC/vm/Floating/Win7-01.

In this example, if you trace the session ID (0B1C-0B47), you'll also find a line earlier in the log such as:

2014-08-11T10:39:23.053-07:00 DEBUG (0B1C-0B38) [ws_TomcatService] STDOUT: 2014-09-11 10:39:23 [com.vmware.vdi.admin.ui.LoginBean]-[INFO] User ryan has successfully authenticated to View Administrator

And voila! User ryan has been busted.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Running Workspace Portal 2.1 in VMware Workstation 10

With the release of Workspace Portal 2.1, the vApp has been reduced to a single VM providing simpler deployment and administration. [See my post What's New in Workspace Portal 2.1] This also means it's extremely easy to run inside of VMware Workstation or Fusion. In this post, we'll be covering how to import Workspace Portal 2.1 into VMware Workstation.
Why would you want to run Workspace Portal in a desktop solution like Workstation?

Well it's by no means a production solution. It does provide a decent lab environment at best though! This is great for tinkering with the product before implementing in a vSphere environment. You can get a pretty good idea for how the product flows. If you happen to have a more advanced home lab setup in Workstation already (With Active Directory, vCenter Server, etc). If you don't, luckily there is a Demo User Store that can be selected during the Web GUI configuration which will create dummy accounts for you and use an embedded OpenLDAP instance on the VM. Pretty cool!

More info on using the Demo User Store here

To install Workspace Portal 2.1 in Workstation:

  1. Download the Workspace Portal 2.1 OVA

  2. In Workstation, choose File > Open

  3. Configure your desired Name and Location, and choose Import

  4. Review the details of the VM

  5. Power on the VM, and you'll run through the Setup Wizard

    1. Choose [1] for a complete installation

    2. Enter [y] to accept

    3. Next configure your hostname, DNS, and IP settings

    4. When done, hit [q] to continue, then [y] to confirm

  6. After it performs its initial boot and configuration, you'll see the familiar Login screen with an IP address.

    NOTE: in this example, we're using a Bridged network connection. This can be verified and configured under VM > Settings > Network Adapter

  7. In my setup, I want to be able to access Workspace with the hostname I provided earlier in the setup. In order to do that, I need to modify my computer's /etc/hosts file. My daily OS is Linux Mint, so I will perform this via the command line:

    1. First ensure you can ping the appliance from the IP listed in the console window

    2. Then add an entry for the appliance in the hosts file
      vi /etc/hostsThe entry should follow this format:
      FQDN shortname

      e.g., workspace21.mycomputer.local workspace21

  8. Once your hosts file is updated, you should be able to ping the appliance by the name you gave it.

  9. Final step is to open a browser and login per the console window's instructions!

Next Steps: Run through the web GUI to further configure the appliance. See my post on Installing/Configuring Workspace Portal


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Installing VMware Workspace Portal 2.1

The Workspace vApp design and deployment has been dramatically simplified in this release. If you've dabbled with Workspace in the past, got frustrated with the vApp complexity, and ended up putting it on the shelf - now's the time to revisit this amazing product.

Some things that make Workspace Portal 2.1 easier to deploy than previous releases:

  1. Single VM - Workspace is now a singular VM handling all its services. No more SSHing to other VMs within the vApp and messing with proxy over and over.

  2. No more IP Pools - the requirement of IP Pools is a thing of the past. Hooray!

  3. No more vCenter dependency - deployment doesn't require vCenter URL and credentials

  4. Much faster deployment - the vApp deploys with 4 VMDKs by default and takes much less time than previous instances.

NOTE: Older instances of Workspace cannot be upgraded to Workspace Portal 2.1. Instead, a migration is required. Please see the Migration Guide here:  And see my post covering this process (coming soon)


  1. Deploy the OVA like normal (In vCenter, File > Deploy OVF Template)

    1. In the Properties section of the deployment, Ensure "Connector Only Install" remains UNchecked.

    2. Set your correct timezone settings (this will affect vApp time and log times)

    3. Opt in/out of the Customer Experience Program

    4. If you don't want to rely on DHCP, enter the FQDN, Default Gateway, DNS, IP, and Netmask for the appliance.

  2. Once the vApp is deployed, power it on. You'll be greeted with familiar instructions to navigate to your Workspace Portal's URL for configuration

  3. Once you're there, you'll see a new configuration wizard

  4. Notice you can now configure separate passwords for root, sshuser, and your administrator accounts

  5. New in the Map User Attributes page is an attribute for DaaS (Desktone), the distinguishedName

  6. Once setup is complete, it will link you to the Admin Dashboard!


What's New in VMware Workspace Portal 2.1

VMware's Workspace Portal was just brought to version 2.1. This release comes with some exciting changes and new features that make this the best Workspace release yet.

Simplified Deployment - Workspace is now a single VM (still deployed as an OVA). This architectural change makes SO MANY things easier including log locations, configuration changes (like Proxy settings), and much more. The single Connector-va service within the vApp is capable to handle most AD environments. Additional instances can be cloned for high availability and unique domain configurations.

Another handy tidbit is that (finally!) the Bind DN account used during deployment to perform the initial user sync will be added/synced itself by default. Hooray!

AirWatch and Desktone integration - AirWatch 7.3 and Desktone 6.1 can be fully integrated with SSO using Workspace Portal 2.1

All new Dashboard with reporting  - I might be the most excited about this one. Out of the box, the new Admin Dashboard shows incredibly useful reporting data such as user engagement, historical trends, system health, and active users. I'm happy to report that this dashboard also dynamically updates - no need for manual refresh (not pointing fingers... Horizon View...)

Also new is the Administrative Service Links (aka, QuickLinks). Going to https://:8443 will take you to a shortcuts page to perform administrative tasks like configure SSL certificates, administer user entitlements, and manage user authentication.

Related Posts:

Upgrading Workspace Portal 2.1 [Coming Soon]

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