Provisioning desktops and connecting users to hosted resources — it sounds like a straightforward concept…how hard can it be? While it seems simple enough on paper, things can quickly become complicated in large-scale environments. Just think about all of the different configurations that go into building and rolling out virtual desktops. For enterprise deployments, mapping end users to the appropriate resources can become an intricate process. Fortunately, there are many ways to centrally manage it all using a connection broker. A connection broker lies at the heart of any hosted desktop deployment, physical or virtual, and is the key component for assigning resources to end users and controlling the end-user experience. It’s where all the data centerpieces are tied together, and all the decisions are made about who can access what and how. System admins tasked with managing the day-to-day operations of a hosted or virtual desktop infrastructure can heavily rely on a connection broker to simplify certain tasks.
By leveraging pools, plans, and policies, a variety of manual processes can be automated. Below is a section from our newest guide, “Automating Capacity Management in your Virtual Environment with Leostream”, which outlines a three-step formula for streamlining desktop provisioning. [Tip: you can download the full version of the guide right here!]
1. Build Pools
The first key step is to organize desktops into pools. A pool is a collection of similar desktops and applications that can easily be defined based on certain desktops or tags such as machine name, IP address, operating system, and much more. There are many ways to group attributes together into pools and pools can be nested to create a hierarchy. For instance, if your organization has both Windows and Linux users, you can create a parent pool for all of your desktops and then break it down into two smaller pools for each operating system. It’s up to you to figure out which types of segmentation are most important to your organization. Pools act as the building blocks for a variety of different tasks, such as, provisioning thresholds and sharing applications. For example, once a pool reaches its lower bound the connection broker can be configured to automatically spin up/provision new desktops on an as-need basis.
2. Establish Plans
Once you have created your pools, you’ll need a framework to actually put your pools to work. A plan is a set of rules that tells the connection broker how to connect users to their desktop and manage the desktop when the user disconnects or logs out. Plans are a reusable set of behaviors that can be applied to any number of pools. The Leostream Connection Broker provides a variety of plan options, the most popular include:
- Power control plans define a desktop’s power state when the user disconnects or logs out of the desktop.
- Protocol plans define which display protocols the connection broker uses when connecting to a desktop from a particular pool
- Release plans define how long a desktop remains assigned to a user
3. Apply Policies
Once you’ve laid the groundwork by building your pools and plans you can tie everything together by applying policies. Policies determine how resources are offered, connected, and managed for a user. You can configure desktop policy options to instruct the connection broker as to which pools to offer desktops from and how to manage the desktops in each pool when the user logs in and is assigned to a desktop.
Whether you’re deploying 100 desktops or 100,000 you’ll want to set a solid foundation for provisioning and managing them. From an IT productivity standpoint, using a process like our three-step formula has proven to make everything more efficient time and time again.