4 min read

(For more resources related to this topic, see here.)

In this article, we will cover the following key subjects:

  • Horizon Workspace Architecture Overview
  • Designing a solution
  • Sizing guidelines
  • vApp deployment
  • Step-by-step configuration
  • Install Certificates
  • Setting up Kerberos Single Sign-On (SSO)

Reading this article will provide you with an introduction to the solution, and also provides you with useful reference points throughout the book that will help you install, configure, and manage a Horizon Workspace deployment. A few things are out of scope for this article, such as setting up vSphere, configuring HA, and using certificates. We will assume that the core infrastructure is already in place.

We start by looking at the solution architecture and then how to size a deployment, based on best practice, and suitable to meet the requirements of your end users. Next we will cover the preparation steps in vCenter and then deploy the Horizon Workspace vApp.

There are then two steps to installation and configuration. First we will guide you through the initial command-line-based setup and then finally the web-based Setup Wizard. Each section is described in easy to follow steps, and shown in detail using actual screenshots of our lab deployment.

So let’s get started with the architecture overview.

The Horizon Workspace architecture

The following diagram shows a more detailed view of how the architecture fits together:

The Horizon Workspace sizing guide

We have already discussed that Horizon Workspace is made up of five virtual appliances. However, for production environments, you will need to deploy multiple instances to provide for high availability, offer load balancing, and support the number of users that you need in your environment.

For a Proof of Concept (POC) or pilot deployment, this is of less importance.

Sizing the Horizon Workspace virtual appliances

The following diagram shows the maximum number of users that each appliance can accommodate. Using these maximum values, you can calculate the number of appliances that you need to deploy.

For example, if you had 6,000 users in your environment, you would need to deploy a single connector-va appliance, three gateway-va appliances, one service-va appliance, seven data-va appliances, and a single configurator-va appliance. Please note that data-va should be sized using N+1. The first data-va appliance should never contain any user data. For high availability, you may want to use two connector-va appliances and two service-va appliances.

Sizing for Preview services

If you plan to use a Microsoft Preview Server, this needs to be sized based on the requirements shown in the following diagram:

If we use our previous example of 6,000 users, then to use Microsoft Preview, you would require a total of six Microsoft Preview Servers.

The Horizon Workspace database

You have a few options for the database.

For a POC or pilot environment, you can use the internal database functionality. In a production deployment, you would use an external database option, using either VMware PostgreSQL or Oracle 11g. This allows you to have a highly available and protected database.

The VMware recommendation is PostgreSQL, and the following diagram details the sizing information for the Horizon Workspace database:

External access and load balancing considerations

In a production environment, high availability, redundancy, and external access is a core requirement. This needs planning and configuration.

For a POC or pilot deployment, this is usually not of high importance but should be something to be aware of.

To achieve high availability and redundancy, a load balancer is required in front of the gateway-va and the connector-va appliances that are used for Kerberos (Windows authentication).

If external access is required, then typically you will also need a load balancer in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). This is detailed in the diagram at the beginning of this article.

It is not supported to place gateway-va appliances in the DMZ.

For more detailed information about load balancing, please visit the following guide:



In this article, we had an overview of the Horizon Workspace architecture. We made sure that all the prerequisites are in place before we deploy the Horizon Workspace vApp. This article covers the basic sizing, configuration, and the installation of Horizon Workspace 1.5.

Resources for Article:

Further resources on this subject:

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