VMware Horizon View Blueprint for AM

Recently Automation Machine has announced collaboration with VMware (link). One of the technical outcomes of that collaboration is the new blueprint, Vmware Horizon View, released by Automation Machine. For anyone wanting to skip directly to trying the blueprint, you can download it here. This blogpost will be discussing the features the blueprint is equipped with. I’m assuming you have a background in IT in general and some basic Automation Machine knowledge. You need to have an Automation Machine environment installed with a freshly created (empty) environment.

Blueprint import


So you’ve started the User Interface and you want to import the blueprint you’ve just downloaded. You can find all blueprint related stuff in the upper right corner (picture 1 below).

BluePrint Stuff
Picture 1: Blueprint Import button

The Blueprint Export button can be used to create your own blueprint out of the current environment. The blueprint editor can be used to change earlier created blueprints. I’ll dedicate a blogpost later on how to properly create and edit blueprints.

Start of wizard & media

After importing the blueprint you’ll get 2 pages with information. The first page contains the blueprint name, version, author and a short summary. The second page contains the blueprint contents (collections, layers and packages). On the third page you get to something you actually need to configure. This page contains the media requirements. Obviously Automation Machine needs some files to deploy everything. These are generally available for download or you might need to get them through the vendor (VMware & Microsoft). Also you need the installation files for Adobe Flash and Mozilla Firefox (the AppVolumes management interface works best with Firefox & the Flash plugin). So for the different media requirements Automation Machine needs these files to be present:

VendorSoftwareVersionRequired Files
VMwareView Connection Server6.2VMware-viewconnectionserver-x86_64-6.2.0-3005368.exe
VMwareView Agent6.2VMware-viewagent-6.2.0-3005627.exe
MicrosoftWindows Server2012R2All installation files from a Windows Server 2012R2 install disk
MicrosoftSQL Server2012All installation files from a Microsoft SQL Server 2012 install disk
VMwareUser Environment Manager8.7.0VMware User Environment Manager 8.7 x64.msi
VMware User Environment Manager 8.7 x86.msi
AdobeFlash Player20install_flash_player_20_active_x.msi
MozillaFirefox43Firefox Setup 43.0.2.exe
VMwareApp Volumes2.9App Volumes Agent.msi
App Volumes Manager.msi
App Volumes Broker Integration Service.msi

When you’re done importing all files it’ll look like this:

Picture 2: blueprint media
Picture 2: blueprint media

Assigning machines

Next up is assigning machines to collections. Automation Machine contains all information to deploy the machines. We need to tell Automation Machine which machine belongs to which collection. I usually use the “import AD” function which allows you to import machines directly from Active Directory but you can also enter machines manually or import from a .csv file.

Importing machines using Active Directory.
Picture 3: Importing machines using Active Directory.

After importing the machines you can select collections on the left, and assign the machines from the middle box using the arrows on the right.

Variable assignment

After you click next the blueprint wizard start resolving the computer names. If that succeeds and the blueprint creator has linked variables to computers then the values referencing machines in the blueprint will already be filled in for you. For example in case of this blueprint the the AppVolumes Manager will already have an SQL server assigned.

Apart from those you’ll have to fill in some values which Automation Machine or better yet, the blueprint creator cannot decide for you. For example the vCenter server, any credentials needed and a list of other things needed. Some values already have defaults filled in. Others have (extensive) descriptions about what they’re used for and what you’re supposed to fill in.

After you’ve filled in all values you can start deploying the blueprint. You’ll be shown a summary of all information entered. You can also choose not to deploy the blueprint but that does mean you’ll lose the deployment order that’s embedded in the blueprint. In case you did choose to deploy the blueprint. A few hours later (depending on the performance of your hardware) the Automation Machine dashboard will look like this:

BluePrint Finished
Picture 4: Automation Machine has fully deployed VMware Horizon View.

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