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    Learning the Basics of VMware Horizon 7.12 – Part 14 – Dynamic Environment Manager Installation and Configuration

    June 18, 2020

    Blog, VMware

    With the preparations out of the way, it’s time to install the DEM FlexEngine, install the DEM Management Console, configure DEM, and test with users accessing the published applications.

    Install DEM

    The FlexEngine component of DEM must be installed on each master image and physical computer used for Horizon.

    In the vCenter console, power on the Server 2019 and Windows 10 master image VMs.

    I collapsed all the Horizon folders before starting.

    Select the cluster and in the right frame click VMs, as shown in Figure 1.

    Figure 1
    Figure 1

    Select the two master images, right-click the two master images, click Power, and click Power On, as shown in Figure 2.

    Figure 2
    Figure 2

    Copy the DEM installation file to the master images and the physical computer.

    Right-click the DEM installation file and click Install, as shown in Figure 3.

    Figure 3
    Figure 3

    Click Next, as shown in Figure 4.

    Figure 4
    Figure 4

    Select I accept the terms in the License Agreement and click Next, as shown in Figure 5.

    Figure 5
    Figure 5

    Click Next, as shown in Figure 6.

    Figure 6
    Figure 6

    Click Typical, as shown in Figure 7.

    The Typical install option installs the DEM FlexEngine, Application Migration, and Self-Support tool. It does not install the Management Console.

    Figure 7
    Figure 7

    Click  Next, as shown in Figure 8.

    No DEM license file is required because the installer detected the Horizon Agent.

    Figure 8
    Figure 8

    Click Install, as shown in Figure 9.

    Figure 9
    Figure 9

    If UAC is enabled, click Yes.

    Click Finish, as shown in Figure 10.

    Figure 10
    Figure 10

    Follow the process from Part 11 (Image Updating) to update the desktop pools and farm.

    Note: Do NOT try logging in to any of the machines with DEM installed until the DEM Management Console is installed and the initial configuration is complete. This is why we lab. So we don’t learn painful or embarrassing lessons in front of a customer. If you attempt to log in to a machine where the DEM FlexEngine was installed, the user is immediately logged off. Why? There is a FlexEngine policy setting named Paths unavailable at logon. The policy setting help text states, “By default, VMware Dynamic Environment Manager logs users out in case the Flex config files path is not available at logon.” We haven’t installed or configured the DEM Management Console yet. Hence, the config files path is not available (the GENERAL folder doesn’t exist), so the user is immediately logged off. Not that I know anything about this. I heard it from a friend.

    Install the DEM Management Console

    The DEM Management Console can be installed on any computer if the user running the console has full rights to the DEM Configuration share. As shown in previous Parts, I have a Horizon 7 management computer. That is where I will install the DEM Management Console.

    Copy the DEM installation file to the management computer.

    Right-click the DEM installation file and click Install, as shown in Figure 11.

    Figure 11
    Figure 11

    Click Next, as shown in Figure 12.

    Figure 12
    Figure 12

    Select I accept the terms in the License Agreement and click Next, as shown in Figure 13.

    Figure 13
    Figure 13

    Click Next, as shown in Figure 14.

    Figure 14
    Figure 14

    Click Custom, as shown in Figure 15.

    Figure 15
    Figure 15

    Click VMware DEM FlexEngine and click Entire feature will be unavailable, as shown in Figure 16.

    Figure 16
    Figure 16

    Click VMware DEM Management Console and click Entire feature will be installed on local hard drive, as shown in Figure 17.

    Figure 17
    Figure 17

    Click Next, as shown in Figure 18.

    Figure 18
    Figure 18

    Click Install, as shown in Figure 19.

    Figure 19
    Figure 19

    If UAC is enabled, click Yes.

    Click Finish, as shown in Figure 20.

    Figure 20
    Figure 20

    DEM Management Console Initial Configuration

    Launch the Management Console, as shown in Figure 21.

    Figure 21
    Figure 21

    Or, as shown in Figure 22, from:

    Figure 22
    Figure 22

    Enter the path to the DEM configuration share and click OK, as shown in Figure 23.

    Figure 23
    Figure 23

    Select or deselect any options desired and click OK, as shown in Figure 24.

    Figure 24
    Figure 24

    After clicking OK, look in the DEM configuration share, you will see a general folder and the configuration XML file, as shown in Figure 25.

    Figure 25
    Figure 25

    To get an easy start for a basic profile configuration, click Easy Start, as shown in Figure 26.

    Figure 26
    Figure 26

    If you want configuration items for Microsoft Office, select the desired Office product(s) and click OK, as shown in Figure 27.

    Figure 27
    Figure 27

    Click OK, as shown in Figure 28.

    Figure 28
    Figure 28

    As seen in Figure 29, there are sample items available.

    Figure 29
    Figure 29

    After the initial configuration set created by Easy Start, the DEM configuration share has more folders and files, as shown in Figures 30 through 33.

    Figure 30
    Figure 30
    Figure 31
    Figure 31
    Figure 32
    Figure 32
    Figure 33
    Figure 33

    Once the update to the pools completed, as we did in Part 10, I logged in as each user on a different device and launched the various published resources to build user-based application profiles and configurations. Test the applications by moving them to various positions in the HTML5 client window and making some configuration changes.

    As was mentioned in Part 10, I never saw the expected published application icons. This time I did, as shown in Figure 34.

    I still have no idea why I see different icons for the published applications each time I log in.

    Figure 34
    Figure 34

    For each of my three test users, I set Calculator to either Scientific, Programmer, or Statistics mode. For Notepad I enabled Word Wrap and changed the font and font size. I then logged off and back on to verify my application settings were saved. As shown in Figure 29, DEM Quick Start saves settings for the four published applications used for this lab: Calculator, Notepad, Paint, and WordPad.

    Next, I restarted both RDS servers to make sure none of the applications stored their settings locally. I then logged in as each user to verify the changes made in each application were still there. They were.

    Figures 35 through 38 show the folders and files created for one of the users in the DEM Profile share.

    Figure 35
    Figure 35
    Figure 36
    Figure 36
    Figure 37
    Figure 37
    Figure 38
    Figure 38

    Each of the Zip files contains a registry (.reg) file named Flex Profiles.reg. Figure 39 shows the contents of the file for vmwuser1’s Calculator.zip.

    Figure 39
    Figure 39

    Continuing looking at folders in the DEM Profile share.

    Figure 40
    Figure 40

    Each of these Zip files contains a folder structure and within each folder is an XML and a reg file.

    Looking back at Figure 36, the Backups folder tree has a similar structure and content as the Archives folder tree.

    The Logs folder contains log files, as shown in Figure 41.

    Figure 41
    Figure 41

    You can use these log files for understanding what happens with the profiles or troubleshooting issues like why a user is immediately logged off after trying to log in, as shown in Figure 42.

    Figure 42
    Figure 42

    There are many other things that DEM can do for Horizon admins and users. Showing you all of its capabilities is probably a 16-part series by itself.

    Leave the DEM Management Console open. We need it for the next Part.

    Up next: DEM Helpdesk Support Tool







    Conversant Group: On average SMBs lose $141,000 per ransomware incident. We keep the bad guys away.

    About Carl Webster

    Webster is a Sr. Infrastructure Consultant for Conversant Group and specializes in Citrix, Active Directory and Technical Documentation. Webster has been working with Citrix products for many years starting with Multi-User OS/2 in 1990.

    View all posts by Carl Webster

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