Returning back to basics…

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Our new puppy, Patsy, at doggy daycare

After having a busy period in life and work, things seemed to have settled. The past few years has had me still doing VDI teaching but now in a true cloud environment. Specifically, Horizon Cloud Services on Microsoft Azure (HCSMA). When I first started teaching this back in 2018, I wasn’t too sure whether this would be a course that customers would want.

Sure. Everything is in the cloud but desktop virtualization tends to lag behind server virtualization while applications are moving more towards SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) model. Subscriptions have become the main method of application payment. But putting desktops and RDSH (Remote Desktop Service Host) into the cloud?

NEVER! (or so some customers tell me.)

But then the pandemic hit. And holy moly! The class was/has become hugely popular overnight. And since the lab environment is a production environment (that is, it runs at whatever version both Azure and Horizon Cloud are at that time) this has meant leaping over some hurdles as new features got released/added. It even meant a sleepless 3 days as we tried to figure out something that impacted our lab environment. Needless to say, I learned a lot and continue to learn a lot.

And I’ll be adding my insights of what I learned and what I will be learning here, much like I did before about Horizon View (and all its variant names). One of the challenges that I ran into was a lack of understanding of Azure. I certainly have a strong understanding of vSphere and quickly learned that Azure is a different kind of hypervisor. If it interests you, I’d suggest starting with the free Azure Fundamentals course, paying particular attention to Part 2 which covers the major “food groups”: computer, memory, network and storage.

When it comes to being able to deploying Horizon Cloud Service on Azure, you need certain main components:

  • vNET: think like a standard virtual switch on vSphere
  • Subscription ID: you’ll need the name and ID itself
  • Tenant/Directory ID: where you’re subscription is located
  • Service Principal info: this is known as the Application Registration found under Azure Active Directory. You will need the App Reg ID and the secret/certificate password. This is the piece that allows Horizon Cloud to talk to Azure’s API.

And before I forget, I should add the importance of being flexible. Remember, this is cloud and it is constantly changing, being improved and evolving. And it’s not just one cloud but two of them. To quote Bruce Lee:

“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.”

Bruce Lee

So if you’re interested in learning more about this and want to join one of my classes (I’m largely the main instructor for the classes in CDT timezone right now), you can register here.

In other fun stuff, I’ve moved from Los Angeles to Halifax (right during the start of the pandemic with 3 cats and my wife). Life is very different here but it’s different in a good way. As you can see we have a new addition to our family in the form of Patsy, our 7-month old Golden Retriever.

So a whole new journey to talk about and share here.

Oh, where to begin? Let's see.. I lived in the US for 13 years (3 years in NYC and 10 years in Los Angeles area). I'm a huge MMORPG fan (I've been a die-hard World of Warcraft player since mid-2007 -- For the Horde!). And have numerous tattoos, including one about VMware and one about Warcraft. I enjoy the occasional cigar with a single malt (for a while, I even had a cigar aficionado blog). I used to enjoy long distance solo cycling and am hoping to restart it here in Nova Scotia. I live just outside of Halifax, Nova Scotia with my wife, our 3 cats and our Golden Retriever.

I'd love to hear from y'all. Leave me a message or comment!