Monitor Horizon Instant Clone Desktops in 10 minutes in Five Steps

Instant clone technology is the virtual desktop solution of choice for many VMware Horizon implementations.

Now that ControlUp is a VMware partner, I’m betting that monitoring and troubleshooting instant clone desktops will be among our first use cases, as monitoring hundreds, if not thousands, of them without a tool like ControlUp would be an administrator’s worst nightmare.

To that end, I’ve got a little treat for you. It’s a quick and dirty guide on how to install ControlUp and use it with a pool of instant clone desktops in just five easy steps.

A word to the wise: I will neither go in depth about ControlUp’s features, nor will I go into VMware’s instant clone technology.

In about 90% of cases, the information here should get you up and running, but if you have issues, ControlUp has reams of documentation that can help you out, and you can always contact ControlUp for help (our support team is awesome).

One administrative note: the content of this article assumes that you already have an operational VMware Horizon environment with an instant clone desktop pool created.

Let’s dive in, shall we?

1. Download and install the ControlUp Console

From a Windows desktop or server machine with at least 4GB of RAM, go to the portal or visit the VMware Horizon Service page and download the ControlUp Add-On – Online files and the Getting Started Guide (did you know that ControlUp comes with a free 90-day trial license? It’s true!)

Download and install the ControlUp Console

The download contains a zip file with the ControlUp agent and ControlUp Console. After unzipping it, drag ControlUpConsole.exe to your desktop.

drag ControlUpConsole.exe to your desktop

Double-click ControlUp Console on your desktop, select Run, then click Create a new account. Fill out the registration page (the mobile phone information is optional).

Fill out ControlUp registration page

2. Add an EUC environment to ControlUp

In the ribbon bar of the ControlUp Console, click Add EUC Environment, then select VMware Horizon from the Solution/Platform drop-down menu. Enter a name in the Environment Name text box, and enter the FQDN or IP address of your Horizon Connection server in the Connection Server Name/IP text box. After selecting Add New from the Credentials text box, an “Add New Credentials” dialog box will appear. Add a user that has rights to your Horizon Connection Server and click OK.

Add an EUC environment to ControlUp

In about a minute, your EUC environment will be added to the organizational tree on the left side of the ControlUp Console. By expanding EUC Environments, you will see your Horizon Connection server(s) and desktop pool(s) listed. This will show you information that can be gleaned from the Horizon Connection server (these columns are prefixed with HZ), but not information from the hypervisor or from inside the desktop itself, including CPU usage.

Expand EUC Environments to see Horizon Connection server(s) and desktop pool(s) listed

3. Add vCenter Server to ControlUp

Click Add Hypervisor, then select VMware from the Type drop-down menu. Next, enter the FQDN or IP address of your vCenter server in the URL text box, and a name in the Name text box. Select Add New from the Credentials text box. Then, in the Add New Credentials dialog, add a user that has rights to your vCenter Server, and click OK.

Add VMware Hypervisor to ControlUp

4. Add instant clone desktop machines to ControlUp

Click Add Machines and then Search. In the filter box, enter the prefix for your instant clone pool, then click Add All and OK.

Add instant clone desktop machines to ControlUp

This will install the agent in the instant clone desktops, and you will see the metrics from inside the instant clone machines themselves.

Install the agent in the instant clone desktops

5. Examine the Health of Instant Clone Desktops

In the organization tree, right click an Instant Clone desktop pool and select Focus. To see the overall health of the instant clone desktops, select the Machines tab in the navigation bar. By selecting the Sessions tab, you will find a list of active desktop sessions, and clicking the Processes tabs will show the processes running on the instant clones.

Instant Clone desktop pool and select Focus

Going Further

The purpose of this article was to show you how to quickly set up ControlUp to monitor instant clones. I was able to set it up and begin monitoring my instant clones in under ten minutes, but it might take you a little bit longer. For the sake of brevity in this article, I made a lot of assumptions, and did not explain what I was doing or the full list of options available when installing or using ControlUp Console. If you have any issues installing or using the product, just contact us at ControlUp and we will be more than happy to help you.

Also! Follow the instructions found in the ControlUp Getting Started Guide within the Auto Adding Machines Installed with the MSI Package section to install the ControlUp agent in the master image.

To summarize, in this article I showed you how to monitor instant clones using ControlUp, which is just the beginning and, perhaps, the least exciting thing that ControlUp does. With ControlUp, you can use scripts to auto-manage your VDI environment. You can also do real-time anomaly detection and remediation for your entire stack, from a VDI client to the processes running on a virtual desktop. You can even investigate the cause of slow login times by using ControlUp.

You can find more information on how to do these things in the ControlUp documentation and also on our YouTube channel.

About the author

Tom Fenton

Tom Fenton is a Technical Marketing manager here at ControlUp (in addition to an all-around great guy). He’s THE subject matter expert for Edge DX, our physical endpoint monitoring solution, as well as an expert in all things VMware (FACT: he used to work at VMware, teaching their employees about their technology). He creates valuable, educational content for the ControlUp blog, leads deep-dive webinars, and educates our sales teams and other IT professionals with tips and tricks about how to use ControlUp solutions. In his spare time, he writes for and Virtualization Review magazine, and enjoys outdoor sports in the Pacific Northwest. Connect with him on Twitter @vDoppler.