5.1. About Pools

5.1.1. How to Create Desktop Pools
5.1.2. How to Configure Networks Per Pool
5.1.3. How to Configure RDP Options Per Pool
5.1.4. How to Enable USB Redirection
5.1.5. How to Configure Smart Card Removal
5.1.6. How to Configure Kiosk Settings (Sun Ray Kiosk Provider)
5.1.7. Choosing Between VRDP and MS-RDP

5.1.1. How to Create Desktop Pools

Oracle VDI organizes desktops in pools. A pool is a collection (or container) of desktops. Typically you will create different pools for different types of users. For example, the engineering team in your company might have different desktop requirements than the marketing department.

Caution

When you change pool settings from NAT networking to Host Networking + Windows RDP, existing desktops that are running must be stopped and restarted or else subsequent user requests for these desktops will fail.

This issue occurs because existing, running desktops will be using NAT and will not have a public IP address. After the pools settings have been changed, subsequent requests for that desktop will attempt to access the desktop via the private (and inaccessible) NAT IP.

Note

Only one pool can be created per Microsoft Remote Desktop provider.

Oracle VDI Manager Steps

  1. In Oracle VDI Manager, go to Pools.

  2. Select a company.

  3. In the Pools table, click New.

    A New Pool wizard is displayed.

    1. For Oracle VM VirtualBox and Microsoft Hyper-V desktop providers, choose one of the following pool types:

      • Dynamic pools are filled with cloned flexible desktops. If you choose the Dynamic Pool type, the desktops in the pool will be temporarily assigned to users. They will be recycled each time the user logs out. This pool type is considered dynamic because the user-desktop assignments are often changing.

      • Growing pools are filled with cloned personal desktops. If you choose the Growing Pool type, the desktops in the pool will be permanently assigned to users. Users can log in and out without losing their desktop settings. The desktops are not recycled.

      • Manual pools are initially empty. They are filled manually by importing personal desktops. The Manual Pool type should be used if cloned desktop assignment is not an option.

        Note

        For Microsoft Remote Desktop providers, pool types do not apply.

CLI Steps

  • Create a pool.

    # /opt/SUNWvda/sbin/vda pool-create -p name=pool name,provider=desktop provider name
    
    • Example - Creates a pool for an Oracle VM VirtualBox desktop provider.

      example% /opt/SUNWvda/sbin/vda pool-create \
      -p name="Templates",provider="VB provider",assignment-type=personal
    • Example - Creates a pool for a VMware vCenter desktop provider and specifies a template to fill the pool from.

      example% /opt/SUNWvda/sbin/vda provider-list-templates "VC provider"
      NAME ID PATH
      XP-Template vm-134 [Datacenters, ADatacenter, vm]
      XPClone vm-629 [Datacenters, ADatacenter, vm]
      example% /opt/SUNWvda/sbin/vda pool-create \
      -p name="VC pool",provider="VC provider",template=vm-134,preferred-size=30,\
      free-size=5,max-size=35,power-state=on,assignment-type=flexible,\
      recycle-policy=reuse,idle-timeout=2

5.1.2. How to Configure Networks Per Pool

The Per Pool Network Configuration feature enables an administrator to specify the subnet in which desktops will be placed. For Oracle VM VirtualBox, Microsoft Hyper-V, and VMware vCenter desktop providers, Oracle VDI will detect the networks that are configured on the provider's hosts, and the administrator can select which of these networks should be used in specific pools.

Configuration of networks is done at two levels in Oracle VDI:

  • Desktop Provider (Oracle VM VirtualBox and Microsoft Hyper-V only) - Each subnet available on either an VirtualBox or Microsoft Hyper-V host is identified by a unique label. By default this label is the subnet address, but it can be changed in the Network tab for the desktop provider. When a host is added to a desktop provider, Oracle VDI will detect the subnets available on that host and will update the Network table accordingly. If a subnet is not available on any of the hosts in a provider, Oracle VDI will display a warning. You can view the list of subnets available for a specific host by selecting that host in the Host tab for the desktop provider. If you make changes to the networking on a host, click the Refresh button in the Network tab so that Oracle VDI can rescan the subnets available on the host.

  • Desktop Pool

    • Oracle VM VirtualBox and Microsoft Hyper-V desktop providers only - A pool can have one or more networks assigned to it. When a pool is created, Oracle VDI will check whether any networks are available on all hosts for the desktop provider of the pool, and it will assign one of these networks to the pool. If no networks are available on all hosts for the provider, the administrator must explicitly specify a network to be used by the pool through the Settings tab for the pool. When desktops are imported or cloned in a pool, Oracle VDI will create a network device on the desktop and configure that device to be in the networks that have been enabled for the pool. If more than one network has been configured for the pool, Oracle VDI will use the network that has been configured as the primary network when trying to establish an RDP connection to the desktop. The primary network for a pool can be configured in the Settings tab.

    • VMware vCenter desktop provider only - The default behavior for VMware vCenter pools is to use the network configuration stored with your VMware vCenter templates and virtual machines. You can override this behavior for a given pool by enabling the use customized network settings in the pool's Settings tab.

Note

The Per Pool Network Configuration feature is only available for Oracle VM VirtualBox desktop provider pools if Host Networking is being used.

Oracle VDI Manager Steps

  1. In Oracle VDI Manager, go to Pools.

  2. Select a pool.

  3. Go to the Settings tab to specify which networks are configured on the desktops in the pool.

    For each network selected, a network adapter will be created on new desktops created in that pool.

Note

Oracle VM VirtualBox and Hyper-V desktop provider notes:

  • Rename or refresh the desktop provider network list - Select the Desktop Providers category, and select the Oracle VM VirtualBox or Microsoft Hyper-V desktop provider of interest. Select the Network tab to see the network(s) configured on the desktop provider. After making changes to the networking on an VirtualBox or Microsoft Hyper-V host, click the Refresh button to rescan the network list for the provider.

  • View a read-only list of the networks on a specific host - Go to the Desktop Providers category, and select a desktop provider. Then select the host in the Host tab.

Note

VMware vCenter desktop provider notes:

  • VMware vCenter networks are not accessible in the Desktop Providers category. You can create and manage networks using VMware vCenter management tools instead.

5.1.3. How to Configure RDP Options Per Pool

You can configure the RDP options to be used by Sun Ray sessions when users connect to their desktops.

The options used by default for the Sun Ray Windows connector (uttsc) are:

  • USB redirection: enabled (-r usb:on)

  • Desktop Background: enabled (-E wallpaper)

  • Theming: enabled (-E theming)

  • Fullscreen mode: enabled (-m )

Use the following steps to configure additional RDP options for the pool.

Oracle VDI Manager Steps

  1. In Oracle VDI Manager, go to Pools and select a pool.

  2. Go to the Settings tab.

  3. In the Sun Ray section, click Edit Sun Ray RDP Settings.

  4. Change the RDP settings and click Save.

    See Pool Sun Ray RDP Settings for an explanation of the settings.

  5. Click Back.

  6. In the Sun Ray section, select Use Customized Settings.

  7. Click Save.

5.1.3.1. Pool Sun Ray RDP Settings

The Sun Ray Windows connector (uttsc) supports a wide range of options for configuring RDP connections to users' desktops.

Oracle VDI enables you to configure a subset of these options for a pool. The following tables list the supported options. For a full list of Sun Ray Windows connector settings, see the man page for the uttsc command (man -M /opt/SUNWuttsc/man uttsc). For details of how other options can be used, see Section 6.2.1, “About the Oracle VDI Sun Ray Kiosk Session”.

The options that can actually be used for a virtual desktop depend on the RDP protocol selected for the pool, the desktop operating system, and the configuration of the virtual desktop itself. For more information, see:

General Settings

Name

Description

Default Value

Session Language

Use this setting to identify the language used for users' desktop sessions.

The options for this setting are:

  • An RFC1766 language tag in the format <language>-<COUNTRY>, for example fr-CH for Swiss French.

  • The decimal value of a Microsoft language ID, for example 2057 (0x0809) for UK English.

en-US

Keyboard Layout

Use this setting to identify the keyboard layout used to process keyboard input by the Remote Desktop Server.

The options for this setting are:

  • An extended RFC1766 language tag in the format <language>- <COUNTRY>[:<layout>], for example en-US:INT for a US International keyboard.

  • The decimal value of a Microsoft keyboard layout ID, for example 66569 (0x10409) for the US English Dvorak layout.

en-US

Keyboard Type

Use this setting to identify the keyboard type used for users' desktop sessions.

Valid values for this setting include All Sun and PC USB Keyboards, Sun Type6 Japanese Keyboard, and Sun Korean Keyboard.

All Sun and PC USB Keyboards

Hotdesking

Use this setting to configure the disconnection and reconnection behavior for RDP sessions when hotdesking occurs.

If Device Client Access License Mode is configured, RDP sessions are disconnected and reconnected.

If Device Client Access License Mode is not configured, RDP sessions are not disconnected.

Windows Pulldown Header

Use this setting to enable or disable the Windows pulldown header.

Enabled

RDP Packet Data Compression

Use this setting to enable or disable the compression of RDP packet data.

Enabled

Appearance Settings

Name

Description

Default Value

Color Depth

Use this setting to specify the preferred color depth for users' desktop sessions. Valid values for this setting are 8, 15, 16, 24 and 32.

Note: Color depth may be limited by configuration of the desktop to which a user connects. In such cases, the available color depths of the desktop take priority over the color depth configured for the pool.

Note: Oracle Secure Global Desktop does not support 15-bit color depths. If this color depth is specified for a virtual desktop, 8-bit color is used instead.

Note: 32-bit color is available on Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008 and later platforms; however, the client device must be capable of displaying 32-bit color.

32

Theming

Use this setting to enable or disable theming for users' desktop sessions.

Note: Disabling this setting can improve display performance.

Disabled

Desktop Background

Use this setting to enable or disable the desktop background for users' desktop sessions.

Note: Disabling this setting can improve display performance.

Disabled

Show Window Contents While Dragging

Use this setting to enable or disable the ability to show complete window contents while dragging windows in users' desktop sessions.

Note: Disabling this setting can improve display performance.

Disabled

Transition Effects for Menus

Use this setting to enable or disable visual effects during the use of menus in users' desktop sessions.

Note: Disabling this setting can improve display performance.

Disabled

Pointer Shadow

Use this setting to enable or disable the use of pointer shadow in users' desktop sessions.

Note: Disabling this setting can improve display performance.

Disabled

Pointer Scheme

Use this setting to enable or disable the use of pointer schemes in users' desktop sessions.

Note: Disabling this setting can improve display performance.

Disabled

Font Smoothing

Use this setting to enable or disable font smoothing for text on the desktop.

Disabled

Sound Input

Use this setting to enable sound input redirection from the client to the desktop and to select the quality of transmitted sound.

The options for this setting are:

  • High: transmit sound at the highest available sample rate.

  • Medium: transmit sound at up to 22.05kHz.

  • Low: transmit sound at a maximum of 8kHz.

  • Off: disable sound input.

Off

Sound Output

Use this setting to disable sound output redirection from the desktop to the client or to select the quality of transmitted sound.

The options for this setting are:

  • High: transmit sound at 22.05 kHz or higher. By default, High quality sound output is enabled and plays locally.

  • Low: transmit sound at 8kHz.

  • Mute: play the sound on the desktop and not on the client.

  • Off: disable sound output.

High

Redirection Settings

Name

Description

Default Value

Smart Cards

Use this setting to enable or disable smart card redirection from an Sun Ray Client to users' desktop sessions.

Disabled

USB

Use this setting to enable or disable USB redirection from an Sun Ray Client to users' desktop sessions.

Enabled

Serial Devices

Use this setting to identify serial devices which should be redirected to users' desktop sessions.

Valid values for this setting are specified using the format comport=device where device identifies the serial device to be redirected and comport identifies the port (on the users' desktops) that device should be redirected to.

No serial devices are redirected by default.

Paths

Use this setting to identify paths (available on an Oracle VDI host) which should be redirected to drives on users' desktop sessions.

Valid values for this setting are specified using the format drive name=path where path identifies the path to be redirected and drive name identifies the drive (on the users' desktops) that path should be redirected to.

No paths are redirected by default.

Printers

Use this setting to identify printer queues which should be redirected to users' desktop sessions.

Valid values for this setting are specified using the format printer=[driver] where printer identifies the printer queue to be redirected and driver identifies a printer driver to be used for the printer on users' desktop sessions. If driver is omitted, a simple PostScript driver is used by default.

No printer queues are redirected by default.

5.1.4. How to Enable USB Redirection

Steps

  1. Prepare the virtual machine template.

    1. In order to use USB 2.0 devices, ensure that a USB 2.0 (EHCI) controller is enabled in the virtual machine template.

    2. Add additional USB drivers for virtual machine templates created in VMware vCenter or Microsoft Hyper-V.

      This step is not necessary for Oracle VM VirtualBox virtual machines.

      See How to Add USB Drivers to a Virtual Machine in the Sun Ray Software 5.3 Administration Guide for details of how to do this.

    3. Installing the USB redirection component of the Sun Ray Windows connector.

      This step is only required if the MS-RDP protocol is used to connect to virtual machines.

      See How to Install the Windows Connector Components on a Windows System in the Sun Ray Software 5.3 Administration Guide for details of how to do this.

  2. Import the prepared virtual machine as a template into the Oracle VDI host.

    Refer to the following:

  3. (Optional) Check that the USB 2.0 (EHCI) controller is enabled in the template.

    1. In Oracle VDI Manager, go to Pools.

    2. Select a pool.

    3. Go to the Template tab.

    4. In the Templates table, click the name of the template.

      The Template Summary page is displayed.

    5. Click the Virtual Machine link.

      The Machine Configuration page is displayed.

    6. Ensure that the USB 2.0 (EHCI) Controller option is selected.

  4. Enable USB support.

    1. In Oracle VDI Manager, go to Pools.

    2. Select a pool.

    3. Go to the Settings tab.

    4. In the Sun Ray Client section, click Edit Sun Ray RDP Settings.

      The Sun Ray RDP Settings are displayed.

    5. In the Redirection section, ensure Enable USB is selected.

    6. Click Save and then click Back.

      The Settings tab is displayed.

    7. In the Sun Ray Client section, select Use Customized Settings.

    8. Click Save.

  5. Check that the USB controllers are present in the template.

    1. (Optional) Clone a virtual machine from the template.

    2. Log in to the virtual machine.

    3. Choose Computer → Properties → Hardware → Device manager to see whether the device is listed under USB Serial Bus Controllers.

5.1.5. How to Configure Smart Card Removal

You can control what should happen to a user's desktop after a smartcard is removed from a Sun Ray Client. Using the Smart Card Removal Policy, you can indicate that a user's desktop should be shut down, suspended, or recycled when the smart card has been out of a Sun Ray Client for a specific length of time. If the user reinserts a smart card before the specified time has elapsed, the associated action on the desktop will be canceled. The Smart Card Removal Policy is configurable per pool and is available for all Oracle VM VirtualBox, Microsoft Hyper-V, and VMware vCenter pools. This policy may be configured using Oracle VDI Manager or the CLI.

Recycling is applied only to desktops that have flexible assignments. Choosing the recycle option for your Smart Card Removal Policy will have no effect on personally assigned desktops.

Oracle VDI Manager Steps

  1. In Oracle VDI Manager, go to Pools.

  2. Select a pool.

  3. Go to the Settings tab.

  4. In the Sun Ray section, indicate the action you want to be associated with removal of smart cards from thin clients using the Action on Card Removal menu.

    • No Action - Select if you want Oracle VDI to ignore smart card removals.

    • Recycle Desktop - Select if you want flexibly assigned desktops to be recycled.

    • Shutdown Desktop - Select if you want desktops to be shut down.

    • Suspend - Select if you want desktops to be suspended.

  5. Specify the number of seconds a smart card must be removed from a thin client before any action should be taken in the Delay Action field.

  6. Click Save.

CLI Steps

  1. Configure the desktop action associated with smart card removal.

    # /opt/SUNWvda/sbin/vda pool-setprops \
    -p card-removed=desktop action pool name
    
  2. Specify the length of time (in seconds) that a smart card must be out of a thin client before the action is performed.

    # /opt/SUNWvda/sbin/vda pool-setprops \
    -p card-removed-timeout=time in seconds pool name
    

    In the following example, the desktop action that should be performed after a smart card has been out of a thin client for 30 seconds is configured.

    # /opt/SUNWvda/sbin/vda pool-setprops \
    -p card-removed=suspend,card-removed-timeout=30 MyPool

5.1.6. How to Configure Kiosk Settings (Sun Ray Kiosk Provider)

You can configure kiosk settings by defining the arguments to be passed to a Sun Ray Kiosk Mode session. Kiosk settings are configurable per pool and are available only for Sun Ray Kiosk pools. Kiosk session arguments are provided as text using a command line syntax. The settings can be configured using Oracle VDI Manager or the CLI.

Each kiosk session type defines what options and arguments it supports. The specified arguments override any default arguments defined by the kiosk session type. For more information, see Kiosk Mode in the Sun Ray Software 5.3 Administration Guide and the documentation for the specific kiosk session type.

See Section 4.4, “Sun Ray Kiosk Desktop Providers” for more details about Sun Ray kiosk sessions.

Oracle VDI Manager Steps

  1. In Oracle VDI Manager, go to Pools.

  2. Select a pool.

  3. Go to the Settings tab.

  4. In the Kiosk Settings field, type the arguments to pass to the kiosk session.

  5. Click Save.

CLI Steps

  • Configure the kiosk settings for the pool.

    # /opt/SUNWvda/sbin/vda pool-setprops -p kiosk-settings="kiosk session arguments" "pool name"
    

    In the following example, settings are configured for a Sun Ray VMware View connector kiosk session.

    # /opt/SUNWvda/sbin/vda pool-setprops \
    -p kiosk-settings="-s myvdmserver.domain -https -- -E theming" "VDM-Pool"

5.1.7. Choosing Between VRDP and MS-RDP

Oracle VDI uses the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) for transmitting data to and from virtual desktops. Oracle VDI supports two different types of RDP, VirtualBox RDP (VRDP) and Microsoft RDP (MS-RDP).

VRDP enables Oracle VDI to connect to virtual desktops at the machine level. This characteristic enables users to watch a virtual machine boot in the same way as a real computer, and desktop sessions appear to start faster. With VDRP, you can also choose between network address translation (NAT) networking or host networking (bridged networking). NAT networking is the simplest way of accessing an external network from a virtual machine, and usually it does not require any configuration on the host network or virtual machine.

With MS-RDP, Oracle VDI connects at the operating system level. Users are not able to watch the virtual machine boot, and the desktop sessions appear to start slower because you have to wait for the virtual machine to boot and be ready to accept RDP connections.

For virtual desktops hosted by Oracle VM VirtualBox desktop providers, you can use either VRDP or MS-RDP. You select the required protocol and networking method in the network settings for the pool, see Section 5.1.2, “How to Configure Networks Per Pool”. By default, pools are configured to use VRDP and NAT networking. To use MS-RDP, you must select host networking.

For all other desktop providers, MS-RDP is used.

The following table shows Oracle VDI features by protocol. The choice of client and virtual machine configuration also influence which features can be used for a virtual desktop. For more information, see Section 6.1, “About Desktop Access”.

Feature

Description

VRDP

MS-RDP

Audio recording (input audio)

Enables recording from client devices to virtual desktops.

Audio redirection

Enables audio content on virtual desktops to be played on client devices.

Auto-logon

Enables users to be logged in automatically to remote desktops.

Clipboard redirection

Enables copy and paste functionality for text between client devices and virtual desktops.

COM port mapping

Enable access to serial devices connected to client devices.

Compression

Enables the bulk compression of data sent to and from the virtual desktops.

Drive redirection (client drive mapping)

Enables access to drives on the client devices.

[a]

Multi-desktop

Enables multiple virtual desktops to be displayed if multiple monitors are attached to client devices.

Multi-monitor

Enables the use of multiple monitors attached to client devices. One desktop session can be displayed on multiple monitors, or multiple desktop sessions on multiple monitors.

(RDP 7 only)

Network security (encryption level)

Enables the encrypted transmission of data to and from virtual desktops, optionally with host verification.

Session directory

Enables automatic reconnection to existing virtual desktop sessions.

Smart card device redirection

Enables access to smart card devices connected to client devices.

[b]

Time zone redirection

Enables the time in the virtual desktop to be adjusted to match the time zone of the client device.

USB device redirection

Enables access to USB devices connected to client devices.

Video acceleration

Enables enhancement to improve the performance of video streams and Adobe Flash content.

Windows printer mapping (client printing)

Enables printing to printers attached to client devices, or printing to local or network printers attached to the virtual desktop or Sun Ray Software server.

[c]

[a] Access to client USB storage devices is supported.

[b] Access to client USB smart card devices is supported.

[c] Access to client USB printers is supported.

For detailed information of the features listed in the above table, and information on using MS-RDP and the Sun Ray Windows connector, see Windows Connector in the Sun Ray Software 5.3 Administration Guide.

For detailed information on VRDP, see Remote Virtual Machines in the Oracle VM VirtualBox documentation.

Desktop Performance Settings and VRDP

Most RDP client programs have settings that can be used to enhance the performance of remote desktops. For example, for Sun Ray Clients, these settings can be configured for a pool, see Section 5.1.3, “How to Configure RDP Options Per Pool”. The performance settings control things such as the color depth, the mouse shadow, and window and menu animations. However, if the VRDP protocol is used to connect to desktops, these settings have no effect, because VRDP connects at the machine level rather than the operating system level.

Auto-Logon

To use automated logons for Windows desktops using the VRDP protocol, the VirtualBox Windows Guest Addition module must be installed in the template or desktop. The Guest Additions must be installed from the command line with the /with_autologon switch.

Auto-Logon is supported for Windows desktops only.

Audio Recording (Input Audio) and MS-RDP

To configure support for audio recording (input audio) from a Sun Ray Client when the MS-RDP protocol is used to connect to a virtual desktop, you must install the audio input component of the Sun Ray Windows connector in the template or desktop. This component is supported on Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 only.

See How to Install the Windows Connector Components on a Windows System in the Sun Ray Software 5.3 Administration Guide for details.

Audio input is disabled by default. You enable it in the RDP options for a pool, see Section 5.1.3, “How to Configure RDP Options Per Pool” for details.

Multi-Monitor

For multi-monitor support with VRDP, Oracle VDI runs a separate instance of the Sun Ray Windows connector for each monitor connection.

For multi-monitor support with MS-RDP, Oracle VDI runs one instance of the Sun Ray Windows connector for each Oracle VDI session.

Oracle VDI provides additional security for VRDP connections by setting a one-time password. Without the correct user name and one-time password, an RDP client fails to connect.

Not all editions of Windows 7 include multi-monitor support, see the Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection FAQ for details.

USB Redirection and MS-RDP

To configure support for USB redirection from a Sun Ray Client when the MS-RDP protocol is used to connect to a virtual desktop, you must install the USB redirection component of the Sun Ray Windows connector in the template or desktop. See Section 5.1.4, “How to Enable USB Redirection” for details.

Video Acceleration and VRDP

VirtualBox has a Video Redirection feature for VRDP. Video streams in a virtual machine are detected by the VRDP server automatically as frequently updated rectangular areas. Video frames are compressed using the Motion JPEG (M-JPEG) format, allowing a higher compression rate than standard RDP bitmap compression methods. The Video Redirection feature works without having to install additional software in the guest. It is not possible to turn off this feature or to change the compression rate.

The Video Redirection feature is supported for any supported desktop that uses VRDP and accessed from a Sun Ray Client, or a client that supports RDP version 7. On Sun Ray Clients, the M-JPEG video streams are delivered through the SunFlash channel.

Video Acceleration and MS-RDP

Video Acceleration is supported for connections that use RDP version 7.

To configure support for video acceleration from a Sun Ray Client when the MS-RDP protocol is used to connect to a virtual desktop, you must install the following components of the Sun Ray Windows connector in the template or desktop:

  • Multimedia redirection: This component provides enhanced performance for Windows Media Player.

  • Adobe Flash acceleration: This component provides enhanced playback capabilities for Adobe Flash content.

  • Audio/video synchronization: This component provides enhanced audio and video synchronization for multimedia content

The multimedia redirection and audio/video synchronization components are supported on Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 only.

For detailed information on how to install the components, see How to Install the Windows Connector Components on a Windows System in the Sun Ray Software 5.3 Administration Guide.

For detailed information about the Sun Ray Windows connector components, see Windows Connector in the Sun Ray Software 5.3 Administration Guide.