1.4. About Management

The management element is the main part of Oracle VDI. This element provides all the functionality needed to build large-scale virtual machine deployments, and to provide users with access to their desktops. It contains the following components:

The RDP Broker, and Sun Ray Software components provide the means for users to access their desktops, and these are discussed in Section 1.5, “About Desktop Access”. The following sections describe the purpose of the other components.

VDI Service

The VDI Service is the most important component of the Oracle VDI. It is used to create and manage desktop providers and desktops, and to authenticate users and assign desktops to them. The VDI Service is deployed as the vda module in the Common Agent Container (Cacao), which is a system daemon for running Java management applications. Sometimes the VDI Service is referred to as the VDA Service.

With Oracle VDI, desktops are organized into pools. A pool is a group of desktops hosted by a particular desktop provider type. Individual desktops can be imported into a pool, or a desktop can be imported as a template which is then cloned to create the required number of desktops. Pools are also used to apply a group of configuration settings to all the desktops in the pool, for example to specify the subnet on which the desktops are placed, or to control the resources used by the virtual machines.

The desktops in a pool are one of the following types:

The VDI Service can be configured to manage the complete lifecycle of a desktop by:

Oracle VDI can make use of data held in external user directories to authenticate users and assign desktops to them. This enables you to assign individual desktops or pools to the existing users and groups within your organization. The VDI Service supports Active Directory and LDAP-type directories. Multiple directories can be configured and this enables you to provide desktops to multiple companies from a single Oracle VDI deployment, or to integrate with companies that have complex Active Directory structures such as multiple tree forests with multiple domains. It is also possible to assign desktops to users using smart cards (Oracle VDI calls these tokens). Tokens and user directories can be used together, or independently.

Oracle VDI has two tools for configuring and managing the VDI Service:

The VDI Service itself can only be started and stopped from the command line, using the vda-service command.

Oracle VDI Center Agent

The Oracle VDI Center Agent is deployed as the vda.center.agent module in the Common Agent Container (Cacao). It enables Oracle VDI to scale up to support more users, and to provide a reliable and highly available service.

Oracle VDI hosts can be joined together to form an Oracle VDI Center. The first host that is configured forms the Oracle VDI Center and this host is known as the primary host. Additional hosts are configured and added to the Oracle VDI Center as secondary hosts. The Oracle VDI Center Agent provides secure communication between the hosts in the Oracle VDI Center and is responsible for co-ordinating the information about the Oracle VDI Center among the hosts.

An Oracle VDI Center that has more than one host is able to provide a reliable service because the desktop sessions can be distributed between the hosts. If one host fails another one continues to host desktop sessions with only a minimal interruption to the user. If the primary host becomes unavailable, the Oracle VDI Center Agent automatically promotes a secondary host to become the new primary host, and communicates these changes to the other hosts in the Oracle VDI Center. This is known as failover. Failover only occurs if the embedded MySQL Server database is used.

MySQL Database

Oracle VDI requires a MySQL database to store configuration and run-time information. When you configure an Oracle VDI Center, you can choose to use the embedded MySQL Server database that is included with the Oracle VDI software, or you can use your own MySQL database.

If you use the embedded MySQL Server database, the primary host in the Oracle VDI Center runs the Oracle VDI database (the master). To provide for high availability, a secondary host in the Oracle VDI Center runs a replication database (the slave) that receives updates from the primary host. If the primary host becomes unavailable, the Oracle VDI Center Agent automatically promotes the secondary host to become the primary host, and the slave database becomes the master database. If you use your own MySQL database, you must make your own provision for high availability.

The configuration data stored in the database includes the information about user directories and tokens, desktop information such as desktop providers, pools, templates, and storage. The run-time information includes information about the users that are logged in, the desktops they are using, the state of the desktops, and details of cloning jobs that are running.

Oracle VDI Web Server

The Oracle VDI Web Server is an Apache Tomcat server that is used to run the graphical administration tools used with Oracle VDI. In addition to Oracle VDI Manager, there is also the Sun Ray Administration tool. Each administration tool uses its own Tomcat instance and is accessed using a different port number.

The Oracle VDI Web Server also runs the Oracle VDI web services, which are described in Section 1.5, “About Desktop Access”.