This article is part one of a serie of blog posts which will explain more about Horizon DaaS.
In this article I will describe the basics of VMware Horizon DaaS and how it differs from Horizon View.

  1. Introduction to Horizon DaaS – Horizon DaaS 8.0 – Introduction
  2. What’s New in Horizon DaaS 8.0 – Horizon DaaS – What’s New?
  3. What about networking in Horizon DaaS 8.0 – Networking

What is Horizon DaaS?

Horizon DaaS is a piece of software delivered by VMware to offer a multi-tenant VDI product used mainly by Service Providers.

Also, VMware Horizon DaaS is a niche product used by only little amount of companies.


First, a little bit of history: Horizon DaaS is the evolved Desktone product.
In 2006 Desktone was founded by Eric Pulier serving a multi-tenant remote desktop environment.
During the years, the company struggled with the business model.

The company was acquired by VMware late 2013. VMware renamed Desktone to VMware Horizon DaaS.

At the moment of writing this article, Horizon DaaS 8 is the current version, older versions are:

Below you will find a screenshot of the Horizon DaaS Service Center. Through the years, the VMware Horizon DaaS Service Center or Service Provider Admin Portal hasn’t changed, it looks the same in Horizon DaaS 6, 7 and 8.

Horizon DaaSHorizon View
Multi-tenant architectureSingle-tenant architecture
Based on Linux appliancesInstalled on Windows
Built-in role separation with different portal for 
Service Provider, IT Admin and End-Users
Single Management interface

Full desktop and Session-based (RDSH)
Full desktop and Session-based (RDSH)
Massive scale for thousands of desktops and tenants
Massive scale for thousands of desktops and sites
Multi-data centerMulti-data center
Published applications (RemoteApp)
Published applications (RDSH)
VSPP Licensing (Service Provider)
Named user or concurrent connection licensing

VMware Horizon DaaS Terminology

DesktopVirtual desktops for end users
Management ApplianceVirtual appliances that host the DaaS platform, and are split into:
Service Provider
Resource Manager
Tenant Manager
Desktop Manager
TemplateBase virtual machine (OVA) used to create management appliances (in HA pairs) as they scale out. Static content for all management appliances (Ubuntu, JBOSS, postgres, memcached, OpenSSL, etc.)
Gold PatternBase virtual machine for tenants to clone desktops
OrganizationService Provider or Tenant (customer)
Access PointLinux virtual appliance that resides in the DMZ, providing remote access to desktops. Typically resides behind a load-balancer
DaaS AgentDeployed in each virtual desktop along with View Agent and View Agent Direct Connect
FabricThe fabric contains the DaaS platform configuration data and control logic


VMware Horizon DaaS is a Unix based product running in your own datacenter. 
Prerequisites for running VMware Horizon DaaS are:

  • URL to Horizon DaaS binaries – My VMware download
  • Networking
  • Storage resources
  • A separate cluster for Horizon DaaS management resources
  • A separate cluster for Horizon DaaS tenant resources
  • Active Directory / DNS
  • NTP time server(s)
  • Accounts with administrative privileges in VMware vCenter
  • SSL Certificate

Example of Horizon DaaS networking architecture

Horizon DaaS 8.0 architecture example
Horizon DaaS 8.0 architecture example


By Marc Roeleveld

VCDX-DCV #299 | Cloud Architect | Owner at Roeleveld Cloud Services

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