Horizon FLEX Quick Start Guide

In this quick walkthrough we're going to demo FLEX by completing the following steps:

Walkthrough Summary

  • We will connect to the FLEX server via our FLEX client and download a managed VM
  • Launch our managed VM
  • Lockout access to the VM via the FLEX console
  • Reactivate the VM via the FLEX console
  • Wipe the VM from our FLEX client system
  • Check out the YouTube video here of the demo in action!

    In order to perform the full end-to-end demo make sure you have the following:

    • A valid account in the VMware TestDrive environment, signup here if you don't
    • Network access from your device and TCP ports 80, 443 and 7443 enabled
    • An appropriate client installed on your device that can access and use FLEX VMs

    This walkthrough was created on Mac OSX running Fusion Flex Edition 7.1.2, for a list of supported clients check the documentation out here, also here's a handy link to the online FLEX documentation center for reference and exact procedures for your client type.

    **WARNING**

    You will have FULL ADMINISTRATIVE ACCESS to the FLEX demo environment via the console, so please look *BUT* don't touch. And by touch I mean change anything. Yes, that means you.

    OK let's go, open your favorite web browser and navigate to the FLEX Admin Console at:

    https://flex.vmtestdrive.com:7443/rvm
    	

    You should see the FLEX login window

    Enter your VMWDEMO username and password

    Entering your username and password

    Enter your VMWDEMO username and password in the format

    username: vmwdemo\{your_username}
    password: {your_password}
    	

    *NOTE you may have to enter VMWDEMO.INT\{your_username} if the above fails (we have observed this behaviour on certain clients)

    Then hit the login button which takes you to the FLEX dashboard, here you'll see the default view is of our FLEX images that we've made available to you, which for the nostalgic among you is a trip down Microsoft memory lane!
    We've got MS-DOS, Windows 3.11, Windows 95, Windows NT, Windows XP and Windows 7!

    There is a method to the madness here, before you scream "why would I want an MS-DOS VM?!" and flip the desk over in a rage, the reason is simple, these VMs are very small and require little to no time to download. As you'll see later, we will download the VM from our FLEX server, and depending on how much time you have you might want a teeny-tiny VM to prove the concept.

    You can optionally you can take the time to look through the configuration of one or all of the images by highlighting the image and selecting "Edit" from the toolbar

    In the Edit Image view we can take a closer look at configurable parameters, including the image friendly name, description, icon, URL and disclaimer settings

    Cancel out of the dialog and check out the other sections on the left, let's start with Policies, click the "Policies" button and check out the configured policies in the list.

    You'll see we have a couple defined already, the default policy and the TestDrvie default policy. Click the TestDrive Default Policy and click on "Edit"

    Here you can checkout the Policy settings that we have made for all our FLEX VMs, feel free to look around but be careful not to make any changes here.

    Cancel out when you're done and let's carry on by looking at our entitlements, click the "Entitlements" button on the left, then select an entitlement and click the "Edit" button to have a look at the settings

    Entitlements are pretty simple, it's where we entitle AD users to our images, here you can have a look at the image and AD settings

    When you're done cancel out of the entitlements window and let's take a look at the last section, click the "Virtual Machines" button on the left of the window

    We'll come back to this view later on in the demo, so let's fire up a FLEX client and connect in to see what's going on.

    Launch your FLEX client, for this demo walkthrough we are using Fusion Flex Edition 7.1.2 for Mac OSX however the process is similar for other clients, check the docs for exact procedures on other client systems.

    Go to the File menu and select "Connect to server..." then fill in the dialog with the following information

    Entering your username and password

    Enter your VMWDEMO username and password in the format

    username: vmwdemo\{your_username}
    password: {your_password}
    	

    *NOTE you may have to enter VMWDEMO.INT\{your_username} if the above fails (we have observed this behaviour on certain clients)

    Then hit connect and after a few seconds you'll see the "Available Desktops" launcher and our rogue's gallery of Microsoft operating systems!
    For this demo we'll use Windows 3.11, let's select it from the list and hit the cute download icon

    First thing we'll be prompted for is a name and download location, as our FLEX client will need to download the VM from the FLEX server and save it somewhere on our local filesystem
    Choose a name and location then hit save

    Next thing we'll see is the cool disclaimer we set in our image definition

    Hit accept and we should see the VM start downloading, this is why we have a variety of VMs for download, if you're stuck with a poor connection you don't want to have to download the 4GB Win7 image! 

    Once it's downloaded the VM will automatically start, and you'll be prompted for the password to unlock the VM. All the FLEX VMs are encrypted and use the same password to unlock.

    Encyrption password for all TestDrive FLEX VM's

    The encryption password for all Virtual Machines in the TestDrive Environment is

    vmware
    	

    So enter the password and then hit "OK"

    You should see a confirmation of policy settings for local host computer settings, click on OK to continue booting

    Then in a few seconds, you're back in 1992! Enjoy the stark beauty that is Windows 3.11!

    Once you've had your fill of Minesweeper and PIF Editor, let's head back to the admin console and do some cool stuff to show the management power of FLEX!

    Go to the console and click the "Virtual Machines" section on the left

    We're going to lock ourselves out of our FLEX VM, find your active session in the list, then click the "Lockout" icon

    You'll see a confirmation dialog box, hit the "OK" button to complete the lockout action

    Now to force the action on the client, let's try to suspend and resume our running VM, hit the "Suspend" icon in the VM window

    Once the VM is suspended, let's try and power this back on, click the "Resume" button

    You will immediately see a dialog box from the client that informs you that access has been revoked! No more Solitaire for you!

    Let's reactivate it, press "OK" to clear the dialog and switch back to the FLEX admin console and go to the "Virtual Machines" section

    You should see in the status that your VM is "locked out", select your session and click the "Reactivate" icon on the top bar

    You will be prompted to accept the reactivation dialog, this is confirming the inherited policy settings we have assigned to the image and gives the option to override any settings if necessary, click OK and we'll see the status of the session go to "Reactivation Pending" in the Virtual Machines view

    Now let's resume the VM, go back to the FLEX client and click "Resume"

    Now we can see our FLEX VM has fired up without any problem, and you're back to the wonderful world of Windows 3.11!

    So that's great, now let's suspend the VM again

    Now back on the FLEX console, let's WIPE the VM from our system by going to the Virtual Machines section and selecting "Wipe" from the top menu

    Accept the warning dialog in the console

    And the session status will change to "Pending Wipe"

    Try firing up the VM one last time and you'll see a chirpy information box popup informing you that access has been revoked and the virtual machine will be permanently deleted, and indeed the VM will be deleted from your client system

    Click OK, and that is the last step in this super simple FLEX demo!

    That's a logical place to stop, let's have a quick recap of what happened!

    Walkthrough Summary

  • We will connect to the FLEX server via our FLEX client and download a managed VM
  • Launch our managed VM
  • Lockout access to the VM via the FLEX console
  • Reactivate the VM via the FLEX console
  • Wipe the VM from our FLEX client system
  • Check out the  TestDrive Support KB for further walkthroughs, FAQs and information regarding the VMware Global Demo Environment.

    For support or to report issues with any of the demo systems please send an email to testdrive@vmtestdrive.zendesk.com.