Manage host pools
A host pool is a collection of one or more identical virtual machines (VMs) within an Azure Virtual Desktop environment. Each host pool contains an application group that users can access.
Host pools can be configured a number of different ways depending on the intended purpose. The following table describes different options that you can choose when creating a host pool.
Personal vs. pooled
Application vs. desktop
A host pool can only publish applications or desktops, but not both at the same time. When you create a host pool, you choose a publishing type from Desktop or Application. An application group of the appropriate type (Desktop or RemoteApp) for the host pool is created automatically. Note that you cannot change the publishing type later. If you decide that you want to change it, you'll have to delete the existing host pool and create a new one.
Template vs. standalone
When you create a host pool, you need to select from Template or Standalone. A host pool can contain hosts that already exist (Standalone) or it can use a template which in turn could be based on an existing guest VM or chosen to be created on the fly from images in Azure Marketplace or in your Shared Image Gallery.
To manage Azure Virtual Desktop host pools, navigate to Farm > Site > Azure Virtual Desktop and select the Host pools tab.
To add a new host pool:
- Click Tasks > Add to open the Add Azure Virtual Desktop Host Pool wizard.
- Select a provider and workspace at the top of the page. You can also create a new provider and/or workspace right from this page by clicking a corresponding Create new button, which will open a wizard.
- After selecting (or creating) a provider and workspace, complete the wizard as described in Add an Azure Virtual Desktop host pool.
To view and modify host pool properties, right-click it and choose Properties. In the dialog that opens, select tabs and view or modify host pool properties as described below.
On the General tab, you can enable or disable the host pool. Note that if you disable it, all hosts and published resources will also be disabled.
You can also modify the host pool description and view general host pool properties.
Note the application group settings at the bottom of the tab page. Depending on the host pool publishing type, you'll see the following:
- Desktop: If the host pool is configured to publish desktops, you will see just the Desktop application group section.
- Application: If the host pool is configured to publish applications, you will see two groups: Desktop and RemoteApp. The RemoteApp is the standard Azure group type for publishing remote applications. The Desktop group is added by Azure automatically, but is not used in Parallels RAS if the host pool publishing type is Application.
The Friendly name property value is generated automatically by Parallels RAS and is required for host pools to function properly.
On the Configuration tab, examine the host pool configuration properties. You should be familiar with them from when you created a host pool.
You can modify the following properties on this page:
- Load balancer
- Limit number of sessions on host
- Power on host on-demand
- Validation environment
For the explanation of configuration properties, see Add an Azure Virtual Desktop host pool.
This tab is shown only for host pools with Template as a provisioning type. Here you can select a template if one has not been specified for the host pool yet. You can also create a new template by clicking the Create new button, which will open a wizard. If you don't have any templates, the only selection available is None, which means that there's no template to create hosts from. If that's the case, you need to create a template first and then select it here. See also Manage templates.
The Autoscale settings section contains settings that determine how hosts (virtual machines) are created from the specified template. These settings work the same as Autoscale settings for RD Session Host groups. The only difference is, in Azure Virtual Desktop we deal with hosts and host pools, while in RD Session Host groups we talk about servers and groups, otherwise the settings work in a similar manner. For details, please see the Autoscale subsection in Grouping and cloning RD Session Hosts.
The Specifications section allows you to overwrite the virtual machine size specified in the settings of the template used by the given host pool. Select the Overwrite the size specified in template properties option and select a desired size from the drop-down list. The selected size will only be used by this host pool. Other host pools using the same template will be unaffected. Note that available sizes may depend on the location, size, and power state of the host pool members and the template. Also note that overwriting the size requires a host reboot.
The Hosts tab lists hosts from this host pool. You can examine the status of a host and other properties by looking at the values in the table.
The Status column should indicate "OK" if a host is operating normally. To verify the agent status, right-click a host and choose Check agent. If you see a message that "Agent did not reply", click Install to try and install the agent. If everything goes well, the agent will be updated and the Status column should say "OK". You can also upgrade all agents by clicking Tasks > Upgrade all Agents.
To add a new host to the pool:
- Click Tasks > Add.
- Depending on the host pool provisioning type, do one of the following:
- If the host pool provisioning is configured as Standalone, select one or more hosts from the list. You can also select the Show hosts in existing host pools not managed by RAS option to show hosts that exist in other host pools on Azure.
- If the host pool provisioning is configured as Template, you cannot manually add hosts here. Instead, use the Hosts tab in the main Azure Virtual Desktop view.
- Click OK.
The Assignment tab displays Active Directory users and groups assigned to Azure Active Directory objects. In order for users to see published desktops and applications, they must be assigned to the application group available in the host pool.
To create a new assignment:
- Click Tasks > Add.
- In the Select User or Group dialog, specify a user or group and click OK.
- Follow the onscreen instructions and complete the assignment. Note that additional filtering in the Publishing category may be used to control Azure Virtual Desktop resource availability in Parallels Client. For details, see Publish resources.
By default, this tab inherits its settings from Site defaults. If you wish to specify custom settings, clear the Inherit default settings option. For the information about configuring user profile, please see Site defaults (Azure Virtual Desktop).
The Optimization tab allows you to specify settings that will be used to optimize session hosts for best performance in a Parallels RAS environment. You can select Windows components, services, and other options that will be disabled, removed, or optimized to ensure a more efficient, streamlined, and improved delivery of virtual apps and desktops. By default, this tab inherits its settings from Site defaults. If you wish to specify custom settings, clear the Inherit default settings option. For the information about configuring optimization options, please see Site defaults (Azure Virtual Desktop).
Host pool settings
This tab allows you to configure settings such as sessions timeouts, client URL/Mail redirection, drag and drop and others. By default, this tab inherits its settings from Site defaults. If you wish to specify custom settings, clear the Inherit default settings option. For the information about configuring host pool settings, please see Site defaults (Azure Virtual Desktop).
The RDP Printer tab allows you to configure the renaming format of redirected printers. By default, this tab inherits its settings from Site defaults. If you wish to specify custom settings, clear the Inherit default settings option. For the information about configuring user profile, please see Site defaults (Azure Virtual Desktop).