Overview of Global Images

Overview of Global Images

The Global Images module provides centralized management for global images that can be made available to any or all of your customer accounts. This allows you to make customized images with applications and settings that you reuse in many customer environments without duplicating effort with each new account.

Nerdio Manager provides a powerful tool that performs an extensive automation process to commit the global image changes to an image object. This includes many tasks you would have had to do manually like Sysprep and sealing the image. This would normally be done after you have made the updates to your image. Once you perform Set as image, the image object is created and is ready to be used either to build new host pools or to re-image existing host pools.

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Navigate to Global Images

The Global Images page allows you to perform various tasks related to global image. For example, power on/off, clone, delete, set as image, and more.

To navigate to the Global Images page:

  1. At the MSP level, select Global Images.

  2. Perform any of the desired global image tasks:

Power On a Global Image

Nerdio Manager allows you to power on a global image.

To power on a global image:

  1. At the MSP level, navigate to Global Images.

  2. Locate the global image you wish to work with.

    Note: A red icon indicates the global image is powered off.

  3. Select Power on.

  4. On the confirmation pop-up, enter the following:

    • Run the following scripted actions: Toggle this option On and select the scripted action(s) to run when the global image powers on.

    • Schedule: Toggle this option On and select the power on schedule.

    • Schedule power off Optionally, select this option and type the number of hours to wait before automatically powering off.

  5. Once you have entered all the desired information, select OK.

Power Off a Global Image

Nerdio Manager allows you to power off a global image.

To power off a global image:

  1. At the MSP level, navigate to Global Images.

  2. Locate the global image you wish to work with.

    Note: A green icon indicates the global image is powered on.

  3. From the action menu, select Power off.

  4. On the confirmation pop-up, select OK.

Restart a Global Image

Nerdio Manager allows you to restart a global image. Optionally, you can redeploy the VM.

Tip: Redeploying a VM helps if you are having trouble connecting via RDP or accessing applications on the VM. Redeploying powers off the VM, moves the VM to a new node within Azure, and then powers it back on.

To restart a global image:

  1. At the MSP level, select Global Images.

  2. Locate the global image you wish to work with.

  3. Select Restart.

  4. On the confirmation pop-up, optionally, select Redeploy VM.

  5. Once you have entered all the desired information, select OK.

Add a Global Image from the Azure Library

Nerdio Manager allows you to import a global image from the Azure library into a Workspace.

To import an image from the Azure library:

  1. At the MSP level, navigate to Global Images.

  2. Select Add from Azure library.

  3. Enter the following information:

    • Name: Type the global image's name.
    • Description: Type the description.

    • Network: From the drop-down list, select the network to which the VM connects.

      Note: The VM is created in the Azure region associated with the network.

    • Azure Image: From the drop-down list, select the desired image.

      Note: Select the image based on the Windows OS supported by AVD. EVD = Enterprise Virtual Desktop (aka Windows 10 multi-session). Office Pro Plus contains a pre-installed Office 365 version of Pro Plus that is activated as users with appropriate licensing sign in to the desktop.

    • VM Size: From the drop-down list, select the size.

    • OS Disk: From the drop-down list, select the disk.

    • Resource Group: From the drop-down list, select the resource group to contain the network interface cards of the VM.

    • Join to AD or Azure AD: Deselecting this means the VM is not joined to AD during the creation process. This prevents AD GPOs from applying to the image before it is created. Be sure to specify local administrator credentials below to be able to connect to the VM, since it won't be a member of the AD domain.

    • Do not create image object: Select this option to only create a global image VM but not create an image object.

      Note: You need to create the image object. Select Power off and set as image after the VM is created before this global image can be used for session host creation. If you skip image creation, you can make changes to the VM before it is converted to an image.

    • Enable time zone redirection: Select this option to enable time zone redirection on the image. This allows each user to see their local device's time zone inside of their AVD desktop session.

    • Set time zone: Select this option to set the time zone of the VM and then, from the drop-down list, select the time zone.

    • Uninstall FSLogix app: Select this option if the FSLogix app is already installed in the base image and you want to remove it in order to allow Nerdio Manager to manage FSLogix.

      Note: The latest FSLogix agent is installed automatically on session hosts that are created from this global image. FSLogix agent is not required on global images.

    • Geographic distribution and Shared Image Gallery: Store the image in the Azure Compute Gallery and automatically distribute to the selected Azure region(s).

      • Azure Compute Gallery: From the drop-down list, select the Azure Compute Gallery or create a new one.

        Note: Only one gallery can be selected. An existing gallery must be in a linked resource group.

      • Azure Regions: From the drop-down list select the Azure region(s) where the Image version should be replicated.

        Note: The current Azure region must be part of the selection.

    • Provide custom credentials for a local administrator user: Toggle this option on to enter the username and password.

    • Run the following scripted actions: Toggle this option on to specify the scripts that run during creation.

      Notes:

      • Windows scripts are executed via the Azure Custom Script extension and run in the context of LocalSystem account on the clone of the global image VM before it is Sysprep'ed. These commands do not run on the image VM itself.

      • Azure runbooks are executed via the Azure automation account and run in the context of Nerdio Manager app service principal.

      • Several variables are passed to the script and can be used in the PowerShell commands.

  4. Once you have entered all the desired information, select OK.

    The global image is created. This may take up to an hour to complete.

Add a Global Image from an Azure VM

You can import an existing VM as a global image into Nerdio Manager. For example, you can take a custom VM from another virtual desktop deployment, that has all your applications installed, and use it as a global image.

Note: In order for this to work, your VM needs to be based on a Managed Disk. That is, you need to generate the accompanying SAS URL directly from the Azure portal, as explained below.

To add a global image from an Azure VM:

  1. In Azure, navigate to the virtual machine.

    Warning: Make sure that the VM is powered off.

  2. Navigate to Settings > Disks.

  3. Select the OS disk and then select Disk Export.

  4. Select Generate URL.

    The URL is generated.

  5. Copy the generated URL to the clipboard.

  6. In Nerdio Manager, at the MSP level, navigate to Global Images.

  7. Select Add from Azure VM.

  8. Enter the following information:

    • SAS URL: Paste the URL from the clipboard.

    • Create image VM as Gen2: Select this option to create the VM as Gen2.

      Note: By default, global image VMs are created as Gen1. See this Microsoft document to learn more about the differences between Gen1 and Gen2 VMs.

    • Uninstall AVD agent: Select this option if you are creating an image from an existing AVD session host where the AVD agent has been previously installed.

    • Enter the information for the other fields. See Add a Global Image from the Azure Library for detailed information.

  9. Once you have entered all the desired information, select OK.

    The global image import task starts.

Update a Global Image

Nerdio Manager allows you to update an existing global image.

To update a global image:

  1. At the MSP level, navigate to Global Images.

  2. Locate the global image you wish to work with.

  3. From the action menu, select Power off & set as image or Set as image (according to the power state of this global image).

  4. Enter the following information:

    • Geographic distribution and Shared Image Gallery: Store the image in the Azure Compute Gallery and automatically distribute to the selected Azure region(s).
      • Azure Compute Gallery: From the drop-down list, select the Azure Compute Gallery or create a new one.

        Note: Only one gallery can be selected. An existing gallery must be in a linked resource group.

      • Azure Regions: From the drop-down list select the Azure region(s) where the Image version should be replicated.

        Note: The current Azure region must be part of the selection.

    • Stage new image as inactive: Select this option to create the new image version without setting it as active.

      Note: Any existing configurations continue to use the current version of the image. See Stage Global Images for details.

    • Save current image as a backup: Select this image to retain the existing image as a standalone object and not overwrite it with the new one.

    • Note: This image is not visible or manageable via Nerdio Manager, so be sure to delete it manually when it is no longer needed to avoid unnecessary Azure storage costs.

      If the current image is stored in Shared Image Gallery, it is retained with an older version number. If the image is not stored in Shared Image Gallery, you can find it in Azure portal>Images. It is listed under "Custom images" in the Nerdio Manager image selector drop-down list.

    • Leave global image VM running: Select this option to leave the VM running after the Set as image task completes.

      Note: This is useful if you want to push OS and application updates to the running VM.

    • Run the following scripted actions before set as image: Toggle on this option to run scripted action(s) before the set as image.

      Note: For example, you can run scripts to optimize the image, install software, or install updates.

      • From the drop-down menu, select the scripted action(s) you wish to run.

      • Pass AD credentials: Select this option if you want to use them to run the scripted actions.

    • Schedule: Toggle on the Schedule to perform the operations at a selected time.

      • Start Date: Type the date to start.

      • Time Zone: From the drop-down list, select the time zone for the Start time.

      • Start Time: From the drop-down lists, select the time to start.

      • Repeat: From the drop-down list, select whether to run this operation once or repeat it on a recurring schedule.

    • Change log: Type the list of changes made to the image.

  5. Once you have entered all the desired information, select OK.

Assign a Global Image to Accounts

Once you have a global image set up and configured, you can assign that image to your accounts.

To assign a global image to accounts:

  1. At the MSP level, navigate to Global Images.

  2. Locate the global image you wish to work with.

  3. From the action menu, select Assign accounts.

  4. From the drop-down menu, select all the account(s) to assign this global image to.

    Note: Accounts that are removed from this list lose access to the global image.

  5. Once you have entered all the desired information, select OK.

View a Global Image's Change Log

Nerdio Manager maintains an audit trail of all operations performed on a global image, called a change log. You may view a global image's change log at any time.

To view a global image's change log:

  1. At the MSP level, navigate to Global Images.

  2. Locate the global image you wish to work with.

  3. From the action menu, select Change log.

    The change log displays.

Run Scripts on a Global Image

Nerdio Manager allows you to run custom scripts on a global image. Scripted actions, which are PowerShell scripts, can be used to extend and customize the functionality of Nerdio Manager.

Nerdio Manager uses two types of scripted actions:

  • Windows scripts: They are executed via the Azure Custom Script extension.

  • Azure runbooks: They are executed via the Azure automation account and run in the context of app service principal.

Note: Nerdio provides several pre-populated variables that can be used in the script code. The available variables are:

  • $AzureSubscriptionId

  • $AzureSubscriptionName

  • $AzureResourceGroupName

  • $AzureRegionName

  • $AzureVMName (Available when the script is associated with a VM)

  • $ADUsername (if passing AD credentials)

  • $ADPassword (if passing AD credentials)

To run scripts on a global image:

  1. At the MSP level, navigate to Global Images.

  2. Locate the global image you wish to work with.

  3. From the action menu, select Run script.

  4. Enter the following information:

    • Windows scripts: From the drop-down list, select the desired Windows script(s).

    • Azure runbooks: From the drop-down list, select the Azure runbook(s) you wish to run.

      Note: You can drag and drop the Windows scripts and Azure runbooks to change the execution order.

    • Pass AD credentials: Optionally, select this option to pass your AD credentials to the script being executed.

    • Restart VM after script execution: Optionally, select this option to restart the VM after the script completes.

      Tip: It is preferable to select this option instead of restarting the VM in your PowerShell commands because the Custom Script extension fails if the script restarts the VM.

  5. Once you have entered all the desired information, select OK.

Backup a Global Image

Nerdio Manager allows you to take a backup for an existing global image using Azure Backup.

Note: Nerdio Manager implicitly creates a Recovery Vault and policy behind the scenes for the backup.

To backup a global image:

  1. At the MSP level, navigate to Global Images.

  2. Locate the global image you wish to work with.

  3. From the action menu, select Backup.

  4. Enter the following information:

    • Retain image backup for xx weeks: Type the number of weeks this image backup is retained.

      Note: Once the retention period expires, the backup is automatically deleted. The image VM itself is not affected when the expired backup version is deleted.

  5. Once you have entered all the desired information, select OK.

Restore a Global Image

Nerdio Manager allows you to restore a global image from a backup.

To restore a global image:

  1. At the MSP level, navigate to Global Images.

  2. Locate the global image you wish to work with.

  3. From the action menu, select Restore.

  4. Enter the following information:

    • Recovery point: From the drop-down list, select the desired recovery point.

  5. Once you have entered all the desired information, select OK.

Clone a Global Image

Nerdio Manager allows you to clone a global image.

To clone a global image:

  1. At the MSP level, navigate to Global Images.

  2. Locate the global image you wish to work with.

  3. From the action menu, select Clone.

  4. Enter the desired information for all the fields. See Add a Global Image from the Azure Library for detailed information.

  5. Once you have entered all the desired information, select OK.

Delete a Global Image

Nerdio Manager allows you to delete a global image.

Warning: Deleting a Global Image permanently deletes the VM and its associated image. It cannot be restored after it is deleted. Any session host VMs associated with this Global Image continue to operate normally.

To delete a global image:

  1. At the MSP level, navigate to Global Images.

  2. Locate the global image you wish to work with.

  3. From the action menu, select Delete.

  4. Enter the following information:

    • Do not un-join VM from AD: Select this option to skip the domain un-join task during the removal process.

      Note: Using this option is not recommended but may be necessary if the VM cannot be powered on or un-joined from the domain normally. When selecting this option, be sure to manually remove the AD computer object associated with this session host VM.

    • CONFIRM: Type CONFIRM to continue.

  5. Once you have entered all the desired information, select OK.

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