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Overview of Host Pools

Applies to: Nerdio Manager for MSP (NMM)


What are Host Pools?

Host pools are groups of Azure VMs that "host" the Azure Virtual Desktops that end users log into. All VMs in the host pool share a set of configuration options: VM size, base image, AD domain, user profile storage location, etc. 

NMM shows host pools under the AVD section in the left menu:




Desktop Experience 

Nerdio Manager for MSP supports four different types of host pools. The four types vary by the "desktop experience." The types of host pools are: 

Multi User Desktop (Pooled)

    • Multiple users log in to shared VMs
    • Full Desktop Experience
    • Users are placed on a host based on the current load on the VMs

Multi User RemoteApp (Pooled)

    • Published applications (not full desktops)
    • Applications appear to be native apps on user's local computer
    • Served by a collection of hosts (i.e., "pooled")

Single User Desktop (Pooled)

    • Users placed on individual VMs (one user per host, not shared with other users)
    • User may be assigned to any of the available VMs, but only one user is assigned to each VM at a time
    • Full Desktop Experience
    • Can configure the number of spare hosts available to serve user logins

Single User Desktop (Personal)

    • Persistent individual vm per user. A user always logs into the same VM.
    • Full Desktop Experience
    • Can configure the number of spare hosts available to serve new users





The STATUS section shows how many users/groups are assigned to the host pool, how many sessions are currently connected to the pool, how many host VMs are assigned to the pool, and how many of those VMs are currently powered on.



NMM supports auto-scaling of host pools. This allows for cost savings by ensuring that only the number of VMs required to serve the current demand are running. When not in use, VMs are stopped or destroyed. When demand rises, or at specific times of the day, additional VMs in the host pool are started or created.

Click in the AUTO-SCALE column, or select Auto-scale->Configure in the drop-down menu to the right of the host pool to view or change auto-scale settings.



Use the slider in the upper right corner to enable auto-scale settings on your host pool, then choose appropriate settings for Host pool sizing, Scaling logic, Pre-stage hosts and Messaging sections.





The image is an OS disk that is copied over to serve as the OS disk for every VM that is created as part of the host pool. Any applications that need to be available on every host should be installed on the image. Configurations and settings that should apply to all hosts can also be made on the image. New images can be created from the default Azure offerings, or from other images. 

To change a host pool's image, click in the Image column or select Resize/Re-image in the dropdown menu next to Manage Hosts



Other settings and options

There are more settings and options available for host pools in the drop-down menu next to the Manage Host Pools button.

Manage Users and Groups: Click "Manage->Users and Groups" option to manage users under a particular host pool. You can search users by name, username, or filter user records or assign/unassign them to various host pools: 

Auto-scale: Click "Auto-scale->Configure" to configure auto-scale settings for your host pool. You need to enable auto-scale setting on your dynamic pool and choose appropriate settings for Host pool sizing, Scaling logic, Pre-stage hosts and Messaging sections.

Auto-scale history: Click "Auto-scale->History" to view auto-scale history for your dynamic pool over a fixed time period (Today, yesterday, this week, last week, and so on):

FSlogix: Click "Properties->FSLogix" to configure the FSLogix profile settings for a specific host pool. You will need to enable "Use FSLOGIX PROFILES" option first and then specify FSLogix profiles path and registry options :


Active Directory: Click "Properties->Active Directory" to configure AD settings for your host pool. You will need to specify the AD domain, username/password and OU:


Custom RDP: Click "Properties->Custom RDP" to customize RDP properties for connecting to your host pool. Select the appropriate checkboxes:


AVD Properties: Click "Properties->AVD" to change the properties for your host pool. Specify a friendly (non-technical) name and description for your host pool. The friendly name is what users will see when connecting to the host pool.


Resize/re-image: Click "Resize/re-image" to change the desktop image, VM size, OS disk size, etc. parameters for your host pool. You may enable/disable "Schedule" or "Messaging" settings if you wish to schedule any maintenance activity on your hosts:


Deactivate: Click "Deactivate" option to put your host pool in drain mode:

Delete: Click "Delete" option to delete a specific host pool:


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