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ID: DT03O00135
Version: NoMachine 6
Added on: 2017-11-14
Last update: 2017-11-14
Setting up highly available centralized access to physical and virtual desktops in multi-level server subsystems

This document is intended to provide general guidelines for understanding which NoMachine products and licenses are necessary to set-up access with high availability from one centralized location to multiple NoMachine subsystems and 'foreign hosts', even geographically located in different places. These subsystems can be federated into a hierarchical infrastructure.

 

Definitions

A NoMachine multi-server infrastructure is made up of a central server, called 'main server' or 'federation server' that allows federation and administration of other server hosts. Those servers federated directly under the main server are called 'first-level' servers. They can in turn hold other subsystems, which are not directly ruled by the main server, to constitute a multi-level structure still reachable by a single point of access, the main server.

The main server acts as a single point of access to a scalable number of server subsystems and can work in conjunction with a secondary central server (a two-server failover cluster) in high-availability (HA).

Feature
NoMachine Cloud Server Build HA centralized access to federated servers; multiple Cloud Servers can be federated in a multi-level hierarchy under a Cloud Server
NoMachine Enterprise Desktop Support connections to the physical desktop of its host, can be federated under a Cloud Server
Any of the NoMachine Terminal Server products
Support individual instances of the remote Linux desktop (virtual desktops), can be federated under a Cloud Server (except SBS).
Foreign servers Unix-like stations not supported by NoMachine software, can be federated under a Cloud Server

 

Only NoMachine Cloud Server can be a federation server, i.e. has the capacity of federating other servers. It's available for Mac, Windows and Linux. Multiple Cloud Server installations can be federated in a multi-tier infrastructure.

All the other NoMachine servers can work as standalone servers or can be federated under a Cloud Server. The Enterprise Desktop provides access to the physical desktop of its host. Terminal Server products, available for Linux, permit users to create virtual desktops on their hosts. Among them, NoMachine Enteprise Terminal Server gives also the possibility to build a HA multi-host system made of Terminal Server Node installations. A Terminal Server Node is not a server strictly speaking since it cannot accept users' requests for connection and can work only in conjunction with the Enterpise Terminal Server.

Foreign servers, which can be also federated under a Cloud Server, are a particular case since they run unsupported Unix-based platforms for which NoMachine doesn't build native packages.

In this document we will see what is necessary to set-up centralized access to multiple servers subsystems and maintain high available access to remote physical desktops and virtual desktops by means of a second Cloud Server, associated to the first one in an active/passive failover cluster. If the active Cloud Server fails, this second Cloud Server takes its place to grant business continuity. The active/failover cluster can be set also between tow Enteprise Terminal Servers to provide HA virtual desktops.

 

An example of multi-level hierarchical infrastructure

 

This solution is suitable for large business.

 

Diagram above covers all the supported scenarios. The main NoMachine Cloud Server acts as single point of access to the following indipendent systems:

  • NoMachine Enterprise Desktop

  • NoMachine Workstation and/or Terminal Server

  • NoMachine Enterprise Terminal Server which in turn is the entry point to NoMachine Terminal Server Node

  • NoMachine Cloud Server which in turn can be the single point of access to other servers in a multi-level infrastructure.

  • Foreign servers


Only first-level NoMachine servers are ruled by the main Cloud Server.

 

Licensing examples

 

First case

Pre-requisite to setting up a multi-server environment with HA centralized access to remote physical desktops and virtual desktops:

1 NoMachine Cloud Server license for the main server host, Mac, Windows or Linux.

1 NoMachine Cloud Server license for the secondary server host (Mac, Windows or Linux) if you need to set-up the failover cluster for HA access (optional).

1 NoMachine Enterprise Desktop license (Mac, Windows or Linux) to provide access to physical desktop. One license is necessary for each ED host.

1 NoMachine Workstation and/or Terminal Server license (Linux) to provide access to virtual desktops.
One license is necessary for each WS/TS host.

Minimum requirements

This scenario typically has installed:

  • 1 NoMachine Cloud Server on a Windows or Mac or Linux host (1 machine called "A").

  • 1 NoMachine Cloud Server on a Windows or Mac or Linux host (1 machine called "B").

  • 1 NoMachine Enterprise Desktop on a Windows or Mac or Linux host (1 machine called "C").

  • 1 NoMachine Workstation on a Linux host (1 machine called "D").

 

The NoMachine failover cluster is established between machine A and B. The active NoMachine server will provide access to the physical desktop of machine C and to virtual desktops on machine D. Multiple concurrent connections to the same desktop (either physical in case of Enterprise Desktop or virtual in case of Workstation) are supported, users will share the same desktop (session collaboration).

You need 2 Cloud Servers to make a cluster: one server is the primary server, active and able to manage connections. The other server is the secondary server, passive and not operative. The secondary server becomes operative only when the primary server goes down and takes its place. A valid NoMachine license is necessary on both servers, since the secondary server is not shutdown but ready to replace the primary server in the case of failover.

You also need at least 1 Enterprise Desktop to give access to the physical desktop of the remote host and 1 Workstation (or Terminal Server or Enteprise Terminal Server) for virtual desktops. The solution is totally scalable in that further server hosts can be added at any moment.


Second case

Pre-requisite to setting up a multi-server environment with HA centralized access to remote physical desktops and (HA) load-balancing of virtual desktops:

1 NoMachine Cloud Server license for the main server host, Mac, Windows or Linux.

1 NoMachine Cloud Server license for the secondary server host (Mac, Windows or Linux) if you need to set-up the failover cluster for HA access (optional).

1 NoMachine Enterprise Desktop license (Mac, Windows or Linux) to provide access to physical desktop. One license is necessary for each ED host.

1 NoMachine Enterprise Terminal Server license (Linux) + 1 or more Terminal Server Node license (Linux). One license is necessary for each TSN host, at least one TSN is required to load-balancing virtual desktops between the ETS and the TSN host.

For HA of virtual desktops, you may also set up a failover cluster between two Enterprise Terminal Server installations. In this case you will need:

1 NoMachine Enterprise Terminal Server license (Linux) + at least 2 Terminal Server Node license (Linux). One license is necessary for each TSN host, two TSN are required to load-balancing virtual desktops between the TSN hosts.

1 NoMachine Enterprise Terminal Server license (Linux) for the secondary server host to set-up the failover cluster (optional).

 

Minimum requirements

This scenario typically has installed:

  • 1 NoMachine Cloud Server on a Windows or Mac or Linux host (1 machine called "A").

  • 1 NoMachine Cloud Server on a Windows or Mac or Linux host (1 machine called "B").

  • 1 NoMachine Enterprise Desktop on a Windows or Mac or Linux host (1 machine called "C").

  • 1 NoMachine Enterprise Terminal Server on a Linux host (1 machine called "D").
  • 1 NoMachine Enterprise Terminal Server on a Linux host (1 machine called "E").
  • 1 NoMachine Terminal Server Node on a Linux host (1 machine called "F").
  • 1 NoMachine Terminal Server Node on a Linux host (1 machine called "G").

 

The NoMachine failover cluster to grant HA access to the NoMachine infrastructure is established between machine A and B. You need 2 Cloud Servers to make a cluster: one server is the primary server, active and able to manage connections. The other server is the secondary server, passive and not operative. The secondary server becomes operative only when the primary server goes down and takes its place. A valid NoMachine license is necessary on both servers, since the secondary server is not shutdown but ready to replace the primary server in the case of failover.

The active NoMachine Cloud Server will provide access to the physical desktops of machine C and to the active NoMachine Enterprise Terminal Server. The Enterprise Terminal Server will load-balance virtual desktops between machine F and G.

The NoMachine failover cluster to grant HA of virtual desktops is established between machine D and E. Similarly to the Cloud Server failover cluster, you need 2 Enterprise Terminal Servers: one is the primary server, active and able to manage connections and dispatch users on the Terminal Server Nodes. The other one is the fall-back server. A valid NoMachine license is necessary on both servers, since the secondary server is not shutdown but ready to replace the primary server in the case of failover.

TIP

All NoMachine server hosts can be either a physical computer or a virtual machine.