Look at the Horizon! VMware’s Horizon Suite is finally here
For years VMware has been busy creating a range of Horizon-like products. At VMworld 2009 there was already a preview of what the folks in Palo Alto were working on.
Since then a lot has changed, AppBlast was shown, Octopus came (and went again).
30 minutes ago VMware finally launched their new range of end user computing products called the VMware Horizon Suite.
So, what does Horizon consist of? Well, actually Horizon is the new name for the collection of ALL End User Computing (EUC) products VMware has to offer, some of which you already know and love, like VMware View and ThinApp. But now the new cool products are finally here!
So, what is VMware Horizon Suite? It consists of these products:
VMware Horizon View
VMware View is now as part of the new Horizon Suite and it got a new name VMware Horizon View 5.2. It is just a minor .2 release but VMware put a lot of effort in this new View version and added
significant number of features to improve View performance, scalability and user experience.
- Improved storage efficiency with SEsparse Disks
Horizon View 5.2 uses a new vSphere capability that implements a new disk format for virtual machines on VMFS that allows for reduction in size and utilization allocated blocks more efficiently by filling it with real data. Unused space is reclaimed and View Composer desktops stay small.
- Unified Client with View Desktops in Horizon
When co-installed with Horizon Suite the View Desktop pools are connected into Horizon Suite after they are provisioned. The Horizon Suite provides a single point of access for end users to their desktops, data and applications. Horizon Suite supports SSO brokering user to the available desktops based on entitlement policy.
- Clientless HTML5 Access to View Desktops & Apps
Access to View desktops and applications via Horizon is possible from any modern device using a remote protocol delivered through any HTML5 capable web-browser.This is the technology previously code-named AppBlast. It will direct users to existing View desktops leveraging Horizon View Security Server for network routing when available. This is a true install-free access to virtual Desktops.
- Hardware Accelerated 3D Graphics
Horizon View 5.2 uses a new vSphere capability that enables shared access to physical GPU hardware for 3D and high performance graphical workloads. Virtual desktops still see abstracted VMware SVGA device for maximum compatibility & portability, but use Accelerated 3D Graphics , enabling truly high performance graphics in a cot effective manner with multiple VMs sharing a single GPU resource. The solution is fully compatible with hosts lacking physical GPUs (for vMotion, DRS, etc).
- Improved Video Chat with MSFT Lync Support
Horizon View 5.2 provides Microsoft Lync 2013 client support, including full support for UC VoIP and Video on both RDP and PCoIP. This new feature enable a tighter integration between Microsoft Lync and Office applications with full collaboration capabilities. Some of the features are compresses USB webcam traffic upstream for reduced bandwidth usage,leverages UDP based channel for improved WAN performance, enabling improved performance of USB media devices.
- Windows 8 Desktop Support
Horizon View 5.2 now fully supports Windows 8 virtual desktops as guest OS. It also comes aligned with the Windows 8 Client Support.
- PCoIP New Features
- Support for MITM (Man-In-The-Middle) network devices
- PCoIP GPO settings take effect immediately when changed (host side only).
- Relative Mouse enablement (supported by latest Windows View client)
- Multi Touch enablement (supported by latest Windows View client)
- PCoIP Security Improvements.
- Port scanners that scan PCoIP Security Gateway now pass successfully.
- OpenSLL upgraded to a more secure version.
- Weak SSL ciphers removed.
- PCoIP Performance Improvements
- Image caching supported on Teradici APEX card and Tera2 Zero Clients
- Improved image cache management and compression
- Bandwidth reductions in both the LAN and WAN environment
- Support for vertical offset caching
- Improved responsiveness and fluidity during scrolling
- Horizon Based ThinApp Entitlement for View
Horizon View 5.2 provides a tight linkage of View ThinApp Entitlement to the Horizon Workspace and includes a migration tool to help admins to import the current pool-based entitlements to the Horizon Workspace user/group entitlements. This approach unifies application entitlement across all end user devices & virtual desktops.
- Large Pools with more than 8 hosts
The 8 host cluster limit for Linked Clone pools using VMFS has been removed. The new limit is 32 hosts per cluster across the board for all pool types, Linked Clone or not. The added feature may completely change how VMware View deployments are designed and deployed for many customer.
- Support for 10,000 virtual desktops per vCenter Server
Horizon View now supports 10,000 virtual desktops per View pod with a single vCenter Server instance. In previous versions VMware had only validated 2,000 virtual desktops per vCenter Server.
- Multi-VLAN support
Multiple Network Label Assignment is being introduced with Horizon View 5.2. This is a powerful feature that allow administrators to utilize a single base image and assign it to multiple different VLANS or PortGroups. This first release comes only with PowerShell support; no Admin UI integration.
- Provisioning, Rebalance, Recompose performance increase
- More than 2X improvement on end to end provisioning time
- Significant improvement on pool re-balance time
- Availability of Rolling Refit Maintain allowing for a configurable minimum number of READY desktops during refit operations that support both automatic and semi-automatic linked clone pools
VMware Horizon Mirage
Mirage is VMware’s way to manage the physical world. These are the features that come with Mirage:
Simplified Desktop Management
Layered PC Image Management
Manage your PC image as a set of logical layers owned by either IT or the end-user. Update IT managed layers while maintaining end-user files and personalization. Then, if a PC is simply malfunctioning, IT can restore the system layers on an end point to fix an issue without overwriting user layers. Or, quickly migrate a user from an old PC to a new PC without losing any of their user data, profile, or user-installed applications during a hardware refresh cycle.
Full PC snapshots and synchronizations of any IT or end-user initiated changes to the datacenter ensure quick desktop recovery. Minimize end-user downtime when an end user’s PC has been lost, stolen or damaged and quickly restore the end-user system to a new device.
Application Layering *NEW in 4.0*
Easily deploy applications or VMware ThinApp packages to any collection of end users by leveraging Horizon Mirage’s app layering technology.
Scalability with Low Infrastructure Footprint
Designed to support up to 1,500 end users per Mirage Server and can easily scale up to 20,000 end-users per server cluster.
Branch Office Optimization
Enable any Mirage Client endpoint into a Branch Reflector to optimize branch office management. Mirage Branch Reflector allows you to download any updates once from the Mirage Server and allow peer to peer updates to other Mirage Clients in the branch office. Advanced algorithms ensure that only required data is ever sent between the Mirage Server and Mirage Clients in a remote location or office.
Empowering End User Productivity Across Boundaries
Optimized and Adaptive Experience
The VMware Horizon Mirage client monitors the resources being used on an end user’s PC to make sure that the backup and synchronization processes never interferes with their productivity. Horizon Mirage will automatically throttle CPU, RAM and network usage up and down as needed to guarantee a seamless end user experience.
Allow end-users to leverage the local computing resources of their desktops and laptops and maintain offline productivity. VMware Horizon Mirage managed images can install natively onto the Windows PCs, or as virtual desktops on Mac or Linux desktops and laptops with Fusion Pro. Image layering gives end-users the flexibility to personalize and customize their systems.
Self-Service File Access & Recovery
The Mirage File Portal allows end users to access any file on their endpoint from any web browser. An end user can also restore any file or any directory on their own with just a few clicks on their PC.
VMware Horizon Workspace
Horizon Workspace is designed to bring everyone and everything together. It is designed to accomodate people with iPhones, Android phones, Windows laptops, Mac laptops and even Linux users, to sync data, access applications and desktopsand In itself, Workspace consists of three main modules:
- Data Synchronization (formaly known as Project Octopus)
- Web applications and Thinapp Packages (formaly known as Project AppBlast)
- View desktop access from mobile devices
Combined with a single sign-on engine, Workspace offers a single webbased portal. From here your users can shared files, web based applications like Google Docs, SalesForce or Gmail, access your thinapped programs and connect to their View based desktop. The portal supports users with Windows, IOS, Android, Mac OS X and Linux. The next paragraphs describe the features of Workspace.
Simplified Workspace Management
Combine applications and data into a single aggregated workspace
- Manage files, devices, applications and data through a single management console
- Add, update and delete users via active directory. Manage internal and external users
- Entitle and provision web applications through single sign on (SSO). Entitle and manage ThinApps
- Quickly deploy new applications with data-as-a-service to stay competitive and build future growth opportunities
- Offer user self-service application provisioning through an application catalogue
Complete Security and Control
Enterprise-grade security to meet industry compliance and security requirements
- Fully on-premise solution gives total control to IT (security, SLAs, backups, upgrades, etc.)
- Individual and group-based management to set policies and govern usage over files and data accessed and shared by and between end users — Prevents a security breach or compliance violation
- Policies for data quota, allowed file types, max size, domains, expiration, external, version, hierarchical storage management
- Ensure compliance with privacy regulatory and governmental policies
- Inspect and audit file access, sharing and all other aspects of the service
Empower Employees with Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
Seamless access to enterprise applications and data, anywhere, anytime
- Everywhere data access – in the office, at home or on the road
- Full collaboration (folder/file sharing with anyone, external user access, versions, comments)
- Improve end user productivity by providing end users with secure access to applications and files on any device from anywhere: iOS, Windows, Android, Mac, and all major browsers (including high-fidelity preview capability)
- Reduce end-user downtime and service interruptions
- Access to files each time users login (stateless desktop)
VMware Horizon – Suite
So, how does this fold into a suite? Take a look at this table:
Now, there’s a point to pay attention to. VMware Horizon View is still licensed on a concurrend user basis. Mirage, Workspace and the whole suite, however, are per NAMED user.
More info can be found at VMware’s website.
VMware View 5.2 specs courtesy of Andre Leibovici of MyVirtualCloud.net