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Hands-on labs 2014 monitoring wallEarlier this year Alex wrote an article about the release of VMware horizon 6. Today I had the opportunity to sit down at the hands-on labs and take a look at Horizon View 6. Two things, I was particularly interested in where the Published application features and the ability to use a virtual desktop trough HTML5.

During the lab I wasn’t able to load the Windows 7 virtual desktop. The desktop was presented to me but Windows seemed to be hanging on something. That is why in the screenshots below there is a screenshot of a Windows 2008 server desktop instead of a Windows 7 desktop.

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Entitling users for published applications is nothing different compared to entitling access to a desktop pool. Once entitled the user will get the application published in their Horizon View portal.

Opening a desktopĀ from within your browser over HTML5 worked very well (apart from Windows having a problem). There was no installation required, nor did I had to use a plug-in to get the Desktop visible within my browser.

One thing that catched my eye while reading through some of the documentation was the statement that VMware had removed the option to run desktops in “View local mode”:

“In this View release, the View Local Mode capability has been removed from the Windows client. The feedback that VMware has received is that the Local Mode capability is incredibly valuable for customers who cannot always access an online desktop, but that our implementation needed improvement.

This experience has led VMware to invest in providing a better offline virtual desktop solution leveraging our award-winning desktop products, VMware Fusion Professional, VMware Player Plus, and VMware Mirage. We believe that this new containerized desktop strategy will give our customers the best local virtual machine experience in the industry.

Over the past several years, VMware has added Virtual Machine Restrictions to our desktop products, which allow an administrator to encrypt the virtual machine and prevent a user from modifying virtual machine settings that affect the integrity of the secure container. We have also added features such as expiration, so that the policies available in VMware Fusion Professional and VMware Player Plus are comparable to the existing Local Mode feature set. Including Mirage in this picture eliminates the need for users to check in or check out their desktops to receive updates and enables administrators to utilize the Mirage layering capability, backup features, and file portal.

Overall, we believe that this change will deliver a great end user experience and make the management of offline virtual machines much easier. It also extends the offline capability to run on Windows, Linux, and Mac OSX!

New customers interested in offline virtual desktops should purchase Horizon Mirage (which includes VMware Fusion Professional and VMware Player Plus) or one of the suites that includes both the Mirage product and Fusion Professional.

Existing customers should be confident that VMware will continue to provide support for the Local Mode feature in VMware Horizon View 5.x until at least 2017, which will provide plenty of opportunity to evaluate the new offering and plan their migration.”

Now I haven’t had any customers yet that where using offline virtual desktops so I am not sure if this will prevent companies to migrate to Horizon View 6. Hopefully customers can cope with this decision.