Friday, June 20, 2014

VMware Horizon 6 Available Now!

With the announcement of Horizon 6 on 9th April 2014, and the release of the availability of download marks another milestone from VMware in the End User Computing (EUC).  You will find the landing page for Horizon 6 (with View).  At the same time, the VMWare Hands-on-Lab (HOL) have release a new lab on Horizon 6 too!

Let's first look at the available solutions that are in Horizon 6.

Horizon View (VDI)
The version is as similar to the launch Horizon View 6.0.  This is still the same Horizon View that using PCoIP to access a virtual desktop solution.  Typically used case are mostly found in office users, factory floors, retail or any place that is able to utilize a virtual desktop without the need of a powerful end point of offline access.  In this release, all the management servers can be support with the latest Windows 2012 R2 operating system.  The different in this release includes the End of Life (EOL) of Local Mode as a feature which was only available from VMware View comparing with other VDI solution running as a type two desktop on your thick end point.  Also a new Cloud Pod allowing a global entitlement via a pod federation between two View Pod is supported which I do not find this with many used cases. 

Horizon Hosted Desktop
In Horizon View 5.3, RDS desktop was possible and in this release you will be able to use both Windows 2008 R2 and Windows 2012 as your hosted Desktop.  Whatever the purpose is for, now you can use a server operating system as a desktop. If you have user who do not need stored profiles, you can simply use this desktop and skinned it as a workstation operating system and allows your user to use them and this will save you on licenses cost like example, Virtual Desktop Access (VDA).

Horizon Hosted App
This is similar to Citrix XenApp perform a App presentation to the end point without the need to install applications on the end point and allow multiple user access to the Hosted Apps either via any device that can be installed with Horizon View client.  Similarly this is hosted on a RDS server via Terminal service.  However the different here is the presentation back to the user is via the familiar PCoIP protocol which also means, you will be using the same Horizon View client to connect to your desktop to your Hosted Apps as well.  The best part of this is you can even access your virtual desktop to access the Hosted App which is PCoIP over PCoIP.  If you read this correctly, everything will be managed through your familiar Horizon View Admin Portal which give the administrators not to have to manage multiple management interface unnecessarily.  How's that?  VMware has learn the flaw of their competitors and have design this the correct way not introducing a solution to compete yet ending up in the same issues.  This also means you can use the same Horizon View Connection Server as the broker.  That really simplify the complexity!  That is a very thoughtful process for this solution. 

Virtual SAN (VSAN)
Leveraging the newly Software Defined Storage solution, VSAN used in server infrastructure, in Horizon 6, the Advanced and Enterprise Editions are bundled in.  This not only greatly lower the total cost of ownership for customer exploring the possibility of VDI solution, but increase the adoption much possible.  The cost of storage to meet performance requirements in VDI is always the result of a high cost in the capital cost for any VDI.  Way to go for this!

VMware Workspace
With this release at verison 2.0, VMware renamed Horizon Workspace to VMware Workspace and have removed the File Sharing function that was once found in Horizon Workspace 1.8 and below.  Other than consolidating all SaaS applications in one common place, what encompasses in this release includes the ability to change the logo to suit your company branding.  Together it is able to act as a single common interface from desktop to mobile devices with the same look and feel with just one login.  It also support no authentication app to be added example adding a corporate intranet link.  It adds support for Office365 as well as Google Apps and Citrix XenApp.  Yes, you heard it right.  Citrix XenApp is support as well.  With this support, many companies that are reliance on XenApps finally have a place to place all their apps into one common portal.  You will be able to access Horizon Hosted Apps as well as Hosted Desktop and Horizon View desktop from here.  Do note that only Hosted Desktop and Horizon View desktop is able to utilize Blast to access via a HTML5 browser.

vC Ops for View (V4V)
In vC Ops for View 6.0 now in short known as V4V, it allows same metrics as per the same in version 5.x, however with the new interface as release in vC Ops 6.0.  In V4V, there is also additional capacity measurement found in the original vC Ops, and this allows the use of "What-If" functionality.  It will support RDSH session as well as in guess process metrics which I find this very useful!  Now you will be able to identify the processes in a guest VM without the need to log into the desktop and identify a problematic process if any.

Horizon Mirage
Horizon Mirage was acquired from Wanova and rebrand as Horizon Mirage.  This version is known as Horizon Mirage 5.0.  It was a physical desktop management solutions.  As VDI is never a 100% solution especially in an environment where mobility required to be offline or user who require a thick window device, the image management is typically a challenge for many organization till Horizon Mirage comes along.  With Horizon Mirage, you will be able to centralize image management for thick Windows machine and full clone virtual desktops on Horizon View.  Horizon Mirage was not "enterprise" class due to exposing Horizon Mirage server to public facing if required for out of office access.  With release of Horizon 6, Horizon Mirage will encompasses Horizon Mirage Edge server to place at the DMZ zone.  This remove the requirement to place the management server and resolve the "security flaw".  Support for migrating to Windows 8.1 is supported as well. 

As usual the same old ThinApp has not changed but in 5.0, it support the ability to package 64-bit application.

vCenter Orchestrator + Desktop Plugin and Design & automate workflows
What is provided here is not the vCloud Automation Center (vCAC) but the workflow which will allows the integration of vCAC to work with Horizon 6.  Also the inclusion of vCO workflows for use in provisioning of desktops and entitlements of users.

Below is the editions and the list price.
All videos are from VMware TV.

Reviewer's Guide for View in Horizon 6

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