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VMware Mirage Public-Sector Implementation Case Study Published

By Yaniv Weinberg, R&D Manager, VMware Mirage Product Engineering

Explore with us how a large U.S. public-sector organization, with more than 10,000 endpoints spread across 400 low-bandwidth connectivity sites, used Mirage to meet the following challenges:

  • Migrate the more than 10,000 Windows XP endpoints to Windows 7 by April 2014, when Microsoft standard support expired. The cost of extended support for Windows XP was estimated to be around $200 per endpoint, or $2,000,000 per year.
  • Quickly provision 2000 endpoints in a hardware-refresh life cycle.
  • Reduce IT travel costs to support the 400 sites locally, and be able to provide similar services remotely.

The recent technical white paper VMware Mirage Implementation Case Study for a Large, Public-Sector Organization is intended to help customers, IT architects, consultants, and administrators involved in the early phases of planning, designing, and deploying Mirage-based solutions. It provides an example of a successful architecture and deployment method.

High-Level Mirage Architecture

VMware_Mirage_High_Level_Architecture

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VMware User Environment Manager: Taking Horizon Air to the Next Level!

By Stephane Asselin, Senior Architect, End-User-Computing Technical Enablement, VMware

Customers are using VMware Horizon Air with great success to drive down the total cost of ownership (TCO) for desktops by providing their end users with a virtual desktop. A recent addition to Horizon Air is the inclusion of hosted applications, which means that users through their Horizon Air Web portals can now choose a virtual desktop or a published application. Also, with the VMware acquisition of Immidio, IT administrators can now use VMware User Environment Manager (formerly called Flex+) to deliver persistence to a nonpersistent desktop environment.

What UEM Adds to Horizon Air

Using a smartphone, tablet, Mac, or PC, a user logs in once to Horizon Air, and then can use the desktops and applications there without additional logins to VPN or other security mechanisms. In the screenshot that follows, you can see that the end user who is logged in to the Horizon Air Desktop Portal has access to three hosted applications and one virtual desktop.

VMware_UEM_Horizon_Air

With VMware UEM, end users can retain their personal configurations and settings across physical, virtual, and cloud-based environments, including Horizon Air. This capability also extends to hosted or published application solutions such as Horizon Air hosted applications and Citrix XenApp published applications. Continue reading

Everything You Need to Get Up and Running with Mirage

By Alexander West, Technical Writer, End-User Computing, VMware

Deployment and Design Considerations for VMware Mirage is hot off the presses. Written with a single goal in mind—to help you get up and running with Mirage—this brand-new white paper boils down a complex deployment process into two crucial phases: “Surveying Your Environment and Accumulating Data” and “Architecture Planning.”

Read on for a sneak peek at the new paper. Continue reading

Need More VDI? Look to the Cloud.

by Josue Fontanez, Sr. Product Line Marketing Manager, Horizon Air

If yours is one of many companies with virtual desktop deployments, I probably don’t have to sing its praises. You already know how easy it is to manage virtual desktops from a central location, and the money that can be saved by extending the life of aging PCs by using them to access corporate apps and data stored in data centers. And how much more secure your environment is because sensitive information is no longer on workers’ physical desktops.

The question I continually hear from VDI users—most of whom deployed VDI the traditional on-premises way— is, what’s the best way to go about expanding existing deployments for new use cases?

These days, more and more businesses are considering DaaS, or cloud-hosted virtual desktops and apps. DaaS enables you to quickly and very cost-effectively extend the flexibility, efficiency and security benefits of on-prem VDI to more scenarios and workers.

Traditional VDI and Cloud Hosted VDI

Here are a few scenarios that make perfect sense for a DaaS extension:

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Estimating Value in End-User Computing

By Brian Gammage, Chief Market Technologist, End-User Computing, VMware

The last few years have seen a major shift in the way organizations plan, select and deploy technology capabilities to their workers. The range of choice has expanded at every level; in devices, applications, ways of working, potential suppliers and ownership. Expectations have rocketed too as users have become more knowledgeable and better equipped. The rapid uptake of mobile devices and applications has accelerated everything, turning ‘day zero support’ from a dream into a requirement. All of this means that business decisions around how, when and which EUC technologies to invest in have become far more complex than with any previous generation of technology.

An Industry Problem

In the face of these complexities, most organizations are finding it much harder to build business cases for their EUC projects. We at VMware are acutely aware of this: our own business case practice (we’ve built around 700 detailed business cases for larger customer projects so far) has seen a rapid surge in requests for assistance and in many cases the requests are much more ‘open ended’ than before.  We also know that it’s not only us; our partners, other EUC providers and analysts have all highlighted the growth in demand for such support. To better understand this growing need and the best ways to respond, we spent the first months of 2015 doing some additional research and our conclusion was stark: most customers are struggling to identify and estimate measures of value, but almost everyone knows how to measure cost.

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Horizon FLEX 1.5 now shipping!

By Andy Morris, Sr. Product Line Marketing Manager, Horizon FLEX, End-User Computing, VMware

Andy here again.  I'm delighted to announce that Horizon FLEX 1.5 is now shipping. This update is huge. We've got server side improvements, client side improvements, probably even improvements in the bit that connect the two!

Sorry, I'll try and be serious, this is after all a very big deal. It's been just 6 months since we shipped Horizon FLEX 1.0, and less than 3 months since we shipped 1.1. This release adds many of the features you requested.

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VMware App Volumes and Microsoft Office, Part 1: Choosing the Correct Office Version

By Denis Gundarev, Application Solutions Architect, App Volumes R&D, VMware

This article is the first in a series of blog posts about using Microsoft Office with VMware App Volumes.

Microsoft Office is one of the most popular application suites deployed on Windows enterprise desktops. Microsoft Office applications are often implemented first in VDI installations, both in proofs of concept and in production environments.

With dynamic application delivery technologies such as App Volumes and VMware ThinApp, Microsoft Office deployment and compatibility are very important.

In this blog series, we will explain various scenarios using Microsoft Office with VDI, as well as use cases and best practices for deploying Microsoft Office with App Volumes. We will discuss compatibility and interoperability for different Microsoft Office versions and editions, Office activation, and support for locally installed and AppStack-provisioned Office components, as well as troubleshooting and fine-tuning AppStacks with Office components. Continue reading

Faster performance, new platform support, and more in VMware Mirage 5.4 – now available!

By Sachin Sharma, Product Marketing, End-User Computing, VMware

I’m delighted to announce the general availability of VMware Mirage 5.4! This is the second release of Mirage this year and includes many enhancements that our customers have been asking for. Feel free to download the latest bits from my.vmware.com or trial the product for free here.

While Mirage 5.4 has many new enhancements and features, I’d like to leverage this blog to highlight a few unique updates. First, we have updated the Mirage backend to start utilizing a MongoDB database. Why? Well with a MongoDB, we’re able to optimize centralization times for desktop and POS devices, which results in faster upload times. Customers can save 3x on storage requirements based on IOPS with this new MongoDB setup. Small files and metadata are uploaded into CVDs and now stored on the Mirage installed MongoDB. SQL Server is still required for other Mirage database functions.

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Making NSX for Horizon 6 More Approachable

By Tristan Todd, Architect, End-User Computing, VMware

I love riding bikes! For years I have served as my own bike mechanic. And for about the last 10 years I have hand-built my own bicycle wheels. I do this because I like to choose my parts, I like the quality of the finished product, and I like to save money!

Making_NSX_Horizon_6_Approachable

When I first started thinking about building my own bicycle wheels, I was terrified of the complexity, and I faced myriad questions. How do I find parts? What tools do I need? How long will it take? Will my wheels be safe? Yikes! This might be more than I can handle!

VMware_NSX_Horizon_6_Environment

My first experiences with NSX in a Horizon 6 environment were similarly overwhelming. Things seemed simple at first until I started considering deployment nuances, operational procedures, and design options.

For background on the importance of micro-segmentation for Horizon 6, see the recent VMware EUC blog post VMware NSX - Customer Imperatives for Desktop Transformation Security. Today’s article aims to break down the broad micro-segmentation topic as it applies to a Horizon 6 environment. By breaking down NSX into bite-sized chunks, I hope to make this topic a bit more approachable to the EUC technical professional. Continue reading

PCoIP Happiness for View Virtual Desktops in Horizon 6

By Susan Blau, Technical Writer, End-User Computing, VMware

PCoIP

Introduction

PC-over-IP (PCoIP) is a remote display protocol that delivers an optimal user experience for remote desktops and applications by adapting to the available network bandwidth. In VMware Horizon 6, end users with Horizon Clients installed on their endpoints can connect to their View virtual desktops through PCoIP.

To fully understand how to optimize PCoIP for View virtual desktops, you have two sources of information available to you. Continue reading