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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Securing Horizon View 5.2 Deployments

By Charles Windom, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, End-User Computing, VMware

In this blog post I cover the most common tasks in securing your VMware Horizon View deployment. Although the main objective is to provide a secure environment for your users to connect to, you should consider each suggestion relative to user productivity. You do not want to lock down the environment so much that your end users become unproductive and cannot get their daily tasks accomplished while using the environment.

After you have deployed VMware Horizon View internally as a proof of concept, and your users love it, you want to go to production with your internal deployment. Your users want remote access to their Horizon View desktops and your IT Security department has given the go-ahead approval to allow remote access to your internal Horizon View deployment. However, IT mandates that you create a controlled and secured deployment. What can you can do to ensure that you provide secure remote access to your Horizon View desktops?

On the front-end or remote side of your deployment

  • The first task you must complete if you didn’t when you first deployed your Horizon View proof of concept is to install trusted Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates on the vCenter, View Connection Server, View Composer Server and the View Security Server (when deployed). Installing trusted certificates on all of the servers will ensure that View Clients are communicating with the correct servers and that any client sessions will not be hijacked by un-trusted entities. For more information on replacing the SSL certificates on your View servers and your vCenter Server, see “Obtaining SSL Certificate for VMware Horizon View Servers” and “VMware vSphere Security.”

 

  • Once you have replaced your SSL certificates, if you haven’t already, deploy a load-balancer in the DMZ of your organization’s forward firewall. A load-balancer can handle large numbers of connections and is also used to load-balance other applications in addition to Horizon View. If you are handling very large numbers of View Client connections, SSL connections can be terminated at the load-balancer to offload SSL overhead from the View Security Servers. If a traditional load-balancer is not installed or cannot be installed, vCloud Network and Security (vCNS) can be deployed in place of a traditional load-balancer. VMware vCNS Edge includes a firewall, load-balancer and VPN amongst other security features that can be implemented to secure your Horizon View deployment.

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Observations on Windows 8 and Windows 7 optimization for Horizon View v5.2

by Charles Windom, Senior Product Marketing Manager End-User Computing

While working on the upcoming release of our Windows 7/8 Optimization Guide, I had some thoughts and I just wanted to share some of the things I noticed while modifying our batch file script and updating the procedures for use with Microsoft Deployment Kit (MDT) 2012 Update1 and testing these processes to ensure they work as expected.

Locating and Installing VMware tools

In previous vSphere versions we instructed you to navigate to the “C:\ProgramFiles\VMware” directory to locate VMware Tools in order to get the drivers for use with MDT 2010. This worked for version 4.x.  As of vSphere version 5.0 and greater you need to navigate the driver store repository located at “C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\Repository” and copy the following directories to the MDT 2012 Update 1 server:

  • vmxnet3ndis6.inf…           copy and rename to network

Create a folder called VMware Drivers and copy the drivers into this folder. These drivers can then be added to the MDT server deployment share and injected into the image upon deployment. Although other drivers exist, the only driver required to execute the WinPE boot is the VMXNET3 driver.

Changes, Changes

For Windows 8 there is a new look and feel to the operating system and this can be drag on performance and cumbersome to use without a touch screen computer. While some users like this look, others prefer the “Windows Classic Desktop”. Microsoft had hinted before release that there would be an option for corporate users to use the “Windows Classic Desktop” but reversed its decision I guess as you cannot disable Metro UI via Microsoft utilities or commands.

To change the OS behavior to the Windows 7” Classic Desktop”, you would have to install one of available utilities out there such as:

  • EX7forW8 (Explorer 7 for Windows 8) – Utility requires Windows 7 boot disc
  • RetroUI – Application installed on top of Windows 8

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USB Device Redirection in VMware Horizon View 5.1 and 5.2

By Peter Brown, Senior R&D Manager, VMware, London, UK

With the EUC Solutions Management and Technical Marketing team

What Is USB Device Redirection?

We are all used to USB devices on laptop or desktop machines. If you are working in a VDI environment such as VMware Horizon View*, you may want to use your USB devices in that virtualized desktop too. USB device redirection is functionality in Horizon View that allows the USB device to be connected to the virtualized desktop as if it had been physically plugged into it.

USB Redirection Changes in VMware View 5.1

The USB device is redirected from the physical device to the virtual desktop using network redirection of the USB request block (URB). The USB device driver needs to be installed on the VDI desktop (but it does not need installing on the client machine). Recent enhancements in VMware View 5.1 have greatly improved device compatibility as well as support for USB redirection on Windows, Mac, and Linux hosts.

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Introducing HTML Access

By Mike Coleman, End-User Computing

Last week we released the VMware Horizon View 5.2 Feature Pack, which included a couple of great new features: Unity Touch and HTML Access. Pat Lee just posted a blog on Unity Touch, and I’m going to give you some more information on HTML Access.

What is HTML Access?

VMware had previously talked about a project we referred to as AppBlast. For those unfamiliar, AppBlast was an advanced development effort that focused on using HTML5 to remote applications from a Virtual Machine. As we developed the code we realized we needed to break it into different components. HTML Access is the first instantiation of that endeavor.

(Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten about the need for application remoting – I promise.)

HTML Access uses the HTML-based Blast protocol to allow access to VMware Horizon View desktops from almost any HTML5 compatible device. This is particularly useful in scenarios where an end user might not (or cannot) install a native Horizon View client – opening up all kids of use cases from disaster recovery to roaming users to access from unmanaged devices.

Once an admin configures HTML Access, users simply point their browser to VMware Horizon View Manager, authenticate, and chose the desktop they want to use.

Additionally, HTML Access can be integrated with VMware Horizon Workspace to provide further value by giving users a single access point for all their desktops and applications. In this use case, users log into their Horizon Workspace and can choose to use either the native Horizon View client or HTML Access to log into their desktops. This optional integration provides the most choice and flexibility compared to competitive solutions.

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Expanding the Market for Virtualized Desktops with High End Graphics

by Geoffrey Murase, Sr. Solutions Marketing Manager, End-User Computing

There’s no denying that the desktop experience both at work and at home is becoming more graphics rich.  Whether it’s viewing Adobe 3D PDF drawings in the office or participating in a raid with your World of Warcraft guild (presumably while NOT in the office), the expectation for smooth, detailed graphics is growing.  For businesses using virtualized desktops, it’s been challenging to keep up with new graphics intensive applications without overtaxing the processing power of servers in the datacenter.

VMware is pleased to announce that we have partnered with NVIDIA to help solve this problem.  With our recently released VMware® Horizon View 5.2, we are now able to support graphics acceleration offloading to NVIDIA GRID GPUs in the datacenter.  This capability ensures that workers using virtualized desktops get a great visual experience and can use the latest graphics intensive applications while IT departments continue to enjoy the benefits of centralized data, security, and ease of management that desktop virtualization brings.

Use cases for this technology include sharing 3D drawings with third party development teams overseas without compromising security or using tablets to share detailed 3D medical images with colleagues or patients while on the go.  In education, low cost computer labs can be setup using thin clients and desktop virtualization while still providing access to the latest and greatest graphics rich applications.  In addition, everyday knowledge workers can benefit from this technology by experiencing faster rendering of PowerPoint presentations and smoother delivery of video.

Come visit the VMware booth (#401) at the GPU Technology Conference, March 19-21st at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center, to see for yourself how users can experience rich graphics in a virtualized desktop environment.  We also invite you to attend VMware’s breakout session: “Access 3D Apps Anywhere, On Any Device With Accelerated Virtual Desktops (S3544)” to hear VMware’s Director of Product Management, Pat Lee, speak about this technology.

VMware at Enterprise Connect

by Geoffrey Murase, Sr. Solutions Marketing Manager, End-User Computing

Enterprise Connect is happening this week and is probably the biggest conference focused specifically on the Unified Communications industry.  Leading UC vendors such as Avaya, Cisco, Microsoft, and Mitel converge in Orlando, Florida each year to showcase their latest technological developments and share best practices.

VMware has been working closely with UC vendors to bring the benefits of virtualization to the unified communications industry not only on the server side, but on the desktop side as well.  One of the concerns with deploying desktop virtualization for real-time communications is the load that is placed on the datacenter for coding and decoding media.  However, VMware Horizon View has a special API that enables UC vendors to develop plug-ins that redirect media paths directly to endpoints, reducing latency and offloading the processing from the datacenter to the endpoints.  This enables businesses to scale their UC deployments in a virtualized desktop environment.

If you’re attending the show or are in the area, I invite you to attend the “Virtualizing Communications Servers and Clients” breakout session on Tuesday, March 18th at 8:00AM.  A little early in the day but it’ll be worth it!  Participants include:

  • Panelist – Geoff Murase, Sr. Solutions Marketing Manager, VMware
  • Panelist – Stephen Brown, Cloud Technologist, Mitel
  • Panelist – Jamie Stark, Senior Product Manager, Microsoft Corporation
  • Panelist – Tac Berry, Avaya Senior Product Marketing Manager, Collaboration Platforms, Avaya
  • Moderator – Irwin Lazar, Analyst, Nemertes Research

Enterprise Connect runs from Monday, March 18th through Thursday, March 21st.  Hope to see you there!

Introducing Unity Touch for iOS and Android

By Pat Lee, Director Product Management, End-User Computing

Today, I am excited to introduce Unity Touch as part of the new VMware Horizon View 2.0 clients for iOS and Android! We have spoken to many Horizon View customers and they have said clearly that they need Windows apps on their mobile devices but those applications are difficult to use on small screens.  Unity Touch makes it easier to run Windows apps on your iPhone, iPad, or Android device.

With Unity Touch, users can easily browse, search, and open Windows applications & files; choose favorite applications and files; and switch between running applications, all without using the Windows start menu or task bar.

To see Unity Touch in action, watch Scott Davis’ video introducing the Unity Touch technology:


What is Unity Touch?

Unity Touch is our design center for making Windows and Windows apps easier to to use on your iPhone, iPad, or Android device. The initial release of Unity Touch includes the following features:

Intuitive Sidebar Makes Windows on Mobile Easier Than Ever

The new Unity Touch sidebar automatically opens the first time you connect to a Unity Touch enabled Horizon View 5.2 desktop. The sidebar makes it easy to navigate the Windows All Programs and My Files folders from your iOS or Android device. After you find what you are looking for, the sidebar gets out of your way by automatically retracting. To get the Unity Touch sidebar back, just single left to right swipe or click on the moveable tab.

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New VMware Horizon View Clients and HTML Access Now Available!

We just released new VMware Horizon View clients that are optimized for VMware Horizon View 5.2!

Optimized for Best Performance with Horizon View 5.2

The latest VMware Horizon View clients take full advantage of the optimizations in Horizon View 5.2.

Horizon View 5.2 offers new PCoIP client side caching improvements. With Horizon View 5.2, only 90 MB of client side cache is needed to get the equivalent performance of using 250 MB with View 5.1 and earlier. This change further optimizes View performance on mobile devices.

The new VMware Horizon View 5.3 client for Windows now supports Microsoft Lync unified communications when used with Horizon View 5.2.

Also, the latest VMware Horizon View clients are now localized for traditional Chinese in addition to the previously supported English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, and simplified Chinese languages.

Zero Install HTML Access to Your Horizon View Desktop

We have had many requests to provide zero install access to Horizon View virtual desktops. Today, we are proud to release HTML Access, which gives you easy access to your Horizon View desktop from almost any HTML5 compatible browser. HTML Access allows you to connect to your Horizon View desktop through the updated Horizon View portal or through the Horizon Workspace.

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What’s New with Antivirus Solutions for VMware Horizon View Virtual Desktops?

By Ravi Kumar, Senior Product Manager, Security, End-User Computing, VMware

This year’s RSA conference was much larger and more exciting than the previous shows. The three main focus areas were cyber-espionage, Big Data and mobile device security. The VMware Horizon Suite addresses a number of concerns about application and data security and accelerates compliance with industry standards.

Another topic of interest to a number of VMware customers was endpoint security. As you know, a couple of years ago we introduced the vShield Endpoint product. With vSphere 5.1, vShield Endpoint is included in the base platform.

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Windows 7 Migration Twitter Chat March 26th at 6am and 9am PST-Join Us!!

@VMwareMirage is excited to be hosting a Twitter Chat on Windows 7 Migration!

WHO: VMware EUC (@VMwareMirage) & Forrester Analyst Dave Johnson (@david_kjohnson)

WHAT: Live Twitter Chat on Windows 7 Migration

WHEN: March 26, 2013, 6a & 9a PT

WHERE: Twitter, recommend using Tweetchat

Hashtag: #vEUCchat

 

WHY: Windows XP support ends in April 2014, at which time any remaining XP deployments can leave organizations at risk for compliance violations, security vulnerabilities and undesired support costs associated with user satisfaction and productivity.  This Twitter Chat is designed to help address important questions and challenges IT is currently mitigating, while offering industry insight and solutions to move toward successful implementations.

Mark it on your calendar:

Click to download the March 26th 6am PST invite

Click to download the March 26th 9am PST invite

More Details on Twitter Chats:

What is #vEUCchat?

#vEUCchat is an online Twitter chat that will be happening on March 26, 2013 at 6a & 9a PT. The topic is Windows 7 Migration. Everyone is welcome to join.

 How to #vEUCchat?

If this is your first time participating in a Twitter chat, you can use Tweetchat to help you easily follow the conversation.  Enter in our hashtag #vEUCchat to see only this specific chat stream (after signing in, it will ask you to authorize Tweetchat to use your Twitter account).  Then you are ready to go and post your thoughts in the text bar to be added to the action.  If you’re a more advanced user, you can also use tools like HootSuite, TweetDeck, or TweetGrid, to filter for all posts marked #vEUCchat.

If you are planning to take part through just the standard Twitter site, please remember to add the hash #vEUCchat to your tweets so your comments aren’t overlooked by mistake.

GET READY! It’s a fast-paced conversation with 140 characters or less at a time. Every 10 minutes the moderator will pose a new question. It’s not necessary for you to answer/comment on every question, but it’s a terrific way to get a variety of perspectives and to keep the conversation moving.

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