Retiring Old OSes: XP, Vista, Mac OS X 10.6 & 10.7

by Kristina De Nike, Product Management, VMware

Queen Maria Eleonora of Sweden kept her dead husband, King Gustav Adolf, in her bedroom for 18 months before he was finally interred. Microsoft retired XP April 8, 2014. Now, 8 months later, it’s time for VMware® Horizon® to accept that loss and plan a memorial.

We don’t do this lightly; we know that many customers are still using Microsoft XP. But with Microsoft dropping support, it is time for VMware to align with Microsoft’s decision. As Windows XP will not be support, there will be no drivers for new hardware, libraries that our products use will be incompatible and XP will not get the benefits of regular security fixes. For all these reasons, VMware is clearly outlining the support plan for Horizon to give our customers time to plan a transition.

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F5′s Username Persistence and Cloud Pod Architecture in VMware Horizon (with View) 6 – What’s the Story?

Guest Blog by Justin Venezia, Sr. Solutions Architect- VMware Alliances at F5 Networks

There’s been a lot that has changed with the release of VMware® Horizon® (with View) in June 2014. Aside from the support for RDS hosted desktops and published applications using PCoIP, there is also a new feature called Cloud Pod Architecture (CPA). CPA enables entitlements to desktops between multiple View pods within or across multiple data centers.

F5’s Local Traffic Manager (LTM), Access Policy Manager (APM), and Global Traffic Manager (GTM) solution has been able to address this challenge for some time. From a 30,000-foot view, here is how today’s integrated VMware/F5 solution works when detecting an existing session without Cloud Pod Architecture:

View-UserNamePersist

  • GTM gets you to a data center based on source IP, geo, least connections, etc.
  • You then land in one of two typical configurations:
    • LTM load-balances you between Horizon Security Servers (external connections)
    • LTM load balances you between Horizon Connection Servers (internal connections)
  • You authenticate…
  • APM can detect an existing user’s session across multiple Horizon pods, and send you to that data center to reconnect to an existing desktop
  • You are reconnected to your session!

With the introduction of Cloud Pod Architecture, how does this impact the F5 solution? What’s different? What value-add does F5 provide in this updated environment?

The beauty of the VMware/F5 relationship is that the solutions COMPLEMENT each other very well. But, a word to the wise – what you need (versus want) should be driven by an organization’s business and technical requirements in concert with the VMware/F5 solution capabilities.

Cloud Pod 101

So, let’s take a quick look at what Cloud Pod Architecture is and how it works. I’m not going to reinvent the wheel explaining this, as Narasimha Krishnakumar (Director of Product Management – EUC @ VMware) does a spot-on job of explaining it – check out this link for more info.

Basically, you can federate multiple “independent” Horizon pods and bring together pools from each Horizon Pod to appear as a “single” global pool (the official term is called Global Entitlement). If a user connects into one Horizon Pod, and their desktop resides in another, the Horizon Pod they connect to authenticates and brokers the connection on behalf of the other – and BAM! you are connected to your desktop.

This graphic – courtesy of VMware’s EUC Technical Enablement team – is the picture that’s worth a thousand words:

CPA-View6

Let’s walk through the flow of a connection to a Cloud Pod-enabled desktop pool:

  1. The user connects with a single namespace URL managed by a load balancer or directly to a Horizon Connection Server.  The user logs into Horizon using the appropriate credentials
  2. Horizon Connection Servers will search the Global AD LDS (where the CPA pool information is stored) and local Horizon Pod’s AD LDS
  3. Horizon Connection Server then checks the state of the desktop using the VIPA protocol and enumerates the desktops in the client.
  4. The user chooses the desktop.
  5. If they chose the desktop pool that is CPA enabled and their desktop is in the other Horizon Pod (in this case, the other data center), the connection is made from the client to the desktop in the remote location.

Even though the desktop is in NYC (in this example), the user connected to the London Connection Servers – these brokers authenticated the user on behalf of NYC, so the user never passes through the brokers in NYC. This same traffic flow would also apply if there were Security Servers – the connection to the NYC data center would be proxied through the Security Servers in London.

So, does this remove the need for the F5 Username Persistence solution or the need for load balancing in general?

Well, the honest answer is “it depends”. You still need to load balance between security servers and connection servers for system resiliency and scalability. Around whether CPA will adequately replace F5’s username persistence solution, you need to do some homework to determine the best approach. Here are some key points on how to determine what you’ll need to address load balancing/connection management and session persistence features when using F5’s APM and/or Horizon’s Cloud Pod Architecture (CPA):

  • You STILL need to route the initial connection to the appropriate data center (in a multiple data center model). CPA doesn’t get the connection to the data center. F5’s Global Traffic Manager (GTM) module is the method used to make this happen.
  • You STILL need to load balance connections between a Horizon Pod’s Connection Servers and Security Servers. CPA doesn’t do this either. F5 Local Traffic Manager (LTM) is the best choice for intelligent load management and monitoring of Connection/Security Server resources..
  • Cloud Pod Architecture supports RDS hosted desktops and traditional hosted desktops – HTML desktops and RDS hosted applications (App Remoting) are not currently supported.
  • Although Cloud Pod Architecture can broker access and proxy the connection to a desktop in another pod, the network connection to the final communication between the client and the desktop (or security server, if external) may not be an optimal path. The connection path may cross an internal network connection that’s constrained for bandwidth or high latency.

If we use the picture above as example, the user is accessing their desktop in the NYC Pod through the London Pod.  Therefore, the path of data flow is over the internal link – which needs to be able to handle PCoIP traffic in addition to handling other inter data center traffic when hauling PCoIP over latency-sensitive connections.

How does F5′s Username Persistence solution complement View’s Cloud Pod Architecture?

F5’s username and session persistence solution can address many of the previously mentioned challenges through the use of GTM, LTM, and/or APM. Here’s some guidance that will help you choose the right path:

  • Leverage F5’s Username/Session Persistence to address these requirements:
    • Ability to detect and reconnect to existing RDS hosted application sessions – F5’s APM can detect existing sessions and route users to that existing data center or Horizon Pod.
    • Requirement to reconnect to HTML-based desktops across multiple Horizon Pods or data centers. Username and session persistence works with HTML Desktops.
    • Provide an option to route the user’s Horizon desktop/application connection across the most optimal connection, rather than traversing an internal or constrained/latent network connection.
  • Use APM’s-integrated PCoIP Proxy feature to keep access simple and secure.
    • It’s a secure and scalable alternative in the DMZ to removing the need for Security Servers in the DMZ.
    • Works OUT OF THE BOX with Horizon’s Cloud Pod Architecture.
    • If you already have an F5 Big-IP device in the DMZ and wish to enhance its functionality and leverage your existing investment.
    • Ability to provide multiple, unique instances of PCoIP Proxy Servers for different access scenarios, all running on a single appliance.

Well, that wraps up this blog post. Our next blog post will focus on understanding and implementing F5’s PCoIP Proxy feature – we’ll cover how it works, when to use it, and how to integrate it with Horizon.

You can also send any topics or ideas to vmwarepartnership@f5.com.

Until next time…

 

Caspida is hosting a Meet-Up at VMware…what does the future of mobile security look like?

 

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by Karthik Kannan, Founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Caspida

Mobile security is clearly one of the most major challenges faced by companies today. The mobile dimension extends the traditional network from being a rigid perimeter to a more fluid, yet inevitable, area around corporate assets. Users are increasingly mobile – remote employees, traveling users, contractors, vendors etc. This poses the problem of valuable corporate data being rendered open to corruption, theft and abuse. Yet, the answer does not lie in locking down the data or the devices – for the sake of productivity and competitive edge, companies must make their data accessible and hence not locked down yet protect it at the same time.

Today’s mobile-IT processes provide two options – use a company-provisioned device, or Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD). Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but in my opinion, BYOD is the winner. My specific reasons for that opinion are BYOD takes away a huge onus on the part of IT to provision and continuously update corporate devices for its users – this is a thankless task and IT will never get ahead with this approach. What’s left, by definition, is therefore the winner. But BYOD is a winner only because the competing option is a loser!

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Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Calling all VMware® Horzion™ Users!!

Calling all VMware Horizon users who are involved in building or maintaining VDI or SBC environments  — you are invited to participate.
Project Virtual Reality Check (VRC) is conducting their 2014 end user survey on the State of the VDI and SBC Union”.  Last year’s survey had over 1000 participants and we are hoping for more participation from the VMware end user base this year. We need your help!
The 2014 VRC survey will only take 10 minutes of your time.
The questions of the survey are both functional and technical and range from “What are the most important design goals set for this environment”, to “Which storage is used”, to “How are the VM’s configured”. In comparison to the 2013 VRC survey, questions have been highly optimized and simplified with the help of your feedback.The success of the survey will be determined by the amount of the responses, but also the quality of these responses. To that end — only the survey participants will receive the exclusive overview report with all results.

Only a week and a half is left!! The survey will be closed March 14th this year. We really hope you’ll lend your voice regarding your experience with the Horizon products!!

Please help us to reach other Horizon advocates by sharing this message on social media:Tweet: want unique insights in the Desktop Virtualization industry? Fill-in ‘State of the VDI and SBC union’ to be up2date: http://bit.ly/VRC-14

Already completed the survey? Tell us all about it on Facebook and Twitter!

New DaaS Solution on the Market!

As many of you read, VMware acquired Desktone back in October.  Click here to read the announcement and here to read the blog from our GM, Sanjay Poonen.  Desktone is a pioneer and the industry leader in desktop-as-a-service (DaaS.)  Today, we have yet another exciting announcement as Cisco has partnered with VMware to bring a new DaaS solution to the market.

The new Cisco DaaS solution powered by VMware is immediately available to service provider partners globally.

Please click to read the full release of this announcement from Cisco.  Our own, Peter McKay, VP and GM of DaaS explains further in his VMware blog.  We are thrilled by the growth of this market and to announce that the solution from VMware and Cisco has earned the industry’s only Cisco Validated Design (CVD) designation for DaaS.

To learn more about DaaS from VMware visit our VMware.com page.   Are you currently leveraging DaaS in your environment?  Tell us more about it on Twitter and Facebook!

 

 

Workforce Evolution

by Liam Yu, Product Marketing, VMware

Today’s workforce has seen dramatic evolution since the first day a remote worker crawled from the client-server ‘mud’ onto the shores of virtualization and ushering in the mobile-cloud era. Today, remote workers come in all shapes and sizes. The first remote workers (branch office, home users, and “ye ol’ road warrior’) now share the enterprise landscape with new species of workers with names like BPOs, FTEs, contractor supply chain, ecosystem users, and other exotic users (some of which aren’t even employees). What’s more, these new anywhere, anytime users expect anywhere IT service on their personal laptops, tablets, and smartphones or else they simply go around IT. In the past such Darwinian consumerization behavior challenged the ‘natural order’ of IT and was a clear violation of corporate policy – not to be tolerated.

But with the majority of workers bringing so many of their personal devices, (and apps) into the organizations usage trends such as “bring your own device” (BYOD) and “corporate-owned, personally enabled” (COPE) have become mainstay essentials to delivering IT scale and end-user choice.

However, IT be warned! Many products claim so called device management yet only really turn off the devices capabilities resulting in poor user experience. Moreover the interruption of access to apps, the removal of personal data result in personal privacy with their own set of risks. What’s’ more, many vendors provide only partial remedies. This leaves IT plugging holes leading to greater complexity, risk, and poor quality. IT should not have to meet their SLA with a point product pile up that is riddled with limitations (e.g. tablets but not for desktop or laptops -sorry).

The VMware® Horizon™ Suite’s approach delivers a holistic, right-sized solution, providing user choice, without compromising security or IT control. Horizon Suite does this by:

  • Allowing users to access ALL their files and applications at anytime, across devices – desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets.
  • Creating a separate environment for corporate applications and data. The environment can be completely isolated, secured and customized by the enterprise IT admin and can prevent corporate data leakage and preserve the privacy of employees’ personal information.
  • Enabling holistic user-based policy, for any mobile or remote state

By doing so, VMware helps organizations redefine the boundary of BYOD to really include any device. With Horizon Suite, IT gets a platform that allows them to provide secure and highly available access to desktops, apps, and data. Horizon Suite takes advantage of virtualization, application imaging and device awareness to provide IT with an end-to-end solution to meet the demands of the mobile workforce. It also allows IT to manage only what they need to (i.e. the assets that are owned by the enterprise) thus bringing security and compliance to devices, regardless of who owns them.

In short Horizon Suite allows IT meet a broader need of their evolving workforce. VMware believes that customers should be given a solution that considers their entire workforce. Moreover, these solutions should allow customers to adopt and adapt to future needs without comprising the quality of service, or increase complexity and risk for IT. In one solution, Horizon Suite’s technologies give you a comprehensive approach to meet today’s end user computing needs while allowing you to scale to meet the needs of all of those new workforce creatures that may emerge on an organization’s doorstep.

Tell us more about how your workforce is changing via Facebook and Twitter or discuss in our Horizon Suite Community.

Best in class EUC solution with VMware, HP and Atlantis Computing

By: Pete Brey, Worldwide Marketing Manager, HP

By: Seth Knox, VP Products, Atlantis Computing

By: Muthu Somasundaram, Product Line Marketing Manager, VMware

The end-user computing landscape is changing rapidly. Where once it was difficult to justify initial capital expenditures and to demonstrate ROI for an end-user virtualization project, now it is becoming increasingly feasible. What’s more, current state-of-the-art solutions are not only able to hit ROI hurdles, they are also capable of delivering an improved end user experience with 24×7 anytime, anywhere access with high availability, mobility, BYOD, and security built in. Desktop virtualization strategies you once thought unachievable are now totally within your reach.

VMware, HP and Atlantis Computing are at the forefront of delivering such an advanced solution – a highly available and secure solution with excellent performance, lower deployment cost and risk, and support for mobility/BYOD initiatives. For many organizations, desktop virtualization is the right move, and with a mature solution using VMware® Horizon View™, HP Converged Infrastructure, and Atlantis ILIO it can be a reality. This new solution:

  • Mitigates risk – By delivering a proven solution, backed by the expertise of companies you trust—HP, VMware and Atlantis Computing
  • Enhances the end user experience – By delivering cost-effective, PC-like performance for all employee desktops
  • Reduces capital outlay – By optimizing storage performance and capacity to deliver virtual desktops that cost less than PCs
  • Lowers operating costs – By reducing the storage footprint in the data center and automating desktop virtualization deployment

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SDDC Meets EUC- Spotlight Session Today!!!!

by Sarah Semple, End-User Computing Product Marketing

Happy first full day at #VMworld 2013!  We are thrilled to be kicking off our first full day of sessions and we hope your schedule builder is packed with tons of great EUC breakout sessions.  Tonight will be hosting our End-User Computing Spotlight Session.  VMware’s software defined architecture is transforming the data center into a dynamic cloud environment that can be built around a private cloud infrastructure with VMware vCloud Suite or a public or hybrid cloud service with VMware vCloud Hybrid Service. But how does VMware’s End-User Computing Platform fit into all of this? Join this session with our CTO, Scott Davis and other guest speakers as we demo and discuss how are leveraging VMware’s software-defined data center to deliver end-user computing workloads including desktops as a service. We’ll look at how VMware plans to automate and manage your infrastructure and desktops and additionally explore how you can deliver policy entitled access to VMware’s next-generation virtual workspace including applications, desktops and data.

This session is NOT to be missed.  Add us to your schedule today!  Tell us what you think on Facebook and Twitter #EUC7370-S #vmworld

The Software Defined Data Center Meets End-User Computing
Monday, August 26th at 5pm
Moscone Center West, Room 2009

 

 

Check out our EUC 3D Graphics Demos at the VMworld Solutions Exchange…MIND-BOGGLING!

by Rory Clements, Solution Management, End-User Computing

The EUC Solutions team has pulled out all the stops to showcase 3D graphics with VMware® Horizon View™, so expect to have your socks blown off by the incredible performance of applications like SolidWorks, Cinema4D, and Adobe Photoshop among others!
(There’s even Street Fighter and 3DMark if you ask the booth guys nicely!)

This year we have a team of industry experts who will be working hands on with our 3D powered virtual desktops to show real-world performance, so make sure you stop by to take a look at the content they will be creating live in our demo environment.

We’ve also got a MakerBot hooked up to show some rapid prototyping use cases, alongside Horizon Workspace™ and a plethora of mobile solutions demos, not forgetting a Unified Communications desktop with live link up to a special guest in our San Francisco offices!

The 3D powered Horizon View desktops are all powered by the NVIDIA Grid K1/K2 and Quadro cards, so come by and take a look! Stay tuned for a future blog post on how our boffins set it up! See you at VMworld!

You can follow the EUC Solutions team on twitter here for more updates during the show here https://twitter.com/vmwareeucsmtm.

Hope to see you there!  Have you downloaded the VMworld App yet?  If not, visit www.vmworld.com/mobile on your phone to access it.

VMworld, Now in 3D!

by Geoff Murase, Senior Solutions Marketing Manager, End-User Computing, VMware

Earlier this year, we announced Horizon View 5.2 which includes support for hardware accelerated graphics.  Customers have been anxiously awaiting this technology as it opens up a lot of new use cases for desktop virtualization such as support for CAD and other graphically intensive applications.

At VMworld, we’re pleased to offer several breakout sessions that highlight this technology.  To give you an idea of what we’ll be talking about, one of our customers who is participating in a session, La Cité collégiale, prepared a short video documenting the performance of 3D graphics in a Horizon View environment.  This video runs several different benchmark tests utilizing shared graphics technology (vSGA) where multiple virtual desktops share common GPU resources in the server.

 Below is a list of breakout sessions that will highlight VMware’s 3D capabilities.  Visit the VMworld Online Schedule Builder and add these into your session mix:

  • Monday, August 26that 1:00pm
    • EUC5862 – From Library to Starship: How vCloud and View Have Created the Most Advanced Learning and Research Vehicle on the Planet
      • Timothy Mori , NCSU Libraries
      • Maurice York , NC State University
  • Tuesday, August 27that 2:30pm
    • EUC5524 – Graphics and Users in VDI
      • Geoff Murase VMware Sr. Solutions Marketing Manager
      • Will Wade NVIDIA Director of GRID
  • Wednesday, August 28th at 12:30pm and Thursday, August 29that 12:30pm (duplicate sessions)
    • EUC6888 – Best Practices for Deploying 3D Graphics with Horizon View
      • Geoff Murase – Sr. Solutions Marketing Manager, VMware
      • Yves Bourgeois – IT Manager, La Cite collegiale
      • Brian Seibenick – Sr. Systems Administrator, SSOE Group

In addition to these breakout sessions, our partner in graphics, NVIDIA, will be exhibiting on the show floor, giving personalized demonstrations and answering questions.  VMware will also have demos on the show floor in our booth showcasing our 3D technology including using a Makerbot 3D printer!

For those of you who like to get your hands dirty, we’ll have VMware 3D graphics Hands-on Labs available in the lobby of the Hands-on Labs area in Moscone South.  You’ll be able to try all flavors of VMware 3D solutions (soft, shared, and dedicated) on a variety of workloads. These will be available to you while you wait to go into the scheduled Hands-on Labs.

We hope you can attend one of the sessions above, visit us on the show floor, and/or see for yourself the end-user experience in the Hands-on Labs area to learn more about VMware graphics solutions.  See you there!  Have you downloaded the VMworld App yet?  If not, visit www.vmworld.com/mobile on your phone to access it. Hope to see you there!