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Category Archives: End-User Computing Overview

VMware Horizon 6 with View: Performance Testing

By Nancy Beckus, Editor and Technical Writer, End-User Computing Technical Marketing, VMware, and Banit Agrawal, Senior Performance Engineer, VMware

VMware Horizon 6 with View virtual desktops offer advantages for both end users and IT staff. End users are no longer locked to a particular machine and can access their system and files from anywhere, anytime. View transforms IT by simplifying and automating desktop and applications management. IT administrators can quickly create virtual desktops on demand based on locations and profiles.

VMware_Horizon_6_with_View_Architecture
Figure 1: Horizon with View Architecture

The updated white paper VMware Horizon 6 with View Performance and Best Practices describes the performance gains achieved with the latest Horizon 6 enhancements. The paper details the architecture systems used for testing the features and recommends best practices for configuring your system.

Following are the Horizon 6 features and performance enhancements addressed in the updated paper. Continue reading

What’s on the Horizon for Desktop and App Virtualization? Join 4/15 #HorizonChat!

We’ve made quite a few changes to Horizon recently, including improvements to virtual networking, storage, apps and more. The end result is a family of products that help you deliver unlimited access to apps and desktops at a lower cost and with improved performance.

To discuss these improvements and the future of Horizon, we’re bringing VMware EUC Sr. Director Shawn Bass (@shawnbass) and analyst Simon Bramfitt (@simonbramfitt) together to host #HorizonChat on Twitter Wednesday, April 15th from 9 – 10 AM (PT).

Join us as we discuss how Horizon 6 will expand virtualization beyond its current field and how it can accommodate new industry trends.

Questions we’ll tackle during the chat include:

  • What holds organizations back from adopting virtual desktop and application virtualization technologies?
  • What options are available for integrating mobile and desktop management?
  • What are the new features available with VMware Horizon 6?
  • How does Horizon 6 integrate with Virtual SAN?

Here’s how to participate in #HorizonChat:

  • Sign up for #HorizonChat on CrowdChat and add #HorizonChat to your calendar.
  • Follow #HorizonChat on CrowdChat or a Twitter client (i.e. TweetDeck, Twubs.com, or HootSuite).
  • On Wednesday, April 15th at 9 AM PT, @vmwarehorizon and co-hosts @shawnbass and @simontbramfitt will get the conversation started with the #HorizonChat hashtag.
  • Tag your tweets with the #HorizonChat hashtag (CrowdChat will automatically append the hashtag to your comments) and @reply other participants; ask questions, share your thoughts, and engage!

Feel free to tweet us at @vmwarehorizon with any questions you’d like to have answered during the chat. We’re looking forward to chatting with you Wednesday, April 15th during #HorizonChat!

 

 

 

 

VMware Horizon 6 Storage Considerations White Paper Now Available

By Gary Sloane, Consulting Writer and Editor, VMware

If you are reading this post, you probably know that storage has long been considered the foundation of any VDI implementation.

In VMware Horizon 6 Storage Considerations, Kris Boyd takes a close look at the most important questions and challenges that face anyone tasked with designing a new Horizon 6 deployment. In addition to Horizon 6 updates, Kris describes relevant considerations for App Volumes, Mirage, Workspace Portal, and Virtual SAN. He also offers valuable practical advice about storage, based on many years in the field.

For instance, this graphic suggests where to look for latency in the storage stack.

Horizon_6_Storage_ESXi

  • DAVG – Device average. How long I/O commands spend in the device, from the driver host bus adapter (HBA) to the back-end storage array.
  • GAVG – Guest average. Average guest latency.
  • KAVG – Kernel average. How long I/O spends in the ESXi kernel.
  • QAVG – Queue average. How long I/O is stuck in a kernel queue.

A comprehensive glossary of acronyms is also included.

Download VMware Horizon 6 Storage Considerations or bookmark it for the next time you design a Horizon implementation.

VMware Mirage and Microsoft SCCM Working Side by Side

By Karen Smith, Guest Writer, Former Technical Writer for End-User Computing Technical Marketing, VMware

With significant contributions from Maor Kuriel, Product Specialist, Mirage Engineering, End-User Computing, VMware

Many organizations use Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) for managing large groups of endpoint devices. In an ideal scenario, everything is operating smoothly, but sometimes things go wrong, and end users need to quickly recover their systems so that they can resume work.

You might be searching for a disaster recovery solution for your SCCM environment, which would enable IT to assist users with issues such as hard drive failure, virus infection, and corrupted files or applications. You also might be searching for a faster way to refresh PCs to new hardware, and migrate large groups of computers from Windows XP to Windows 7, or from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1. VMware Mirage can do all these things.

The Mirage and SCCM systems can coexist independently in the data center without interfering with each other.

VMware_Mirage_SCCM_Servers
Figure 1: Mirage and SCCM Servers Side by Side with Mirage and SCCM Clients on Endpoints
Continue reading

Results of VMware Workspace Portal 2.1 Tests Exceed Expectations

By Nancy Beckus, Editor, VMware, and Rasmus Jensen, Senior End-User Computing Architect, EUC Technical Enablement, VMware

This blog summarizes the results of functional and operational tests of Workspace Portal 2.1 running on top of VMware vSphere 5.x, as reported in the VMware Workspace Portal Reference Architecture. In this architecture validation, VMware performed tests to highlight how easy it is to deploy, integrate, and manage Workspace Portal.

Here is an overview of the test results for a 30,000-user deployment of Workspace Portal 2.1:

VMware_Workspace_Portal_2.1_Test_Results
Figure 1: Overview of Test Results for a 30,000-User Deployment of Workspace Portal 2.1
Continue reading

VMware Horizon 6 Offers Expanded RDSH Features

By Tony Huynh, Product Line Manager, End-User Computing, VMware

It has been almost a year since VMware released Horizon 6 with support for Remote Desktop Services Hosted (RDSH) desktops and applications. We could not be more pleased with the market adoption of our solution. With each subsequent Horizon release, we have added to the list of RDSH features, including printing, scanning, smart card authentication, and USB flash drive support. Let us quickly review the features added for RDSH since the initial release of Horizon 6. Continue reading

Horizon 6 Reference Architecture: Updated!

By Jessica Chapin, Technical Writer and Editor, End-User Computing, VMware, and Matt Coppinger, End-User-Computing Architect, End-User Computing, VMware

There is no denying that we live in a highly mobile world. Business is conducted on smartphones, tablets, and laptops on the go. The traditional desk worker sitting in front of a PC is virtually a legacy. With the speed of innovation today, enterprises and IT administrators face a challenge in providing their end users with what they need to accomplish day-to-day tasks. Fortunately, the architects and engineers at VMware recognize this challenge and regularly provide up-to-the-minute information for IT administrators who want to deploy a virtual workspace environment.

To assist IT administrators in the deployment of a virtual workspace environment, we publish best practices and tested use cases through our reference architectures. Our reference architectures are rigorously field-tested and provide enterprises with scalable, validated designs, optimized for quick implementation, with minimal risk and reduced cost.

The Horizon 6 Reference Architecture, originally published last fall, has been updated to reflect VMware Workspace Portal 2.1 architecture and to include more details on the performance of RDSH. Products used in the test environment included VMware vSphere, VMware Horizon 6 with View, VMware Mirage, and VMware Workspace Portal. This post focuses on the updates to the previously published document. Continue reading

USB Redirection of Storage Devices in Horizon with View for RDSH Desktops and Apps

By Gang Si, Senior Member of the Technical Staff, End-User Computing, VMware

As you may know, VMware Horizon with View has supported redirection of USB devices to VDI desktops for a long time. Now, for the first time, View has the capability of redirecting USB storage devices to RDSH desktops and applications. This feature is supported on Windows Server 2012 and later.

For RDSH desktops and apps, multiple users can log in to the same RDSH server at the same time, but each redirected USB storage device is isolated to the session of the individual who plugged the USB device into their endpoint. Nobody but the user who plugged in the redirected device can use it or even see it. Continue reading

Instant Gratification for the Always-On College World with Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS)

If college students had a mantra, I bet it’d be something along the lines of that Queen song: “I want it all and I want it now!”  Students are used to instant, 24x7 access to social media, gaming, music and more in their personal lives. It’s no surprise they expect the same of their computer labs, courseware and IT support at school.

And they’re not the only ones with on-demand expectations. Faculty want to be able to innovate in real-time – not wait until next semester to introduce new subjects or try out new courseware. Academic leaders want to put education in easy reach of more students with online classes that let them learn when, where and how they want. In fact, 70% of chief academic leaders say online learning is critical to their long-term strategy (Online Learning Consortium, 2014).

The truth is, if colleges and universities don’t offer this kind of dynamic, always-on environment, they won’t be able to attract and retain the students and staff they need to remain competitive. But there’s a problem. Higher Ed IT departments often aren’t designed, staffed or funded to handle the extremely complex IT infrastructure this on-demand world requires.

That’s why we’re seeing more colleges and universities turning to DaaS, or cloud-hosted desktops-as-a-service. DaaS moves desktops and apps into the cloud, where an experienced service provider handles the servers, software and support. Not only does DaaS remove IT complexity, it also reduces much of the IT labor costs. There’s no big capital expense for on-site infrastructure that educational institutions have to worry about.

When we talk to colleges and universities about DaaS, they get particularly excited about how easy it delivers these benefits:

Far Greater IT Agility

Institutions can roll out apps and updates overnight, to any device, at any time during the school term. There’s no more waiting for semester breaks or spring vacation. Instead of updating computers one-by-one, or running a remote program to touch each device from the datacenter, cloud-hosted desktops can all be quickly deployed at once. That means end-users can gain access to an updated, refreshed desktop without any changes to their devices.

 24-Hour Computer Lab

DaaS extends computer lab access to wherever and whenever. Students can access the lab at 3pm or 3am, from their dorm, library or even the laundry room. Whatever works for them. And regardless if a student has lost their device, replaced their device, or have multiple devices, they always have access to their educational workspace, without any IT intervention.

Campus Lab

Innovate and Adjust Quickly

Colleges and universities can easily roll out or test new courseware, online classes and even majors. Instead of taking months to purchase and configure the enabling hardware and software, you just ramp up the number of active virtual desktops with your service provider. When desktops are no longer needed—if you decide not to continue a class, or the semester ends and you don’t need as much capacity—simply adjust the number of desktops.

Standardized Learning Environment

Students come to school with all types of devices. Chromebooks, Macs, PCs and more. With DaaS, it doesn’t matter what they use. You easily can deliver a simple-to-manage, standard learning environment that provides secure access to all the apps and tools students need.

Any device, anywhere

As one of the largest online universities found by using VMware Horizon Air , expanding classroom access, innovating courses in real-time, and providing the on-demand education students want doesn’t have to be exorbitantly cumbersome or costly. DaaS puts the always-on college world in easy reach of everyone, anywhere.

To learn more about how Horizon Air can help transform campuses and labs with education on-demand, I encourage you to listen to our on-demand webinar HERE.

VMware App Volumes – What About Performance?

By Tristan Todd, End-User Computing Architect, VMware

With significant contributions from Fred Schimscheimer, Staff Engineer in the Office of the CTO, VMware, and Stephane Asselin, Architect on the End-User-Computing Technical Enablement Team, VMware

In a previous blog post, VMware App Volumes Deployment Guide Is Now Available, I discussed how easy it is to deploy App Volumes. Today, I want to talk about performance. Our customers and partners are reaping the benefits of App Volumes because it truly delivers on

  • Dynamic application delivery
  • Bringing persistence to nonpersistent desktops
  • Cost-optimized infrastructure
  • Seamless end-user experience
  • Simple deployment and management

VMware_App_Volumes_Real_Time_App_Delivery
Figure 1: Real-Time Application Delivery

App Volumes enhances end-user mobility, delivering applications to users on demand and providing agility to the enterprise. Continue reading