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Category Archives: End-User Computing Overview

Update! Key Considerations in Choosing a Zero Client Environment for VDI

By Jessica Flohr, Technical Writer and Editor, End-User Computing, VMware

Zero clients are getting a refresh! The popular white paper, Top Five Considerations in Choosing a Zero Client Environment, has been updated with new case studies, graphics, and a deeper technical perspective. The original paper, written by Cyndie Zikmund, was one of the most frequently downloaded white papers in End-User Computing at VMware. This long-awaited update takes a fresh look at key concerns IT administrators have when choosing client endpoints for a virtual desktop infrastructure.

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Lakeside SysTrack Provides an ‘Assist’ to Get You Moving with Horizon 6

By Aaron Black, Product Manager, End-User Computing, VMware

If you are a sports fan, or simply have the experience of playing a sport that involves passing, you know the value of an ‘assist’. We at VMware have put together an inspiring set of products with the launch of Horizon 6, but we realize that you may be faced with the daunting realities of another upgrade or the business justification for a new implementation. Those of us who build and manage environments are often presented with challenges that are not purely technical or even architectural—the difficulties are providing visibility to what is really happening and providing enough certainty so that people feel comfortable with moving forward with their end-user-computing project. Lakeside Software is a partner that we have been working with for several years; Lakeside can provide customers and partners with a valuable ‘assist’ to help get started with Horizon 6.

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Real-Time Audio-Video Has New Virtual Webcam Driver in Horizon 6.0!

By Peter Brown, Senior R&D Manager, VMware

In my previous blog posts on Real-Time Audio-Video (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3), I talked about using RTAV on Windows, Linux, and OS X clients. We have had loads of really positive feedback about the functionality, and it has been great to hear how well received the feature is. We did however get some reports that some third-party applications did not work with the virtual webcam driver that we previously released. Typically these were in-house bespoke applications which of course we had been unable to test. Applications such as Skype, WebEx, and Google Hangouts worked very well with the driver, but we also found some web-based applications worked, but not with later versions of Internet Explorer (for example, IE10, IE11) and Chrome with the built-in PepperFlash. Continue reading

Horizon Clients—OpenSSL, Updated TLS, Heartbleed, and More!

By Robert Pinkoske, Staff Engineer, VMware, and Kristina De Nike, Senior Product Manager, VMware

VMware Horizon tells a great security story: Your data never leaves your data center—it is safe and secure. But, of course, that is only true if the access to a virtual desktop is also secure. Here is an update on Horizon Clients and security.

Heartbleed

When the Heartbleed alarm went off, VMware did a complete inventory of our exposure. Horizon Clients for Windows, iOS, and Android were using a vulnerable version of OpenSSL 1.0.1. However, the only way to exploit the vulnerability in the clients would be for an end user to connect to a Horizon View Connection Server or View security server that is running malicious code. Although it is possible for a man-in-the-middle server to try to jump into the connection, the Horizon Client checks the server’s SSL certificate. If the client has ever seen a fully verified certificate for a server and then sees a self-signed one, the client blocks the connection.

Our HTML Access client connects using the SSL/TLS functionality built into the browser, so the client did not require an update for Heartbleed. However, the agent that shipped with View 5.3 Feature Pack 1 had a Heartbleed vulnerability.

To address these issues, VMware released a 2.3.3 update for our Windows, iOS, and Android Horizon clients on April 14, 2014. We also posted a fix to the agent side of HTML Access for View 5.3 Feature Pack 2. For more information, see the Knowledge Base article VMware Horizon View and the Heartbleed Bug.

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VMware Horizon View Clients Update

By Kristina De Nike, Senior Product Manager, End-User Computing, VMware

I once lost a checker piece. I found a red button that looked so much like the original piece that while I was playing I almost never thought about the replacement. We expect our new, RDS-hosted applications feature to be like that for end users. With Horizon 6, the remote Windows apps feel so native that end users will regularly forget that the applications are not running locally. For more information, see the VMware Horizon Clients documentation.

In this significant update to the VMware Horizon Clients, users connecting to a Horizon 6 View Connection Server can access applications running on a Windows Remote Desktop Session host (RDS host) from the Horizon Client over PCoIP. The applications look and behave like applications running natively on the local computer. For instance, on the Mac, the application icon appears in the Mac dock, and application windows layer over each other, as you would expect (see Figure 1). This seamless application access is available in the Windows and Mac clients.

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Horizon 6 is Here!

By: Courtney Burry, Director of Product Marketing, End-User Computing, VMware

It’s here—right in the middle of the World Cup! VMware Horizon 6 is officially shipping at 8pm PST today.

With this release, IT can now deliver RDS hosted applications alongside virtual desktops through a single platform. And these desktops and applications—inclusive of packaged ThinApp, SaaS apps, RDS hosted apps and even Citrix XenApp applications—can all be accessed by end-users through a unified workspace.

Horizon 6 graphic

 

This is a big deal for customers looking for a cost-effective alternative to supporting end-users who may just need access to a few applications across mobile devices or remote locations.

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Last Chance to Register for EUC Insights on June 17!

Don’t miss out on our End-User Computing Insights virtual tradeshow tomorrow!

The event kicks off at 8am PT with Sanjay Poonen for an executive-packed keynote and is followed by a half-day of technical training and expert chats on Horizon, Horizon DaaS, AirWatch by VMware, Virtual SAN and more!

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VMware EUC Insights: A One-of-a-Kind Virtual Tradeshow

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Mark your calendars for Tuesday, June 17th from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. PST, and join us for VMware EUC Insights, a free, online tradeshow, bringing together the power of VMware Horizon, DaaS, and AirWatch for the first time.

We’ll kick things off with a keynote delivered by four executives responsible for shaping VMware’s end-user computing offerings:

  • Sanjay Poonen, EVP and GM of End-User Computing
  • John Marshall, SVP and GM of AirWatch
  • Sumit Dhawan, VP and GM of Desktop Product
  • Tony Scott, VMware CIO

From there, attendees will have the opportunity to choose from five specialized, topic-based tracks and participate in live breakout sessions, technical deep dives, and expert chat sessions on Horizon 6, Desktop as a Service and Enterprise Mobility Management.

While exploring the 3D virtual tradeshow floor, you’ll also find interactive booths staffed by experts from strategic partners such as Cisco, Dell, EMC, F5, Google, IBM, Liquidware Labs, Nimble Storage, NVIDIA and VCE.

Every organization is unique, but the agenda for this half-day event is packed with informative sessions to give you the actionable knowledge necessary to tackle today’s biggest IT challenges, including topics like:

  • How do organizations like yours save more than $1 million in hardware costs, reduce server infrastructure by 94 percent, and shorten their Horizon pilot time to just weeks?
  • How do you deploy a completely virtualized environment without losing your mind and breaking the bank?
  • “I left my Chromebook at home! It has all the notes for my meeting in 10 minutes! Now what?”
  • Is it possible to spend less, reduce complexity and still get solid DR protection for enterprise desktops?
  • Is business continuity and high availability for your desktop, apps and data a rainbow unicorn or the real deal?

Registration for VMware EUC Insights is free, so sign up today and invite your fellow IT pros! We’re looking forward to meeting you all on the show floor next week.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for updates during the show and you can also share your feedback by using #EUCinsights.

 

Horizon 6 with PCoIP—Up to 30% Bandwidth Savings out of the Box!

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

As part of the exciting Horizon 6 launch, I want to share a few enhancements that have been made to our remote display protocol, PCoIP. These PCoIP enhancements will more fully optimize Horizon deployments.

PCoIP is a protocol that adapts to the available network bandwidth to provide the best user experience possible. However, in some network environments, it may be optimal to set the bandwidth usage lower, such as in a wide-area-network (WAN) environment.

As a result of collaborating closely with our customers and partners, VMware and Teradici have made a few changes to the PCoIP defaults. We have also made bandwidth-management enhancements on congested and lossy networks, which will provide better performance over WAN and wireless networks. Ultimately, what this means for end users is that they now get up to 30% bandwidth savings out of the box and a better experience on their wireless devices. The best part is that users do not have to do a thing to be able to take advantage of these improvements!
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The Evolution of VMware’s 3D Graphics Capabilities

by Geoffrey Murase, Solutions Marketing, End-User Computing

VMware’s goal with 3D graphics-enabled virtual desktops is to deliver the performance required for different customer use cases in the most cost-effective manner.  The 3D graphics capabilities with VMware Horizon continue to evolve and have opened up a new wave of use cases for desktop virtualization.

  • With Horizon 5.0, we introduced Soft 3D technology which enables leveraging a host server’s CPU to perform graphics intensive computations.  Soft 3D technology is ideal for lightweight graphics use cases such as using Windows Aero or Google Earth.
  • With Horizon 5.2, we partnered with NVIDIA and introduced vSGA or shared graphics technology that leverages NVIDIA GPU hardware in the host server to deliver hardware accelerated graphics performance for higher end use cases.  vSGA technology is ideal for many computer-aided design applications where some performance can be sacrificed to achieve greater virtual desktop density per host.
  • With Horizon 5.3, we further extended our graphics capabilities with vDGA technology that enables dedicated pass through of graphics processing requests from virtual desktops to specific hardware GPUs in host servers.  This highest performance configuration enables designers to achieve workstation class performance while IT still benefits from the security and ease of management of desktop virtualization. In addition, we added vSGA support for AMD/FirePro™ graphics cards to give customers further choice in their 3D graphics deployment.  Check out the deployment guide.

To assist customers in deploying vSGA and vDGA hardware-accelerated graphics solutions, Rory Clements on the EUC team has published short videos that walk you through the configuration process.

  • Virtual Shared Graphics Acceleration Demo (vSGA)

  • Virtual Dedicated Graphics Acceleration Demo (vDGA)

We hope that these videos help you better understand the two different technologies and assist you in your own 3D graphics-enabled virtual desktop deployment.  Look for more to come in the near future regarding our announced hosted 3D enabled desktops and vGPU initiative with NVIDIA as we continue to build out a complete portfolio of 3D graphics-enabled virtual desktop solutions for customers.