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Category Archives: End-User Computing Overview

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!

Register Now

 

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.

ThinApp 5.0.1: Minor release number, but notable features!

By Tina de Benedictis, Senior Technical Marketing Manager, End-User Computing, VMware

VMware ThinApp 5.0.1 has just been released, and although this is a minor release number, some new features will make a difference in your application-packaging life.

Package.ini parameters now case-insensitive

Have you ever set a value for a Package.ini parameter, only to find out after much troubleshooting that it did not take effect because you did not copy the exact capitalization for the parameter? Well, no longer do you need to worry about capitalization for a Package.ini parameter! Package.ini parameters are now case-insensitive, so you can use all caps, all lowercase, or mixed case, and you will be correct no matter what you do. Thank you, ThinApp engineers!

For more information on setting Package.ini parameters, see the ThinApp Package.ini Parameters Reference Guide.

Enhanced tracking of ThinApp capture and deployment scenarios

When you opt in to sending your packaging information to VMware in the Quality Assurance Statistics window of ThinApp Setup Capture, what do you think is going on? You may in fact opt out because you think you want your packaging information private. But everyone gains if you opt in. And with ThinApp 5.0.1, VMware is collecting more information about your capture and deployment operating systems. This information helps VMware to know where to focus engineering efforts. By opting in, you are helping not only yourself, but also others like you. Opting in is essentially your vote for the most popular capture and deployment scenarios.

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Delivering a Seamless Experience: VMware Horizon 6 and Teradici PCoIP

Guest blog by Mabel Louie, Director of Product Marketing, Teradici

VMware has raised the bar with the unveiling of VMware Horizon 6 – a single, seamless platform for delivery of an uncompromised experience to a broader base of end users, across multiple devices and locations from public or private clouds.

As a longtime VMware partner, Teradici® drives continuous innovation of the PCoIP® protocol, aligning to the industry’s most stringent security standards, and providing best performance, and ease-of-manageability for virtual desktops and application delivery.  The protocol compresses, encrypts and encodes the entire computing experience securely in the data center and transmits it as ‘pixels only’ to a user’s device for an outstanding result.

Teradici worked closely with VMware on PCoIP enhancements in the Horizon 6 release, contributing to even greater end user productivity, flexibility and performance:

  • RDS desktop and application delivery using the PCoIP protocol
  • Roaming IP address support to allow PCoIP sessions to persist when a client IP address changes (e.g., transition from one wireless access point to another)
  • Improved bandwidth management for a better user experience over congested and wireless networks

Our broad PCoIP ecosystem of hardware and software partners is committed to fulfilling the VMware Horizon 6 vision for unified delivery and management of desktop and application services – anytime, anywhere – via secure, high-performance PCoIP zero client devices, complemented by  PCoIP hardware accelerators and performance monitoring and optimization tools.

Over the past 5+ years, Teradici has enabled the PCoIP Experience for millions of VDI and DaaS users (VMware and Desktone), and sales of 1.5M+ PCoIP zero client devices in a variety of form factors (desktop, laptop, and all-in-one monitors).

Teradici and our partners are dedicated to the continued success of IT managers in deploying cloud environments to meet today’s pressing challenges:

  • Delivering a consistent user experience and access to media-rich content and high-end graphics applications – even at peak usage times. With the Teradici PCoIP Hardware Accelerator, IT management can cost-effectively maximize the number of virtual machines placed on servers with VMware Horizon, while ensuring a consistent, high-performance computing experience across all users, at all times and regardless of task or activity level. By reducing server CPU utilization and complementing physical GPU support in VMware VDI deployments, it’s possible to improve consolidation ratios by up to 2X.  For example, a U.S. federal agency is better serving citizens at a highly-trafficked airport by making secure, “forensic-quality” video surveillance footage accessible to airport personnel on any device at any time, in collaboration with technical services firm, Jacobs Technology.
  • Simplifying IT deployment and manageability. In a recent survey of nearly 1200 VMware end users, the top 3 reasons cited for selecting Teradici PCoIP zero client devices were tied to ease of deployment, configuration and maintenance, plus greater system resilience and reliability. For example, AAA of the Carolinas System Engineer, Doug Robinson, reports that “PCoIP Zero Clients we deployed to replace our aging Call Center computers allowed us, in a matter of two days, to convert our 200 users to PCoIP Zero Clients with little to no down time. Repair and replacement costs have almost completely disappeared, and the users are very happy with the solution.”
  • Streamlining workflows and increasing user productivity in a secure environment.  By enabling more efficient use and sharing of computing resources, PCoIP zero client deployments with VMware Horizon can improve organizational effectiveness – in compliance with industry best practices and regulations. For example, at HIMSS 2014, North Kansas City Hospital described how its VDI deployment with VMware, Teradici and Imprivata helped streamline workflows, giving medical personnel secure access to vital information on zero client desktops at the point-of-care, from anywhere on the hospital floor throughout the day.

We look forward to many more successes with VMware Horizon 6 in the coming months – please share yours with us at PCoIPExperience@teradici.com!