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VMware Horizon Is the Leading Virtual Desktop Platform, According to Gigaom Research

By Dave Grant, Sr. Director of Product Marketing, End-User Computing, VMware

As you already know, VMware Horizon 6 was made generally available about two weeks ago so anyone interested should download the solution and try it for free, or they can demo it live using the Horizon 6 Hands-On Lab.

But for a customer searching for a virtual desktop solution, one of the foundational questions is always, “Why should we choose your solution over the other solutions in the market?”

Today, I am giving customers a new reason to add to the list that already exists for Horizon.

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USB Device Redirection in VMware Horizon with View: White Paper and Video

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

We are all accustomed to using USB devices with desktop PCs and laptops in the form of mass storage devices, headsets, webcams, scanners, printers, and more. In the virtual world, where your actual desktop may be many miles away from your client device, physically plugging in a USB device is not possible. VMware Horizon with View supports using USB devices in the virtual desktop by using USB device remoting. View 5.1 and later introduced some complex configuration options for the usage and management of USB devices in a View virtual desktop session.

In order to assist users with these remoting options, I have published a white paper that gives a high-level overview of USB redirection, discusses the configuration options, and provides some practical worked examples to illustrate how these options can be used. USB Device Redirection, Configuration, and Usage in VMware Horizon with View is now available. I hope that this white paper will help you navigate some of the difficulties, options, and configurations to maximize the VDI end-user experience.

As a supplement to the paper, I have helped put together a video, Using Composite USB Devices in Horizon View Desktops, which talks viewers through USB-device splitting, and shows a worked example of how to configure splitting for a USB dictation audio-device.

Download the white paper: USB Device Redirection, Configuration, and Usage in VMware Horizon with View

View the USB device-splitting video: Using Composite USB Devices in Horizon View Desktops

If you have any USB-related questions for Horizon with View, please visit our forum to check out other discussions for help, or to post your own questions:

VMware View USB Community

Creating New Storage Policies in Virtual SAN for View 5.3.1 Desktops in Horizon

By Ting Liu, End-User Computing Solution Engineer, VMware

View 5.3.1 and later provide support for VMware Virtual SAN 5.5, a component of VMware vSphere 5.5U1. Using View with Virtual SAN 5.5 reduces the total CapEx of storage by up to 50%, which is a huge plus for businesses big and small.

In this blog post, we discuss how to configure storage policies in Virtual SAN for View 5.3.1 desktops. (View desktops in Horizon 6 operate differently.) We already know how to deploy a View pool on Virtual SAN storage. (See the Using a Virtual SAN Datastore in Horizon View section of Horizon View 5.3.1 on VMware Virtual SAN – Quick Start Guide for more.) This blog, on the other hand, shows you how to create a new virtual machine storage policy in Virtual SAN and assign it to the virtual machine template. This can help you keep part of the linked-clone pool’s replica desktop in the SSD storage, which may improve the performance of your linked-clone pool. (For more details on Virtual SAN policies, consult the About Virtual Machine Storage Policies and Working with Virtual SAN chapters in the vSphere Storage guide.)

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When You Love What You Do, You Will Always Be Successful

By Kevin Strohmeyer, Sr. Director Product Marketing, Workspace Services

Introducing VMware Workspace Portal 2.0

We’ve all heard the advice, “When you love what you do, you will always be successful.” It turns out that you either fall into the camp of “of course, what else would you do?” or “that’s just for the lucky few.” I choose to be squarely in the first camp.

I have now been at VMware for nearly two months where among my portfolio, I have the responsibility of bringing to market perhaps the single most used, or at least most visible technology that VMware produces, the newly renamed VMware Workspace Portal (formerly Horizon Workspace). Shipping both as an independent product and as a part of the new Horizon 6 Advanced and Enterprise editions, VMware Workspace Portal delivers a wide range of end-user applications including any Windows app using the new app hosting functionality of Horizon 6. Building on existing support for nearly any enterprise applications including Web, SaaS, SAML, Thin Apps, Office 365, XenApp, and complete Horizon desktops, the latest update also improves the flexibility for complex Active Directory SSO integrations and adds new reporting and auditing functionality. This latest version also gets a clean, modern new style based on HTML5 for a fluid and easily customized user environment that allows any IT organization to build their employees a secure virtual workspace with ease.

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Meanwhile, The Workspace Portal team is working away on integrations for the newly-acquired AirWatch portfolio. As announced in April, the secure file sync and share functionality in previous versions of Horizon Workspace is being removed in lieu of AirWatch Secure Content Locker. Meanwhile, existing customers leveraging previous editions of Horizon Workspace files functionality may take advantage of special offers to move to AirWatch Secure Content Locker and can leverage migration scripts and best practices to make the transition smooth.

Reflecting on my onboarding experience

With all the growth and excitement here in the VMware EUC organization, my two months almost makes me a veteran, but I can still very clearly remember my first day.  I showed up to the new campus with my personal MacBook and was directed to the VMware instance of Workspace Portal. I was prepared for the worst. From previous employer experience, I was used to having a “receiver” that would direct me to various apps and sites, but that receiver just made me re-authenticate to internal apps, or worse yet, was just a bookmark to a third party app that I wasn’t yet provisioned for and just failed. In the absolute worst case, it would just cache my AD password causing failures and even lockouts when my mandatory AD password changes occurred. Like I said, I was a bit skeptical.

In contrast, my Workspace Portal experience was stunningly simple. I opened the catalog, requested apps, (some provisioned instantly and others populated within a few hours as they required an approval workflow) and I never had to re-authenticate. I remember in a past life needing to reset my password for travel booking every time I went to book travel because I couldn’t remember the new complex and unique password I had setup the last time I forgot. No longer. My Salesforce.com, Amex Travel, benefits enrollment, everything just worked – and no logins required.

From that first day I quickly formed an emotional attachment to my Workspace Portal because whenever I was in doubt about how to find something I needed to get done, I could go to my Workspace Portal and find the app I needed.

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Next, I wanted to get my iPhone and iPad setup to do the same. In about 10 minutes, I had enrolled my MacBook Pro, iPhone and iPad where I had access to my VMware Workspace Portal, my Secure Content Locker, as well as the mobile apps VMware had produced. One of these apps was a guide to the various cafeterias. Anyone who knows me understands why this is a killer app in my book. More importantly, through AirWatch, I had a secure browser connection to the VMware Source, out internal employee site. Because of the trust established between me, my phone and VMware though the enrollment process, I can get to the VMware intranet site from anywhere without the need for tedious VPN challenge response PINs from a security token, which means I use my tablet more than ever.

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My next move was to begin structuring my project folders into the Secure Content Locker to ensure that I could easily access files on any of my devices. With Secure Content Locker, not only could I access and view my presentations and documents, but I could quickly open and edit them with changes easily replicating back to my MacBook Pro.

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Looking toward the future

The more I use my VMware Workspace Portal and AirWatch managed application and file sync and share services, the more excited I become about the potential of integrations that make the experience even more seamless and simple while securing intellectual property and corporate networks. The power of the VMware EUC portfolio not only makes getting work done anywhere easier for employees like me, but can transform workflows, and change the way people collaborate and interact with partners, customers, clients, patients, or students. The spirit of innovation is raging here at VMware, it is a great time to be a part of the team and celebrate the release of Horizon 6 and the new Workspace Portal 2.0.

The Apple Enterprise Invasion

Erik Frieberg

By Erik Frieberg, VP of Marketing, End-User Computing, VMware

Microsoft Windows has dominated enterprise desktops for close to three decades but it appears its reign is coming to an end. As BYOPC and BYOD continue to transform the enterprise, Macs have become a popular and preferred option compared to Windows PCs. However, complex questions and challenges have risen around the support of these two very different platforms.

Since business computing has very unique requirements with legacy Windows desktop infrastructure and application ecosystem, we decided to dig a little deeper to try and understand what IT administrators think about the growing heterogeneous environment.

As a result, VMware commissioned a survey of 376 IT professionals conducted by Dimensional Research to assess the current state of enterprise desktops and created a report titled “The Apple Enterprise Invasion.” We are releasing the results for the first time today and they clearly show that Windows is losing its grip on the enterprise.

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How Colt Technology Services Deployed View Desktops With Ease and Efficiency

By Alexander West, Technical Writer, End-User Computing, VMware, and Matt Coppinger, EUC Architect, End-User Computing, VMware

Recently, Colt Technology Services, a leading international IT- and telecoms-services company, confronted two crucial challenges: (1) enabling employees to work remotely and (2) reducing costly desktop and laptop replacements.

According to Colt, “We wanted to break the paradigm of a traditional and costly three-year laptop and desktop refresh project. We wanted to release our employees from their reliance on internal IT, and give them the freedom to use any device from any location to access corporate applications.”

Their solution: VMware Horizon with View. Continue reading

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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VMware Expands Validated End-User Computing Solutions

By Tisa Murdock, Director of Solution Marketing, End-User Computing, VMware

VMware today announced an expanded portfolio of validated desktop solutions for vertical industries to address challenges experienced by individual business sectors. The solutions meet specific performance, availability and security needs of vertical industries such as education, financial services, healthcare, government and manufacturing using the advanced technology found in VMware Horizon.

We worked very closely with our technology partners to create complete, tested and validated solutions for critical use cases within a particular vertical industry to meet specific use cases. As a result, the solutions help accelerate the time to value and minimize risk for customers.

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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