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Tag Archives: End User Computing

New VMware End-User Computing Channel on YouTube – Subscribe Today!

Here at VMware, we believe users should have one place to securely access all the applications, files, social tools and online services they need. This is why we’ve built one of the broadest technology platforms that bridges the entire end-user computing environment, from traditional desktops to the next generation of mobile devices.

And with VMware technology, end users get access to all of their apps and resources through one unified workspace. Pretty amazing, right? Well now our new YouTube channel aggregates all of the latest EUC video content for you, organized in playlists by the products and content you search you for the most. And better yet, you can subscribe to the channel for automatic updates.

On our new channel, discover the latest in product tutorials, customer testimonials and new product features. Get tech tips, best practices and view product demonstrations on how to implement VMware EUC technologies for your organization – including Horizon desktop and application solutions, AirWatch by VMware, Socialcast by VMware and more. You can also hear directly from our executives on milestone announcements and technology integrations, or catch a replay of a keynote you might have missed.

Below is just a snapshot of some of the resources you can expect to find on the new channel.  Subscribe to VMware EUC TV today!

 

 

 

 

 

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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Share Your Opinion on Desktop and Application Virtualization

Remember the days when you had to run virtual Windows 2000/XP VMs and users had to connect via RDP? Or when you used web portals to connect to physical desktops remotely with RDP? Or maybe you can recall when the first VDI brokers were brought into the market in 2007…

If you have followed these trends and these memories are near and dear to you, then you will also know that a lot has changed when it comes to desktop and application virtualization over the years. And many of these changes have come about thanks to your input and requests.

Here is your chance to influence the future of desktop and application virtualization offerings. If you have used Citrix or VMware desktop and application virtualization solutions or are thinking about using them, we’d love your input on some important research we are doing. We want to understand where your company is and where you are going on your desktop and application virtualization journey. This study will help build our understanding of your needs, interests, and influence our future offerings.

And in return for your time, if you qualify to take and complete the survey you will be entered into a drawing to win 1 of 15 iPads! Click here to view the terms and conditions.

So please take a few minutes and share your opinion. Don’t delay! Submit by January 9th at 11:59pm PST in order to qualify for the drawing.

Thanks again,
The VMware EUC Team

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…

 

VMware Horizon FLEX and View Local Mode: Similar Features, But Definitely Not the Same

By Gina Daly, Technical Writer for Technical Marketing, End-User Computing, VMware

VMware View Client with Local Mode has been removed from Horizon 6 with View. But did you know that VMware Horizon FLEX offers a similar offline desktop solution? In this blog, we compare and contrast Horizon FLEX and View Local Mode features.

Contrasting Features

User feedback informed us that the Local Mode offline desktop was a great asset, however the implementation needed refinement. VMware Horizon FLEX was developed as an enhanced BYO solution using our other End-User Computing products: VMware Mirage, VMware Fusion Pro, and VMware Player Pro.

VMware_Horizon_FLEX_EUC
Figure 1: Horizon FLEX Is a Combination of VMware End-User Computing Products

The most notable contrast between Horizon FLEX and View Local Mode is that Horizon with View and VMware vSphere are not prerequisites for Horizon FLEX. Continue reading

VMware Development Labs Sneak Peek: Serial Redirection in Horizon with View

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

 

With this blog, we introduce a new series of occasional End-User-Computing blogs called Sneak Peeks, where we discuss features and functionality we are working on in the Development labs. This gives us a chance to share the kinds of things we are thinking about and, in turn, to hear your ideas. We hope you find this new series informative and thought-provoking.

Over the years, I have worked with many devices that were connected remotely to VDI desktops using USB redirection. Some of these devices can be troublesome when using USB with a remote connection—due either to bandwidth requirements (for example, webcams) or latency sensitivity (for example, serial ports).

I am delighted to announce that we have recently been working in the labs on adding serial port redirection to Horizon with View. Similar to webcam redirection, we can solve the problem for serial ports by capturing the serial data at the client side, packaging it and delivering it to the guest, and presenting it back by way of a virtual COM port.

We are progressing well, and the functionality is looking great. We would, however, like to engage with our users, who have real-world experience with serial devices, for their thoughts about this functionality. Some devices are simple (for example, GPS receivers) and periodically send a burst of data to a terminal, whereas others are much more complicated. Many serial devices are quite old, and were designed to be connected by way of a few meters of cable to the computer. They certainly were not designed to be used remotely over tens or hundreds of miles!

Therefore the devices or applications used are often sensitive to the timing of the messages received. Also, many of the applications need bespoke applications that are often tightly coupled with a company’s internal applications and processes (for example, banking systems or production lines), making testing with such devices difficult for VMware engineers. Such devices often also have “dip” switches to change the mode of the device, and, as a result, the VMware solution may also require a number of different configuration settings to enable specific features in certain environments. These would likely be enabled through either the registry or by way of the port properties UI (for example, see the tool tray pop-up UI in Figure 1 which allows the mapping of physical to virtual com ports).

VMware_Serial_Redirection_Port_Properties

Figure 1: Tool Tray Pop-Up User Interface

Therefore, we would like to hear from you about which serial devices and which applications you would like to use remotely with View desktops. To facilitate this, we have set up a community forum thread on Serial Port Redirection in Horizon with View, where we can discuss some of the devices and apps that you would expect to work with this functionality. We want to do as much pre-validation of such devices and apps as possible so that when the functionality is launched, “it just works”! So, do visit the forum and tell us what you think.

I will keep you updated with progress, and will let you know when we launch this new functionality.

VMware App Volumes Deployment Guide Is Now Available

By Tristan Todd, VMware End-User-Computing Architect

Many years ago, I led a desktop support team at a small supply chain management company. The office was located in one of the many amazing food districts in Portland, Oregon. My team always scheduled a fantastic lunch outing on Fridays. Being the last one to leave my desk, I was often caught by an urgent phone call from a VIP who needed an application installed on their desktop. So, instead of feasting on some epic Thai cuisine with my teammates, I was often stuck (with stomach growling) in an executive’s office installing software. Alas, delighted users, but hungry Tristan.

If only I had had a technology like VMware App Volumes back then! The ability to instantly deploy applications to my users from a centralized management console would have let me enjoy my panang curry while having fun with my team.

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VMware Mirage 5.2 Now Generally Available!

By Sachin Sharma, Product Marketing, End-User Computing, VMware

Following on to our desktop innovation blog yesterday, I’m pleased to expand on the details of VMware Mirage 5.2 which is now generally available! A big part of what we have been working on is actually now available as a part of VMware Horizon FLEX. Horizon FLEX provides the flexibility IT needs to serve end users, while maintaining security and compliance with centrally managed, containerized desktops. With Horizon FLEX, you can deliver a reliable Windows experience to BYO users, Mac users, contractors and road warriors – whether offline or online. Mirage plays the role of centrally managing, patching, and backing up the local Windows virtual desktops that is delivered with Horizon FLEX.

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VMware Mirage Bootcamp Videos

By Sachin Sharma, Product Marketing, End-User Computing, VMware

One of the easiest ways to learn about VMware technologies is through videos. The videos we record are easy to consume and available on-demand. In fact, we have many VMware Mirage videos available on our YouTube playlist. Today I’d like to introduce the VMware Mirage Bootcamp series. This series covers everything from a general overview of Mirage to architecture guides to best practices including:

  • Mirage Overview – key capabilities and core technology of VMware Mirage including a live demo of the Mirage management console
  • Image Management Architecture Guide with Mirage – core architecture principles to design a centralized image management. We also review design methodology, sizing and scalability, and integration with Horizon.
  • CVDs, Layers, Policies, and Rules in Mirage – a deep-dive look at managing CVDs in VMware Mirage. We also cover layer management, CVD policies, layer rules, and scripting in Mirage.
  • Windows Migration – how Windows migrations are performed with VMware Mirage, and the benefits IT and end users receive as a result. We cover how Mirage handles USMT, post-scripts, layers, and drivers as part of the migration process with Mirage.
  • Best Practices with Remote and Branch Offices – deep-dive look at best practices with managing endpoints across remote and branch offices using VMware Mirage.
  • Best Practices in Automation – the automation capabilities offered in VMware Mirage. We also explain how to use the Mirage Server Tools and give examples of automation tasks.

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VMware Horizon with View Now Compatible with SIGNificant E-Signature Solution from XYZMO

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

For the past several months, VMware has been working closely with XYZMO to enable SIGNificant—a cutting-edge e-signature solution—to work seamlessly with VMware Horizon with View virtual desktops.

Now, we are pleased to announce our hard work has finally paid off: The latest SIGNificant solution from XYZMO now supports VMware Horizon with View virtual desktops. This exciting development enables new use cases and deployment scenarios, especially for organizations with remote branch offices. Simply put, you can now use the SIGNificant solution with a variety of signature tablets remotely connected to View virtual desktops. Continue reading