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Tag Archives: End User Computing

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

A constant theme I hear when talking to customers about managing their virtual, physical, and cloud-hosted environments tends to center around the challenges they face with applications and users. In particular, the questions that customers are looking to solve are ones like how can I simplify management of my 100s of apps throughout their lifecycle, from provisioning, to updating, to dealing with app conflicts? How can I optimize delivery of applications to all the different environments, devices, and users I manage?  How can I drive down costs of managing user personas while delivering a consistent experience across devices? And these are just some of the questions I hear. Well, we’ve been working to help tackle these challenges with a complete Workspace Environment Management solution using our Horizon technologies.

What is Workspace Environment Management? It’s an end-to-end approach to application and end-user management across physical, virtual, and cloud-hosted desktop environments. This approach enables IT organizations to effectively isolate and deliver applications in real-time, monitor performance, and map persona and policies to best meet end-user requirements across devices and locations. These capabilities allow IT to simplify producing and delivering applications and user policies, and end-users to consume applications as a service independent of device and location. Bridget Botelho from Tech Target has a complementary explanation in her Q&A with Harry Labana, VP Products for EUC at VMware.

 

Workspace Environment Management

 

So, how does VMware fit into this space? By using a variety of technologies available in Horizon, VMware is uniquely positioned to help customers deliver and manage apps and end-users across any environment. These environments can be virtual, physical, and even cloud-hosted. Horizon enables applications to effectively be isolated, delivered, published and monitored in real-time. This in turn helps optimize the way organizations manage workspace environments, along with driving down infrastructure and management costs. Let’s take a look at what this means in the context of the Horizon offering…

App Isolation and Delivery

To begin–using VMware ThinApp, apps can be isolated so as to avoid app conflicts, or running legacy apps on newer operating systems for example. App isolation helps lower TCO by reducing or eliminating the need to install applications when needed. Simply isolate the apps to run independent of the underlying OS.

With Horizon, apps and desktops can be provisioned using a single and secure platform via Horizon RDSH capabilities. This includes published applications and desktops. With our latest release of Horizon, we now offer full RDS Hosted Apps support, Windows Media Multimedia Redirection (MMR), Scanner Redirection, and HTML Access for RDS desktops. These capabilities help streamline management for better user experience across the WAN.

A key component of WEM is application delivery. VMware has optimized application delivery to virtual and physical desktops, and even RDSH and XenApp servers. With VMware App Volumes, IT can instantly deliver applications to virtual desktops (see video below), RDSH servers, and XenApp servers in real-time with lifecycle management.



App Volumes virtualizes above the OS with VMDK or VHD files that attach to a user or virtual desktop via an AppStack. App Volumes has a one to many delivery scheme that helps organizations lower their storage capacity by 30%. Just use one VMDK or VDH file, full of applications, to attach to many users or desktops! IT can benefit from the lower costs of maintaining a non-persistent environment, while delivering a seamless end-user experience across environments. For physical and BYO scenarios, VMware Mirage provides dynamic layering that helps quickly deliver updates to operating systems and applications. Our customers have been able to reduce their device management time by nearly 67% with Mirage.

User Environment Management

Another critical component of WEM is something that we announced at PEX this year – our acquisition of Immidio. Immidio offers a user environment management (UEM) solution. IT can deliver personalization and dynamic policy configuration to end users across any virtual, physical, and cloud-based environment.  The Immidio solution simplifies end-user profile management by providing organizations with a simple and scalable solution that requires no additional infrastructure – a huge cost savings compared to other UEM solutions. IT can simply map infrastructure (including networks and printers) and dynamically set policies for end users. For example, map policies according to location, which you can see in the third part of the video below.



With this solution, end users can also enjoy quick access with a personalized and consistent experience across devices and locations. For example, changing personalization settings on apps can persist across devices, as we illustrate in the second part of the video above. The net effect—organizations leveraging Immidio can increase workplace productivity while driving down the cost of acquisition and day-to-day desktop support and operations.

Up to this point, I’ve illustrated how we are able to isolate, provision, and deliver applications, while simplifying management of user’s profiles across different devices and locations. Another component of WEM includes application access. End users should be able to access their apps and desktops through a unified workspace. VMware offers this through our Workspace Portal. With single-sign on and the ability to access all SaaS apps, ThinApps, XenApps, RDSH Apps, and virtual desktops, this is the one stop shop for accessing applications. End users can enjoy personalized access to all of their applications through a secure, unified workspace with a consistent experience across devices and locations.

Application Maintenance and Monitoring

Now that we’ve highlighted the key components of Horizon that make up WEM, let’s take a look at the natural process of app maintenance and monitoring. We simplify app maintenance by making it a repeatable process. Let’s say you have to update a patch on an application like Firefox. You simply update the application via AppStacks or Layers. Or if you need to isolate Firefox, just update it using ThinApp. Then use the delivery mechanism of choice to the preferred platform of choice, and voila, Firefox has been updated and the end-user can consume the app. IT can even proactively monitor app and desktop performance using vRealize Operations, which you can see in the video below. IT can help reduce support calls and provide better end-user experience by remediating based on proactive alerts and in-guest metrics.

 



Using these technologies available through Horizon, you can enable Workspace Environment Management in your environment. Now you can help your organization drive application and end-user management transformation using Horizon. For more information, I encourage you to visit us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or check out the Mobility section of our hands on labs.

 

 

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:

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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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