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Tag Archives: EUC

Optimize Storage Fast with VMware Virtual SAN!

By Jessica Flohr, Technical Writer and Editor, End-User Computing, VMware; Donal Geary, Reference Architecture Engineer, Desktop Virtualization, VMware; and Wade Holmes, Senior Technical Marketing Architect, Software-Defined Storage, VMware

VMware vSphere5.5 Update 1 introduced VMware Virtual SAN. This new software-defined storage tier is the industry’s only vSphere-based hypervisor-converged storage solution. Virtual SAN allows compute and storage resources to be served by server platforms, combining local flash and magnetic disk to create a resilient, high-performance shared storage solution.

VMware Horizon with View can now leverage the power of VMware Virtual SAN to allow VDI deployments to scale linearly while maintaining great performance and user experience.

In the recently published technical white paper, VMware Horizon with View and Virtual SAN Reference Architecture, Virtual SAN is put to the test. Under medium-workload and heavy-workload testing, View desktop performance was exceptional, with low latency response times from Virtual SAN and minimal impact on ESX.

This test of 400 linked-clone desktops was performed on four Dell R720 PowerEdge rack mount servers with VMware Horizon with View and VMware vSphere 5.5. The results are summed up in this chart.

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Migrate to Windows 7 or 8.1 at 20% off!

By Sachin Sharma, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, End-User Computing

I’m still shocked with the number of PCs that continue to run Windows XP as their primary operating system. We all know Microsoft end of support for Windows XP took effect a few months ago, in April 2014. Yet according to netmarketshare.com, more than 25% of PCs are still running Windows XP. Twenty-five percent! If you are still running Windows XP in your environment, either you’re paying a good amount for extended Microsoft support, or running a high risk for security vulnerabilities with continued use of XP. Hackers are already reverse engineering methods to expose unprotected XP machines. For example, security flaws for Internet Explorer on Windows XP have already been exposed. So if you’re running Windows XP in your environment, it’s time to take control and migrate to Windows 7. And the easiest way to help you is with VMware Mirage.

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Say Bonjour to 3D Graphics Enabled Virtual Desktops for Computer Labs

by Geoffrey Murase, Solutions Marketing, End-User Computing

I recently went to Ottawa, Canada to meet with VMware customer, La Cite, the largest French community college in Ontario with over 5,000 students and faculty.  They offer a wide variety of programs including coursework in engineering, architecture, and interior design that require 3D graphics applications.  They agreed to share with us their experience using desktop virtualization to support their 3D graphics enabled computer labs.

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La Cite chose Dell, NVIDIA, and VMware to deliver virtual desktops to these labs and some of the benefits that they receive include:

  • Reduced login times
  • Easier troubleshooting
  • Faster updates with new applications and patches
  • Remote and mobile access to applications

We thank La Cite for sharing their story with us and hope that others can benefit from leveraging desktop virtualization to meet their computer lab needs.

See the video on YouTube here.  We also have a recorded webinar available here.

 

At VMworld: To EUC or Not to EUC? There is No Question

By Ben Goodman, Lead Evangelist, End-User Computing

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This is the first in a series of blog posts on how End-User Computing (EUC) enthusiasts like yourself can get the most out of VMworld which is just around the corner – kicking off on August 24th in San Francisco.  Over the next few weeks, I’ll be covering things to do, sessions to attend and labs to complete. I’ll also discuss how you can learn about our latest technology, bone up on your technical skills and network with great people.

So why should an EUC specialist attend VMworld?  First things first, VMworld is one of the largest, single vendor Information Technology conferences in the world. VMware expects over 25,000 attendees this year, of which around 2000 will be partners, and 80% of attendees will be technical. There are announcement-filled keynotes, over 500 breakout sessions, labs, workshops, group discussions, and 1:1’s with experts.

EUC will be representing in a big way this year! In addition to the highly-anticipated keynotes, we are planning over 60 unique EUC sessions across five sub-tracks (Industry Perspectives, Industry Solutions, Desktop & Apps, Desktop as a Service, and The Mobile Enterprise). We have over 10 sessions where customers will be participating, sharing their real-world experiences including panels on healthcare, government, education, financial services and retail. Sessions will also feature 3rd party presenters from industry analyst firms, partners like Google, Dell, NVIDIA, F5, HP and EUC luminaries such as Shawn Bass, Benny Tritsch and Ruben Spruijt. There will also eight EUC “Ask the Experts” group discussions and you’ll even be able to set up 1:1s with the experts to dive deeper on Horizon 6, DaaS and AirWatch.

In addition to our amazing line up of sessions, EUC has an incredible setup this year inside VMware’s technology lab booth. Of course we’ll have demos of Horizon 6, but we’ll also show it’s integration with RDS, vCenter Operations Manager and unified communications. You’ll see 3D and BYOD use cases, follow-me desktop and apps,  and – back by popular demand – 3D printing! New installations will feature AirWatch and Google bars…more to come on this. And if the sessions, demos and access to experts don’t fulfill your technical needs there are Horizon 6, Workspace & AirWatch Hands on Labs available.

But beyond all of this is the most important part of VMworld, the ability to network with your peers. Some of the brightest minds in Information Technology will be joining us in San Francisco for VMworld, you should be one of them! Register today and then follow us (and me, too!) for real-time updates, tips and important announcements in the coming weeks and live throughout the course of the show.

Up next…the top 10 sessions you won’t want to miss! Have something specific you’d like me to blog about? Drop me a comment or a tweet!

IDC Discusses How Rapid Desktop Appliances from VMware Partners Help Accelerate Virtual Desktop Deployment

By Teresa Wingfield, End-User Computing Marketing Consultant

IDC predicts that the deployment, management, and support of virtual desktop implementations will become simpler over time.  Their research states that the introduction and adoption of virtual desktop appliances with converged infrastructure and validated reference architectures like those from VMware’s Rapid Desktop Appliance partners will account for much of this simplification.

According to IDC, the most obvious benefit of Rapid Desktop Appliances is faster time to value as these greatly reduce installation and implementation times. IDC points out that just the benefit and reduced costs from the speedier time to value make virtual desktop appliances attractive, but the benefits are actually far greater, including:

  • Improved utilization. Improved utilization of compute, storage, and networking reduces powerand real estate consumption.
  • Integrated storage. Fast flash or solid state drives that support high IOPS workloads like VDI nearly eliminate legacy VDI issues such as boot storms, scan storms, and poor user experiences.
  • Simplified performance. Performance tuning is simplified because all the pieces are validated to work together.
  • Reduced management. Many of these solutions have single management platforms, eliminating silos and reducing the effort required to maintain these systems.

Converged infrastructure, a pre-integrated, vendor-certified system containing server hardware, storage, networking and basic systems management, along with validated reference architectures take Rapid Desktop Appliances to a new level of deployment acceleration.   Converged infrastructure is designed to be deployed quickly using a modular building-block approach to rapidly scale up resources and workloads.  Validated reference architectures are templates to quickly deploy virtual desktops on specific hardware. These are tested for virtual desktop workloads so that customers know exactly what performance they can expect.

Download our free white paper by IDC, Rapid Desktop Appliances:  Accelerating Time to Value for VMware Horizon Deployments to learn more about how Rapid Desktop Appliances can help overcome legacy virtual desktop deployment issues and make deployment faster and less costly.  And, check out our Rapid Desktop Appliances to preview a range of solutions appropriate for any size virtual desktop deployment.

Get started with the VMware Horizon 6 Bootcamp!

Now that Horizon 6 is generally available, watch this bootcamp series to learn how to get started and successfully roll out and deploy your virtual desktops and applications. We have sessions covering deployment best practices multiple components of Horizon 6 including:

  • Desktop and Applications Virtualization Best Practices
  • Image Management Architecture Guide with Mirage
  • Workspace Portal Deployment Best Practices
  • Horizon 6 Integration with Virtual SAN
  • Getting Started with Horizon vCenter Orchestrator Plug In

We are also providing a free e-book of all the presentations included in this bootcamp series.

Get started now!

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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.

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