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Tag Archives: Horizon Suite

Deciding Between VMware Horizon 6 and Citrix XenDesktop?

By Cyndie Zikmund, End-User Computing Product Line Marketing Manager, VMware, and Scott Edstrom, End-User Computing Senior Consultant, VMware

You have heard about Horizon 6 by now, but are you curious about how it compares to Citrix XenDesktop?  The VMware Horizon 6 family of solutions offers a choice of new features and capabilities for desktop and application virtualization.

We describe the most prominent features of Horizon 6 in the white paper Why VMware Horizon is a Better Choice Than Citrix XenDesktop. By outlining six ways that Horizon 6 outperforms XenDesktop across the board, we show you that

  • Horizon 6 is the best virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) for the Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC). Most deployed VDI environments from other vendors run on the VMware hypervisor platform, vSphere.  Horizon 6 combined with vSphere gives you the tightest integration possible between hypervisor and VDI.
  • VMware vCenter Operations Manager for Horizon gives you superior visibility into your Horizon 6 environment, which leads to greater control. This package provides tools for reactive problem solving and proactive maintenance. Citrix XenDesktop problem solving and maintenance is generally a lot more complicated, requiring additional products and third-party tools.
  • Powered by VMware Mirage, Horizon 6 centralized image management works with physical devices, virtual desktops, and BYOD.  This is something that Citrix XenDesktop cannot do. With Mirage, image management layering directly improves user productivity, driving down costs and increasing efficiency.
  • Combined with VMware Horizon DaaS, Horizon 6 is the first and only platform built with the choice of either on-premises or cloud deployment, for the hybrid cloud. The hybrid cloud gives you the best of both worlds—flexibility and control.
  • Finally, at VMware we care about our customers the most. “Where is the proof?” you ask. VMware has one of the highest customer satisfaction scores and delivers the most value, based on customer feedback, independent surveys, and third-party reports. Sadly, Citrix trails in this area—by a lot.

And, if these are not reasons enough, you can also enjoy greater CapEx and OpEx savings along with superior network integration with Horizon 6 and F5.

Also worth mentioning is the combination of Horizon 6 and AirWatch MDM.

To read more, including third-party reports, graphs, and studies, download Why VMware Horizon Is a Better Choice Than XenDesktop.  And visit WhyChooseHorizon.com.

Or, for a hands-on experience, try our solutions yourself in our hands-on labs.

What Is the Best Server Virtualization Platform for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure?

By Cyndie Zikmund, EUC Product Line Marketing Manager, VMware

Have you ever asked yourself: What is the best server virtualization platform for virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI)? VMware vSphere is the answer.

More and more organizations are moving towards virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) as the solution to reducing administrative overhead, increasing productivity, and improving security. VDI is becoming an even more preferred solution as storage costs go down and virtual storage is more widely supported.

But the performance of a VDI deployment depends on the virtualization platform it is hosted on. Which one is best for you? Here are a few key considerations in your decision-making process:

  • Does the platform provide a secure foundation for all the virtual desktops that your organization needs?
  • Can your chosen platform be standardized on the same platform as your existing server virtualization?
  • How will the choice of a virtualization platform impact future migration to a cloud environment?
  • Do the platform’s features, reliability, and high availability meet your business requirements?
  • Is the platform optimized to run VDI workloads?

For more information about using VMware vSphere for desktop virtualization, download the white paper Why Choose VMware vSphere for Desktop Virtualization? This white paper will help you understand why vSphere is the best choice of a hypervisor for a VDI environment.  See VMware vSphere for more information about the VMware server virtualization platform.

VMware vSphere supports the VMware VDI solution, Horizon with View.  See Horizon with View for more information.

Migrating to Windows 8.x Using VMware Mirage 5.0

By John Domenichini, Technical Writer, VMware

With significant contributions from Stephane Asselin, EUC Architect, Technical Enablement, End-User Computing, VMware

VMware Mirage supports Windows 7 migration and, with release 5.0, Mirage adds Windows 8.1 and 8.1 Update 1 migration support. Okay, but what does that mean to you? It might mean a lot.

While Windows 8 offers some advantages over previous Windows versions, especially in the areas of security and performance, the market did not initially respond positively to the strikingly different interface.

However, the updates to Windows 8.1 address some of the major concerns the market had with the operating system. All the same, the migration process itself raises some concerns. This is where Mirage 5.0 can help. Mirage 5.0 addresses the most common migration concerns, making the migration to Windows 8.1 or 8.1 U1 a compelling proposition.

First, let us look at what Mirage 5.0 migration support includes. Continue reading

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.

performancechart

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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.

Continue reading

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.

Note: After this blog was published, View 5.3.2 was released, which included a fix for industry-wide issues with OpenSSL. View 5.3.2 and later are now the only officially supported releases for using Virtual SAN with View.

 

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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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

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