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Tag Archives: virtual desktop infrastructure

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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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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Last Chance to Register for EUC Insights on June 17!

Don’t miss out on our End-User Computing Insights virtual tradeshow tomorrow!

The event kicks off at 8am PT with Sanjay Poonen for an executive-packed keynote and is followed by a half-day of technical training and expert chats on Horizon, Horizon DaaS, AirWatch by VMware, Virtual SAN and more!

Register Now

 

VMware EUC Insights: A One-of-a-Kind Virtual Tradeshow

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Mark your calendars for Tuesday, June 17th from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. PST, and join us for VMware EUC Insights, a free, online tradeshow, bringing together the power of VMware Horizon, DaaS, and AirWatch for the first time.

We’ll kick things off with a keynote delivered by four executives responsible for shaping VMware’s end-user computing offerings:

  • Sanjay Poonen, EVP and GM of End-User Computing
  • John Marshall, SVP and GM of AirWatch
  • Sumit Dhawan, VP and GM of Desktop Product
  • Tony Scott, VMware CIO

From there, attendees will have the opportunity to choose from five specialized, topic-based tracks and participate in live breakout sessions, technical deep dives, and expert chat sessions on Horizon 6, Desktop as a Service and Enterprise Mobility Management.

While exploring the 3D virtual tradeshow floor, you’ll also find interactive booths staffed by experts from strategic partners such as Cisco, Dell, EMC, F5, Google, IBM, Liquidware Labs, Nimble Storage, NVIDIA and VCE.

Every organization is unique, but the agenda for this half-day event is packed with informative sessions to give you the actionable knowledge necessary to tackle today’s biggest IT challenges, including topics like:

  • How do organizations like yours save more than $1 million in hardware costs, reduce server infrastructure by 94 percent, and shorten their Horizon pilot time to just weeks?
  • How do you deploy a completely virtualized environment without losing your mind and breaking the bank?
  • “I left my Chromebook at home! It has all the notes for my meeting in 10 minutes! Now what?”
  • Is it possible to spend less, reduce complexity and still get solid DR protection for enterprise desktops?
  • Is business continuity and high availability for your desktop, apps and data a rainbow unicorn or the real deal?

Registration for VMware EUC Insights is free, so sign up today and invite your fellow IT pros! We’re looking forward to meeting you all on the show floor next week.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for updates during the show and you can also share your feedback by using #EUCinsights.

 

Horizon 6 with PCoIP—Up to 30% Bandwidth Savings out of the Box!

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

As part of the exciting Horizon 6 launch, I want to share a few enhancements that have been made to our remote display protocol, PCoIP. These PCoIP enhancements will more fully optimize Horizon deployments.

PCoIP is a protocol that adapts to the available network bandwidth to provide the best user experience possible. However, in some network environments, it may be optimal to set the bandwidth usage lower, such as in a wide-area-network (WAN) environment.

As a result of collaborating closely with our customers and partners, VMware and Teradici have made a few changes to the PCoIP defaults. We have also made bandwidth-management enhancements on congested and lossy networks, which will provide better performance over WAN and wireless networks. Ultimately, what this means for end users is that they now get up to 30% bandwidth savings out of the box and a better experience on their wireless devices. The best part is that users do not have to do a thing to be able to take advantage of these improvements!
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The Evolution of VMware’s 3D Graphics Capabilities

by Geoffrey Murase, Solutions Marketing, End-User Computing

VMware’s goal with 3D graphics-enabled virtual desktops is to deliver the performance required for different customer use cases in the most cost-effective manner.  The 3D graphics capabilities with VMware Horizon continue to evolve and have opened up a new wave of use cases for desktop virtualization.

  • With Horizon 5.0, we introduced Soft 3D technology which enables leveraging a host server’s CPU to perform graphics intensive computations.  Soft 3D technology is ideal for lightweight graphics use cases such as using Windows Aero or Google Earth.
  • With Horizon 5.2, we partnered with NVIDIA and introduced vSGA or shared graphics technology that leverages NVIDIA GPU hardware in the host server to deliver hardware accelerated graphics performance for higher end use cases.  vSGA technology is ideal for many computer-aided design applications where some performance can be sacrificed to achieve greater virtual desktop density per host.
  • With Horizon 5.3, we further extended our graphics capabilities with vDGA technology that enables dedicated pass through of graphics processing requests from virtual desktops to specific hardware GPUs in host servers.  This highest performance configuration enables designers to achieve workstation class performance while IT still benefits from the security and ease of management of desktop virtualization. In addition, we added vSGA support for AMD/FirePro™ graphics cards to give customers further choice in their 3D graphics deployment.  Check out the deployment guide.

To assist customers in deploying vSGA and vDGA hardware-accelerated graphics solutions, Rory Clements on the EUC team has published short videos that walk you through the configuration process.

  • Virtual Shared Graphics Acceleration Demo (vSGA)

  • Virtual Dedicated Graphics Acceleration Demo (vDGA)

We hope that these videos help you better understand the two different technologies and assist you in your own 3D graphics-enabled virtual desktop deployment.  Look for more to come in the near future regarding our announced hosted 3D enabled desktops and vGPU initiative with NVIDIA as we continue to build out a complete portfolio of 3D graphics-enabled virtual desktop solutions for customers.

Delivering a Seamless Experience: VMware Horizon 6 and Teradici PCoIP

Guest blog by Mabel Louie, Director of Product Marketing, Teradici

VMware has raised the bar with the unveiling of VMware Horizon 6 – a single, seamless platform for delivery of an uncompromised experience to a broader base of end users, across multiple devices and locations from public or private clouds.

As a longtime VMware partner, Teradici® drives continuous innovation of the PCoIP® protocol, aligning to the industry’s most stringent security standards, and providing best performance, and ease-of-manageability for virtual desktops and application delivery.  The protocol compresses, encrypts and encodes the entire computing experience securely in the data center and transmits it as ‘pixels only’ to a user’s device for an outstanding result.

Teradici worked closely with VMware on PCoIP enhancements in the Horizon 6 release, contributing to even greater end user productivity, flexibility and performance:

  • RDS desktop and application delivery using the PCoIP protocol
  • Roaming IP address support to allow PCoIP sessions to persist when a client IP address changes (e.g., transition from one wireless access point to another)
  • Improved bandwidth management for a better user experience over congested and wireless networks

Our broad PCoIP ecosystem of hardware and software partners is committed to fulfilling the VMware Horizon 6 vision for unified delivery and management of desktop and application services – anytime, anywhere – via secure, high-performance PCoIP zero client devices, complemented by  PCoIP hardware accelerators and performance monitoring and optimization tools.

Over the past 5+ years, Teradici has enabled the PCoIP Experience for millions of VDI and DaaS users (VMware and Desktone), and sales of 1.5M+ PCoIP zero client devices in a variety of form factors (desktop, laptop, and all-in-one monitors).

Teradici and our partners are dedicated to the continued success of IT managers in deploying cloud environments to meet today’s pressing challenges:

  • Delivering a consistent user experience and access to media-rich content and high-end graphics applications – even at peak usage times. With the Teradici PCoIP Hardware Accelerator, IT management can cost-effectively maximize the number of virtual machines placed on servers with VMware Horizon, while ensuring a consistent, high-performance computing experience across all users, at all times and regardless of task or activity level. By reducing server CPU utilization and complementing physical GPU support in VMware VDI deployments, it’s possible to improve consolidation ratios by up to 2X.  For example, a U.S. federal agency is better serving citizens at a highly-trafficked airport by making secure, “forensic-quality” video surveillance footage accessible to airport personnel on any device at any time, in collaboration with technical services firm, Jacobs Technology.
  • Simplifying IT deployment and manageability. In a recent survey of nearly 1200 VMware end users, the top 3 reasons cited for selecting Teradici PCoIP zero client devices were tied to ease of deployment, configuration and maintenance, plus greater system resilience and reliability. For example, AAA of the Carolinas System Engineer, Doug Robinson, reports that “PCoIP Zero Clients we deployed to replace our aging Call Center computers allowed us, in a matter of two days, to convert our 200 users to PCoIP Zero Clients with little to no down time. Repair and replacement costs have almost completely disappeared, and the users are very happy with the solution.”
  • Streamlining workflows and increasing user productivity in a secure environment.  By enabling more efficient use and sharing of computing resources, PCoIP zero client deployments with VMware Horizon can improve organizational effectiveness – in compliance with industry best practices and regulations. For example, at HIMSS 2014, North Kansas City Hospital described how its VDI deployment with VMware, Teradici and Imprivata helped streamline workflows, giving medical personnel secure access to vital information on zero client desktops at the point-of-care, from anywhere on the hospital floor throughout the day.

We look forward to many more successes with VMware Horizon 6 in the coming months – please share yours with us at PCoIPExperience@teradici.com!

 

VMware Horizon and F5 BIG-IP Win Big

Three times faster and 15.7% less expensive!

By Cyndie Zikmund, End-User Computing Product Line Marketing Manager, VMware

Architecting a VDI environment for high availability and optimum load balancing became easier this year when VMware and F5 announced their joint solution that included VMware Horizon with F5 BIG-IP. The expectation was that the two leaders in their respective markets would combine forces to provide a secure, scalable, and powerful platform for today’s mobile workforce, while realizing low costs and easy deployments.

Today, we are delighted to announce that in an independent lab test and report published by Principled Technologies, the operational and capital expense savings with VMware Horizon and F5 BIG-IP are real:

We found that BIG-IP was considerably easier and three times faster to integrate with an existing Horizon VDI environment than Citrix NetScaler with its respective VDI environment, Citrix XenDesktop. In addition, the VMware-F5 solution was up to 15.7 percent less expensive than the Citrix solution. Together, these findings make VMware Horizon and F5 BIG-IP an attractive choice compared to alternatives on the market.

—Principled Technologies

Because VDI is a key initiative for many organizations moving toward cloud-based end-user computing in the post-PC era, choosing the right virtualization platform is both challenging and critical to the success of this transformation. Careful consideration is given to the underlying virtualization platform as well as to the supporting infrastructure—and that includes network considerations.

VDI deployments benefit from having more than one connection server to provide high availability. Many organizations use Application Delivery Controllers (ADCs) to help balance the load across the multiple connection servers in their environment. ADCs also provide a number of other capabilities such as access control, SSO, and protocol proxy.

This short video demonstrates the business value that F5 BIG-IP Application Delivery Controller brings to a Horizon VDI environment.

Combining the two capabilities into a powerful and cost-effective solution is already benefiting customers:

VMware Horizon View and F5 BIG-IP Access Policy Manager have been a natural fit in supporting our VDI infrastructure, maximizing application uptime and performance for our clinicians. The companies’ solutions and prescriptive guidance optimize and extend functionality, simplify deployments, and lower TCO.

—Sean Graham, network architect, Kettering Health Network

Find out more in this VMware Horizon and F5 BIG-IP reference architecture.

Customer Spotlight: VMware Horizon Helps Fitchburg State University Reduce Help Desk Calls by 80%

Guest blog by Bill Smeltzer, CTO of Focus Technology Solutions

A constant flow of help desk calls used to be a normal day for Fitchburg State University (FSU) in Massachusetts, with malware and virus calls consuming hundreds of help desk hours. The challenges FSU faces are providing end-to-end support for computers belonging to their 7,000 full- and part-time students, along with supporting the desktop computers used in classrooms and campus computer labs. FSU was looking for an alternative to costly, unmanageable desktops and at the same time recognizing that they needed to prepare for a new generation of students gravitating toward consumerized computing devices.

With expert guidance from VMware partner Focus Technology Solutions, FSU put into place a VMware Horizon virtual desktop infrastructure for 200 virtual desktops for which they had determined virtualization would deliver immediate benefits.  This solution has improved the manageability and reliability of the university’s classroom and library computers. And all of those daily help desk calls? Down by 80%! And it’s just the beginning. The solution puts FSU on the path to being able to offer device-independent desktops to students, online classes, and more.

Want to learn more about how FSU achieved these terrific results?  Check out the case study that details more about how FSU and Focus worked together to set FSU up for its future computing needs.

Customer Spotlight: ARcare, a Private Non-profit Healthcare Provider Horizon Solution Reference Implementation Case Study

By Teresa Wingfield, End-User Computing Marketing Consultant

As a member of the End-User Computing marketing team, it’s always gratifying to see VMware Horizon (with View) have a meaningful impact on our customer’s business, especially an organization making a positive difference in society such as ARcare.  ARcare is a private non-profit healthcare provider serving residents of Arkansas and Kentucky. Driven by its mission “Health for All,” the company focuses on delivering affordable primary medical and dental care through a broad range of customer health, community health, employee health, and organizational health services.

Several years ago, ARcare faced an enviable dilemma: Surging demand for the company’s service offerings had helped fuel rapid growth, but the accelerating pace of growth was putting a strain on its core service-delivery infrastructure and leading to unexpectedly high CapEx and OpEx costs. In addition, the company needed to expand the geographical reach of its services, both within and outside of Arkansas.

As a result, ARcare needed an innovative yet reliable, secure, quick, and inexpensive way to extend its service offerings to the desktops of new users in remote clinics and additional branch offices. The company found an answer in virtualization—specifically VDI—and it found a reliable, trustworthy partner in VMware.

With 95 percent of its environment virtualized, including 250 end-user desktops, ARcare has achieved remarkable business results, including:

• CapEx reduction of 60 percent and OpEx reduction of 90 percent
• Fast, painless deployment of end-user desktops
• Higher end-user satisfaction due to a more consistent—and consistently high-quality—experience
• Tighter security and compliance with HIPAA and other federal regulations
• Peace of mind through reliable technology and support from VMware

How did ARcare achieve such impressive results?  ARcare shared its project approach, Horizon with Pure Storage architectural details, lessons learned and more in a recent reference implementation case study.