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Category Archives: Uncategorized

VMware Horizon Air – Leading the Pack in Desktop-as-a-Service

By Josue Fontanez, product line marketing manager, End-User Computing, VMware

When VMware acquired Desktone last year, many people wrote that 2014 would be the year of DaaS. As we get closer to wrapping up the calendar year, I thought I’d look back at what we’ve accomplished and highlight our progress this year.

We’ve been moving at a rapid pace since the acquisition of Desktone in late 2013. We have innovated quickly based on what we’ve heard from our customers and unlike other vendors stuck in never-ending tech previews, we haven’t stood still since then.

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Extending the Power of Mobility to Linux Users

By Victor Thu, Director of Product Marketing, End-User Computing, VMware

Today at vForum China, VMware announced that it is beginning to work on a VDI solution for enterprise Linux desktops.

Depending on which analyst report you read, most estimate that Linux desktops as an everyday go-to system for users is a small percentage of the total desktop market share. So why we are actively working on supporting Linux as a VDI workload?

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iOS 8: “A huge hit in the enterprise” with new features for management, productivity and security

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By Lanier Norville, AirWatch by VMware

During yesterday’s keynote session at WWDC, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi called iOS “a huge hit in the enterprise,” noting the breadth of iOS-tailored enterprise apps, as well as enterprise manageability features Apple has added to the operating system over the years. Throughout the conference, it has become clear Apple’s enterprise mobility focus is only picking up steam with its latest release.

Federighi noted that 98 percent of Fortune 500 companies are already using iOS. In addition to a new SDK that includes more than 4,000 APIs enterprise app developers can leverage, iOS 8 introduces new management, productivity and security features that might just help win over the other 2 percent.

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Apple iOS 8 ‘Biggest Release since the Launch of the App Store’

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By Scott Solomon, AirWatch by VMware

In a keynote at today’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple previewed iOS 8, which the company is calling its “Biggest Release since the Launch of the App Store.” Apple announced the mobile operating system (OS) update along with previews of the latest version of Mac OS X, called Yosemite. Developers can get beta versions today, and both new OSes will be available to users this fall.

New features for third-party apps, like the ability to define widgets in the Notification Center, drew plenty of cheers from the crowd. Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, answered a call from Dr. Dre on his desktop to show off the two operating systems’ enhanced continuity, or ability to let users transition seamlessly between devices. Now, iOS and OS X users can make calls from their laptops or desktops, “Handoff” documents to keep working from one device to the next and edit documents from any of their Apple devices with an iCloud enhancement called iCloud Drive.

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Announcing VMware Mirage 5.0

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

Along with our major announcement of VMware Horizon 6 yesterday, I’m delighted to announce VMware Mirage 5.0!

We’ve been working hard to support various new and exciting features. With Mirage 5.0 we continue with our unified image management support for the latest Windows operating system – Windows 8.1. IT can use VMware Mirage to migrate their end user’s existing Windows 7 devices onto Windows 8.1 The dynamic layering flexibility that Mirage customers are used to with Windows XP, Vista, and 7 has now been extended to support Windows 8.1. And with our previous Mirage 4.4 release, Windows 8 and 8.1 devices could be protected with automated backup and full system recovery options. We also introduced the Mirage Gateway in 4.4. We’ve been enhancing the Mirage Gateway for higher scalability and performance across distributed environments. Let’s take a look at these Mirage 5.0 features more in-depth:

  • Windows 8.1 Migration Support – Windows 7 devices can be migrated to Windows 8.1 in Mirage 5.0. Customers will realize the same great benefits with using Mirage for migration of Windows 7 to Windows 8.1 as they did for migration of Windows XP to Windows 7. A snapshot is taken before the migration even begins, so a safety-net is in place in case anything goes wrong during the migration. The end-user downtime is still a minimum amount, usually 30 minutes to an hour. And migrations from Windows 7 to 8.1 can be performed at grand scale. IT can mass migrate dozens to hundreds of devices per day.
  • Windows 8 and 8.1 Disaster Recovery – Automated backup and full system recovery were features that were added to Mirage 4.4, which is already GA. However, we thought we’d highlight this feature to reiterate the benefits received with disaster recovery support for Windows 8 and 8.1. Several quick restore options are available, such as self-service restore, restoring entire devices from one piece of hardware to another, or just restoring applications and user data.
  • Mirage Gateway Enhancements – The Mirage Gateway was also introduced in Mirage 4.4. It essentially gives end-users an automatic way to connect from remote or branch locations, without the need to VPN back into the Mirage infrastructure in the datacenter. For distributed environments, the Mirage Gateway helps simplify endpoint management of distributed users across the WAN. In Mirage 5.0, we’ve tuned up the performance and scalability so that less infrastructure is required to support the Mirage Gateway. This greatly simplifies manageability of not only the backend infrastructure, but also the managed endpoints.

Mirage 5.0 will be generally available soon. If you have a next-generation environment that supports Windows 8.1, you’ll definitely want to give Mirage 5.0 a try! For more updates, please visit us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or discuss in our Communities.


NVIDIA and VMware Unlock the Full Potential of Desktop-as-a-Service

Justin Boitano headshot

Guest post by Justin Boitano, General Manager of Cloud and Virtualization Solutions at NVIDIA

Today at our annual GPU Technology Conference, NVIDIA jointly with VMware announced the availability of NVIDIA GRID on the VMware Horizon DaaS platform.  The combination is an industry breakthrough, providing rich graphics performance on DaaS for the first time – unlocking the full potential of desktop virtualization and making it a viable option for even the most demanding graphics users. This is exciting because with VMware’s leadership in the space, this opens opportunities for an entirely new audience of end-users — from office workers using productivity applications and viewing multimedia — to power users in engineering and design.

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Choosing a Horizon View Virtual-Desktop Operations-Management Tool

By David G. Wooten, End-User-Computing Product Line Manager, vCenter Operations Manager for Horizon View, VMware

Have you ever tried to diagnose a VMware Horizon View end-user virtual desktop issue? If so, you’ll know that it’s difficult because there are so many data sources involved, and so many “subject matter experts” (SMEs) advising you about the problem and its solution! So what do you do? Many people have found success by using vCenter Operations Manager for Horizon View. But there are a few things you should know before you buy and implement a Horizon View monitoring-and-management solution, to ensure the highest possible operational and troubleshooting efficiency. This post will tell you what you need to know to select an effective Horizon View virtual-desktop operations-management solution that will let you successfully scale out your Horizon View virtual desktop deployment, while the tool manages the complexity and moving parts.

If you’re looking for a Horizon View desktop-operations-and-management solution, you want to maximize availability of the virtual desktops and the performance of virtual desktop infrastructure. Look for these criteria: Continue reading

VMware, Cisco, NetApp and Equinix Partner to Offer “OneStep” Adoption of Desktops as a Service

By David Grant, Senior Director, DaaS Product Marketing, End-User Computing, VMware

This morning I’m excited to announce a new turnkey Desktops as a Service (DaaS) solution related to our ongoing efforts to help cloud providers deliver simple, cost-effective DaaS. Through a partnership with best-of-breed technology from leading cloud vendors, we are delivering the industry’s only turnkey solution for service providers to offer DaaS.

The new “OneStep” solution is a collaboration between VMware, Cisco, NetApp and Equinix that enables a foundation for service providers to deliver the most cost-effective DaaS offering in the market. The DaaS market is growing rapidly and many service providers want to offer their customers cloud-hosted desktops but may find the process of getting from idea to a profitable production environment daunting. Cloud services have unique requirements that differ from traditional in-house IT infrastructures. Some who have tried to retrofit a solution that works perfectly for in-house use-cases into a cloud model have experienced issues. Best-of-breed infrastructure stacks purpose-built for cloud workloads are virtually impossible to achieve from a single vendor. The OneStep solution offers one validated solution that will deliver highly scalable, cost effective DaaS.

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Real-Time Audio-Video (RTAV) for Horizon View, Part 3

By Peter Brown, Senior R&D Manager, VMware

In my first Real-Time Audio-Video (RTAV) blog post, I introduced RTAV for Horizon View virtual desktops and discussed configuration primarily on the Windows platform. Then, in my second RTAV blog post, I talked about the added support for RTAV on Linux View Clients in Horizon View Client version 2.2. The new View Client version 2.3 has just been released, and I am excited to announce that we now also support RTAV on the Mac OS X View Client! I want to take this opportunity to provide some details about RTAV with respect to OS X and how it can be installed, used, and configured.

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Real-Time Audio-Video Test Application for Horizon View Released As a VMware Fling

By Peter Brown, Senior R&D Manager, and Tarique Chowdhury, Senior Member of the Technical Staff, VMware

We have just released our Real-Time Audio-Video test application for Horizon View as a VMware Fling. This is a tool that we have used internally during the development of RTAV and which has proven very useful for quick tests, and also longer-term scale-and-performance testing in Quality Engineering. We have also held a number of internal demos and training events, and we have frequently been asked by the Systems Engineers if the application is available for them to use externally either for demos or for customers to use for qualification. As a result of high demand, we decided to release the tool as a Fling!

This application is useful for verifying correct installation and operation of the Horizon View Real-Time Audio-Video functionality. It provides a “player” application which will display the “virtual webcam” feed, and also loop back the audio-in if required. This allows testing to be done without the need for a 3rd-party app (which often requires user accounts to be created such as Skype, WebEx, etc.). The app can also be useful for performing load testing, by forcing the video and audio stream to continuously run (without a 3rd-party app dropping the call or ending it after a period of time). The application can also be used on a Windows Client OS to show that the physical webcam and microphone are correctly configured and installed. (On Linux clients, we used an application called “Cheese” for this purpose.) Note that if you loop back the audio, then the audio and video will not be synchronized. This is expected behavior due to the way the loopback is done. When using RTAV with a real 3rd-party app such as Skype or WebEx, the audio and video are synchronized. It is, however, still useful to have the loopback enabled so that you can verify the bandwidth requirements for a RTAV session in your environment.

The application

  • Displays webcam pictures at 1:1 resolution
  • Automatically starts streaming images, on launching the application (and audio will be looped back, if selected)
  • Loops the audio-in (e.g., from VMware Virtual Microphone) back out to the audio-out
  • Tests RTAV functionality without the need to create user accounts
  • Supports the VMware Virtual Webcam and Physical Webcams
  • Runs on x86 and x64 Windows OSes

Sample screenshot below, with a cheesy still image showing Peter and Tarique!


The application requires that the Microsoft 2008 C++ x86 (SP1) runtime components be installed. These are already installed on a Horizon View desktop, but if you want to run the application on a physical client machine without having Horizon View installed, then you may need to download and install these first. You can get them from the Microsoft Download Center.

Once the runtime components are installed, then the application can be run directly–it is a standalone executable which does not need installing or configuration. This makes it very easy to deploy for quick testing.

If you want to use the RTAV test application, download it from our Flings page.