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Category Archives: Uncategorized

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 8.1 Image Management Support – One of the key differentiators between Mirage and other image management solutions is the dynamic layering technology available in Mirage. As part of these layers that IT manages, IT can now distribute base and application layers to Windows 8.1 devices. This means IT can provision OS images, applications, and patches across distributed LAN or WAN environments. The flexibility in layering allows IT to easily manage which applications are removed or preserved during layer updates on Windows 8.1 devices. This fast type of provisioning even complements and extends IT shops that already have PCLM tools they may be using, and helps lower helpdesk support costs.
  • 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.

Continue reading…

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!

RTAV-vmware-view-fling

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.

No More Crying Wolf: Troubleshooting Performance Issues in a VMware Horizon View Virtual Desktop Implementation

By Cindy Heyer, Contract Technical Writer, Technical Marketing, End-User Computing at VMware; with significant contributions from David Wooten, Product Manager for vCenter Operations Manager for Horizon View, VMware

Nothing is more deadly to a network administrator than a boy who cries wolf. He’s the kid who gets bored tending the family sheep, and thinks it’s funny to yell, “Wolf! Wolf!” Then he gets his kicks watching people falling all over themselves to save a flock of sheep that aren’t in any danger. Crying wolf is a kind of “false positive,” similar to a car alarm that can be triggered by the slightest gust of wind. False positives are bad news because when people are exposed to an alarm too often, they learn to dismiss it. Then when a real wolf makes an entrance, they ignore the cries for help.

vmware-vcenter-operations-manager-horizon-view-boy-crying-wolf

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Integrating VMware Horizon Workspace and VMware Horizon View

By Neena K. Razdan, Senior Member of the Technical Staff, Horizon Manager Quality Engineering, End-User Computing, VMware; and Dalbir Sehmbi, Senior Member of the Technical Staff, Horizon View Quality Engineering, End-User Computing, VMware

One of the new capabilities VMware offers in Horizon Workspace 1.0, released in March 2013, is integration with VMware Horizon View. Users in the Horizon Workspace environment can access Horizon View desktops via single sign-on. With this integration, users can access their virtual desktops on any device through HTML5 browsers or Horizon View Clients.

VMware Horizon Workspace provides secure access to applications and data on any mobile device or computer, simplifying the end-user experience while reducing management costs.  VMware Horizon View delivers rich, personalized virtual desktops as a managed service from a virtualization platform built to deliver the entire desktop, including the operating system, applications, and data.

VMware-Horizon-View_Horizon-Workspace_integration-flow-authentication-sequence

This figure shows the authentication flow sequence, from user login to the launch of a Horizon View desktop, after Horizon View and Horizon Workspace are integrated. Continue reading

Enable Secure Policy-Driven Access and Cost-Effectively Support Workplace Mobility Initiatives

by Courtney Burry, Director, End-User Computing
Looking to support a BYOD or VDI program? Need to streamline your Windows 7 migration? Interested in preventing data leakage due to Dropbox usage across your organization? Feeling pressure to reduce desktop and application management costs?

IT organizations are being put to the test as these End-User Computing (EUC) challenges continue to surface. And, one size does not fit all. You need to fully understand the converging needs of users, security, compliance, and budget constraints to take the right steps.

In this lunch and learn session we will:

  • Review solutions that can help you deliver end user computing as a service
  • Discuss best practices for getting started
  • Help you build a business case to help you justify the total cost of acquisition and ongoing management
  • Look at key design considerations and tips for deploying desktops, applications and data in your environment

Who should attend: Anyone currently evaluating, designing or implementing virtual desktops, applications as a service and/or data as a service within their environment.

Location: Toronto Canada (VMware speaker: Mike Barnett)
Event Date: July 18, 2013; 11:30am to 2:30pm
Partner: Commerx Computer Systems
Location: Baltimore, MD (VMware speaker: Paul Schlosser)
Date: July 23, 2013, 11am to 1pm
Partner: Accelera Solutions
Location: Chicago, IL (VMware speakers: Jim Yanik and Chris Schaffer)
Event Date: July 23, 2013; 11:30am to 2pm
Partner: Sigma Solution
Location: Centennial, Co
Date: July 26, 2013; 12pm to 3pm
Partner: Trace3
Planning on joining us?  Let us know where you will be on Facebook and Twitter!

Achieving Epic Status

by F5 News

Healthcare providers face a unique challenge: continuously deliver quality patient care that is both effective and affordable. Today, this depends largely on technology – from diagnostic systems to patient record systems accessible by health care professionals dispersed amongst hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies.

Today these organizations increasingly rely on new software solutions from companies like Epic Software to manage every aspect of patient care. Epic infrastructures are the gold standard today, assisting health care organizations around the world to improve patient care through accessible and reliable health care systems.

It is critical that such applications are supported by an equally accessible and reliable IT infrastructure. To assure a high level of quality from top to bottom, Epic carefully certifies IT infrastructure providers that support a disaster-resilient, highly available, secure and increasingly mobile deployment.

Because of its focus on quality, resilience and affordability it has become a great honor to achieve full target platform status with EPIC. And that’s what happened recently with VMware® Horizon View™ – the first desktop virtualization solution to have achieved this status. Using VMware’s AlwaysOn™ Desktop for Healthcare reference architecture, F5 partnered with VMware for this historic launch.

VMware and F5 have long been offering joint solutions targeting desktop virtualization with a focus on resiliency, scalability, availability, security and performance. Together, along with partners such as NetApp and EMC, these joint reference architectures are the basis for secure, fast and available virtualization infrastructures capable of meeting the most demanding standards, such as that of Epic Software.

F5 is also establishing and documenting jointly with Epic a set of best practices for application delivery, designed to improve the scalability and availability of the most common HTTP, SSL, and FTP Epic components. F5 will be providing these best practices both as technical documentation as well as an iApp, to streamline deployment of these critical healthcare systems.

We’re excited about this announcement and extend a hearty congratulations to VMware on this notable achievement.

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