By Product Desktops VMware Horizon

VMware Horizon 6 Offers Expanded RDSH Features

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

It has been almost a year since VMware released Horizon 6 with support for Remote Desktop Services Hosted (RDSH) desktops and applications. We could not be more pleased with the market adoption of our solution. With each subsequent Horizon release, we have added to the list of RDSH features, including printing, scanning, smart card authentication, and USB flash drive support. Let us quickly review the features added for RDSH since the initial release of Horizon 6.

Shortly after Horizon 6, VMware released Horizon 6.0.1 and Horizon Client 3.1. With these releases, we added support for location-based printing for RDSH desktops and applications with Windows, Linux, and Mac clients through ThinPrint. The ThinPrint feature allows end users to map locally connected client printers to their RDSH desktops and applications, enabling users to print to local and network printers from their Horizon environment.


In December 2014, VMware released Horizon 6.0.2 with Horizon Client 3.2. With these releases, VMware introduced support for scanner redirection, which allows customers to use TWAIN- and WIA-compatible scanners and imaging devices with their virtual machines and RDSH desktops and applications. Scanner redirection works by using the TWAIN and WIA scanning standards to capture an entire image on a client device, compress the image, and then send the compressed image back to the virtual desktop or RDSH desktop or application. This feature not only improves performance for scanners over the Wide Area Network (WAN), but also reduces the bandwidth for scanning images in some cases. At this time, this feature is available only for Windows clients.


Recently, VMware released Horizon 6 version 6.1, with much fanfare. With this latest release, VMware supports smart card authentication and USB flash drives with RDSH desktops and applications using the latest Horizon Client 3.3.

In specific industries with stringent regulatory requirements, such as healthcare, financial services, and federal government, security and access control remain paramount. Smart card authentication allows users to enable secure login by providing two-factor authentication and verification. This type of authentication tests the user’s identity by verifying both what they have (the smart card) and what they know (the smart card PIN).


VMware Horizon with RDSH now provides access to files on USB flash drives. With Horizon Client 3.3, users can connect USB flash drives to their Windows client and easily access their files from their RDSH desktops and applications. This is a very important feature that allows end users to access and edit files directly from their RDSH desktops and apps.


To summarize, with each release of Horizon, VMware continues to enable end users to do more with the RDSH platform. Please stay tuned for more exciting announcements as we continue to innovate with each subsequent Horizon release.