VMware Horizon VMware Mirage

Horizon 6 Reference Architecture: Updated!

By Jessica Chapin, Technical Writer and Editor, End-User Computing, VMware, and MattĀ Coppinger, End-User-Computing Architect, End-User Computing, VMware

There is no denying that we live in a highly mobile world. Business is conducted on smartphones, tablets, and laptops on the go. The traditional desk worker sitting in front of a PC is virtually a legacy. With the speed of innovation today, enterprises and IT administrators face a challenge in providing their end users with what they need to accomplish day-to-day tasks. Fortunately, the architects and engineers at VMware recognize this challenge and regularly provide up-to-the-minute information for IT administrators who want to deploy a virtual workspace environment.

To assist IT administrators in the deployment of a virtual workspace environment, we publish best practices and tested use cases through our reference architectures. Our reference architectures are rigorously field-tested and provide enterprises with scalable, validated designs, optimized for quick implementation, with minimal risk and reduced cost.

The Horizon 6 Reference Architecture, originally published last fall, has been updated to reflect VMware Workspace Portal 2.1 architecture and to include more details on the performance of RDSH. Products used in the test environment included VMware vSphere, VMware Horizon 6 with View, VMware Mirage, and VMware Workspace Portal. This post focuses on the updates to the previously published document.

Some highlights of the updated Horizon 6 Reference Architecture include:

  • Detailed performance results for Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH) applications, with 120 users per ESXi host when running RDSH-hosted applications
  • Detailed performance results for VMware Mirage-managed View desktops when updating full clones
  • Further information on View Planner and the workloads that were used to conduct the tests
  • Workspace Portal 2.1 architecture

It is through Workspace Portal that users access their applications and desktops. This allows end users to have a consistent user experience across devices and IT administrators to securely deliver applications. Workspace Portal 2.1 has several new features. It is now delivered as a single virtual appliance (VA). This ready-to-run feature eliminates potential problems with installation and configuration and makes deployment of applications quicker. In their Workspace My Apps page, users can now group applications by favorites or filtered categories, as well as reset their View desktops. Using single sign-on through the Workspace User Portal on the Web, end users can enroll any devices they want to use to access applications.


Test Results

When Horizon 6 was put to the test, the results were impressive. In less than 35 minutes, Workspace and Horizon 6 with View were set up and configured, and end users could access desktops and applications through Workspace Portal. This timeframe included setup and provisioning of 100 initial desktops, and entitlement to these desktops. It took less than ten seconds to connect to RDSH desktops through Workspace Portal from any of the devices used.


A sample environment of 120 RDSH desktop sessions was tested to demonstrate the performance capabilities of Horizon 6. VMware View Planner simulated the environment with a variety of common tasks. The tasks were divided between two groups, and a View Planner score was assigned based on the latency of user operations in each group. Each group had a passing Benchmark Requirement (BR) score for operation latency; the score was under 1.0 seconds for Group A and under 6.0 seconds for Group B. In the test case, Group A scored 0.513369 seconds, while Group B scored 4.023978 seconds. Each set of tests passed well under the limit.


Horizon 6 provides enterprises with the tools they need to meet the demands of a mobile world. To read more about the capabilities of Horizon 6, get your copy of the updated Horizon 6 Reference Architecture today!