September and VMworld 2015 saw the general availability (GA) of VMware Horizon 6.2. This new release for VMware’s flagship EUC product has a wealth of new features and enhancements.
In fact, 6.2 represents a monumental release with a huge number of improvements for the server, client and platform integration areas. So, lets dive straight in and highlight what this release delivers.
- RDSH Feature Enhancements (including linked clone, 3D and custom load balancing support)
- Cloud Pod Architecture Enhancements (including HTML Access and RDSH support)
- FIPS / Common Criteria
- One Way AD Trusts
- Streamlined Pool Creation
- Enhanced Licensing Information
- Client Drive Redirection for Mac
- Client Drive Redirection for Linux (Tech Preview)
- Encryption & Compression for Client Drive Redirection
- File Type Association for RDS Applications
- ThinPrint Static Printer Name Support
- Windows 10 Support
- OSX 10.11 “El Capitan” Support
- iOS 9 Support
- Biometric Support for Mobile
- Linux Desktop NVIDIA GRID vGPU Support
- Linux Desktop vSGA Support
- Linux Desktop Guest Logoff Automation
- 4K Guest Resolution Support
- MS Lync (Skype for Business) Support for RDS & Windows 10
- vDGA for AMD Hardware
- Access Point Integration
- vSphere 6.0 U1 Support
- Virtual SAN All Flash Support
- Virtual SAN Stretched Cluster Support
- Enhanced VMware UEM Integration
Clearly, this is a ground-breaking release for VMware Horizon introducing some critical new features. Over the next few blogs posts the EUC Technical Marketing team will dive in and demo some of these excellent new features.
Firstly, lets cover some of the headline features for the server platform. VMware Horizon introduced published applications into its product with Horizon 6. Horizon now represents a single management platform for both VDI and RDSH. In 6.2 RDS hosts can now be quickly provisioned using View Composer. This allows for IT administrators to benefit from single image management and deployment of “stateless” RDS hosts.
The user experience with RDSH has also been improved with support for 3D applications. An RDSH can be provisioned with an NVIDIA GRID vGPU, allowing users to access to most graphically demanding applications – all delivered over our superior PCoIP protocol. Skype for Business (formerly Lync) is also now supported on RDS, providing a cost effective and scalable unified communications solution.
Finally for RDSH, we have introduced a unique and powerful custom load balancing mechanism for RDSH Farms. Now IT Administrators can load balance their servers based on CPU, Memory or other performance metric. Combine this with the ability to set affinity and anti-affinity rules and this ensures users are always balanced appropriately across RDS hosts.
Cloud Pod Architecture – the ability for Horizon 6 to span datacenters – now supports both HTML Access (accessing desktops and applications via web browser) and RDSH based published applications. IT Administrators can now implement global entitlements to users across multiple Horizon “pods” / instances for desktops and applications. If a single datacenter or pod fails, users will automatically be redirected to a desktop or application available in another pod when they reconnect.
From a client experience perspective, there are a number of improvements. Horizon 6.2 provides support for Windows 10 OS for both client and guest, enabling customers to deliver Windows latest OS easily and seamlessly to their end-users. Client Drive Redirection now ensures both compression and encryption of data between the Horizon Security Server and Virtual Desktop. Client Drive Redirection also enables a new seamless experience feature called File Type Association. This allows a user to simply click on a document on their physical windows device and be redirected seamlessly to the application on a View desktop or RDSH session.
Our Linux feature set has massively expanded with support for vSGA and vGPU 3D graphics (that’s shared graphics acceleration and NVIDIA GRID vGPU support). Linux vGPU takes advantage of NVIDIA’s new Maxwell based M60 and M6 GRID cards, which double the capacity and performance of the NVIDIA GRID K2 card.
From a platform integration perspective, the headline feature is the introduction of VMware Access Point. Access Point is a Linux based virtual appliance that can act as an alternative to the Horizon View Security Server. Access Point is covered in detail in this blog by EUC CTO Architect Mark Benson.
In our next blog we will dive into more of the features of Horizon 6.2 including videos to demonstrate how the features work.