A Deep Dive into VMware Horizon 6 with NSX

Nov 13, 2015

Author:

Tristan Todd loves being an Architect on the End User Computing Customer Enablement Team at VMware. In this role Tristan delivers technical enablement and thought leadership for VMware’s End User Computing product line to key SISO partners and Lighthouse Customer (marquee) accounts and provide low effort, high impact technical enablement through regular blogging, social media, podcasting, and publishing white papers. Previously Tristan served as a Reference Architect and as a Senior Consultant in the VMware Professional Services practice. Tristan successfully led numerous End User Computing projects for customers in the financial services, education, outdoor retail, and healthcare verticals.

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By Tristan Todd, Architect, End-User Computing, VMware
and
Tony Paikeday, Product Marketing, End-User Computing, VMware

VMware Horizon 6 brings innovation to the desktop platform and extends app delivery across any device. Customers and partners agree that VMware is delivering the most comprehensive mobile desktop solution. If you are looking for excellent user experience, ease of management, and a reasonable cost model, there simply is not a better portfolio of products in the industry today.

This portfolio is built on the VMware software defined data center (SDDC), delivering an optimized infrastructure for workspace services. The main component of SDDC is VMware NSX. We want to describe how the confluence of end-user-computing capabilities (such as Horizon 6 with App Volumes and VMware User Environment Manager) combines with NSX to change how IT approaches desktop and app delivery with unprecedented simplicity, agility, and security.

We will share with you a new deep-dive video that walks through this unified platform. But first let us look at this solution from the perspective of our stakeholders, and the describe the benefits they derive:

  • End users – The unified platform deploys and configures the corporate hosted desktop to the users’ liking. Any changes that users make are retained, even though they might access a different “throwaway” desktop every day. As end users, they get access to the applications and services that they need and are not exposed to networks that are unnecessary for their roles. Spectacular user-experience comes from our world-class hypervisor technologies, via efficient display protocols, delivered to just about any endpoint device.
  • Administrators – Administrators benefit from a set of products that are tightly integrated, easy to deploy, and intuitively managed. Desktop and application life cycle management is centralized and simple with features such as View Composer linked-clone pools. Scalability is predictable; good performance is assured as the environment grows larger.
  • Businesses – For businesses, there are no barriers to quickly onboarding new use cases. Newly acquired applications can be packaged and delivered as App Volumes containers, and identity-based network policies can be put in place with the NSX distributed firewall. This means that as the business organization quickly changes, there is little risk of not passing the next security audit.

VMware_Horizon_6_NSX

In the preceding figure, the combination of View in Horizon 6, App Volumes, VMware User Environment Manager, and NSX provides an array of excellent capabilities, as outlined in the following table:

Product Role or Capability Technical Benefit Business Benefit
View in Horizon 6 Delivers virtual or hosted desktops and applications through a single platform
  • Access from any endpoint, any network
  • Advanced consolidation capabilities
  • Simple management and administration
  • Predictable scalability
  • Rapid deployment of end-user resources
  • Delivery of uniform, consistent corporate assets
  • User choice of desktop and app configurations
App Volumes Provides real-time application delivery with life cycle management
  • Simplified provisioning, maintenance, and retirement of apps
  • Reduced storage footprint
  • Streamlined and reduced base-OS image
  • Support for user-installed apps with writable volumes
  • Role-based association of apps to users
  • Reduced licensing costs, associating apps to only the users who need to be entitled
  • Increased business agility with accelerated deployment of apps, without business downtime
VMware User Environment Manager Delivers a consistent and dynamic application and desktop experience across any device, location, or operating system
  • Accelerated desktop login with desktop and user persona settings removed from login scripts and managed via VMware User Environment Manager
  • App customizations and settings applied only upon application launch
  • Simplified management of customizations and persona based on role
  • Seamless user experience that looks and feels consistent across every device and access method
  • Improved security with policy-based control of network shares, shortcuts, printers, and so on, based on worker location
NSX Brings security inside the data center with automated fine-grained policies tied to the virtual machines, while its network virtualization capabilities let you create entire networks in software, without touching the underlying physical infrastructure
  • Elimination of VLAN sprawl, network flattening to L2
  • Role-based application of networking and security policies
  • Elimination of complex hardware configuration tools and syntax
  • Pervasive and persistent application of policies across the data center, wherever the VM is running, as soon as the VM spans on the host
  • Multi-layered defense with partner solution service-chaining (for example, antivirus, malware, NG Firewall)
  • Scalable performance with kernel-integrated network function processing (as opposed to a VM appliance approach)
  • Improved regulatory compliancy
  • Improved risk mitigation
  • Security for desktop user workloads residing with other mission-critical workloads in the data center
  • Improved business agility – accelerated desktop-pool deployment with rapid network onboarding

The integration of these four VMware technologies offers amazing capabilities and benefits to users, administrators, and business leaders. If you are now ready to go deeper, check out the new in-depth video overview: Deep-dive: Securing Desktop Virtualization with NSX and Horizon. Let us know what you think!

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