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What’s New on the VMware Horizon

Courtney Burry

Author: Courtney Burry

Courtney is senior director, product marketing, for VMware End-User Computing (EUC).

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It’s that time again, when 25,000-plus people come together to take part in VMworld. If you have 8148_VM_EUC_BREAKOUT_Blog_InText_600pxnot been to the show before, it is definitely packed with great Hands-On Labs, technical sessions and lots and lots of new announcements.

As part of this fanfare, I wanted to tell you about a few announcements that focus on our very own VMware Horizon portfolio of desktop and application virtualization products and services.

All the Horizon announcements are specifically designed to help organizations do three things:

  1. Improve user experience to support more use cases. Think Windows 10 migrations, 3D developers, remote office workers, clinicians and more;
  2. Simplify how end users, apps and desktops are managed and delivered; and
  3. Drive down acquisition and day-to-day management costs for new and existing customers.

Let’s take a look at what the Horizon team announced at the show.

Read all the VMware End-User Computing (EUC) announcements in the press release here.

The Next Generation in User Experience with VMware Blast Extreme

Blast Extreme is VMware’s mobile and cloud-friendly H.264-based protocol. We introduced Blast Extreme earlier this year to deliver great user experiences with improved battery life across a broad range of devices. While originally introduced with support for VMware Horizon 7 virtual desktops and apps, Blast now additionally supports VMware Horizon Air cloud-hosted desktops, as well as our new portfolio of VMware Horizon Air Hybrid-Mode desktops. This delivers one great protocol, leveraged seamlessly across three different deployment models to ensure end users enjoy high-quality desktops across the board.

With Blast, we are also excited to announce several new advancements and partnerships—all part of a broad Blast feature update.

  1. Significant enhancements to reduce bandwidth and latency, while improving performance across a wide range of use cases.

Organizations leveraging JPG/PNG can see up to a 6-times reduction in bandwidth in high-bandwidth scenarios and a 15% reduction for audio streaming. IT can now also take advantage of dynamic settings to easily tune and optimize Blast to improve the user experience.

Horizon VMworld news 2

  1. Support for over 70 new thin clients, zero clients and peripheral devices.

New Blast-certified thin and zero clients from Dell, HP, IGEL, Atrust, 10zig and Fujitsu ensure that customers have access to a wide range secure, reliable and cost-effective endpoints. Blast also supports extremely low-cost devices, like the Kangaroo, so IT organizations can get started with Horizon-compatible devices that are priced as low as $99. What’s more, a technology preview of Blast working with the increasingly popular Raspberry Pi Linux-based device is another example of the extensibility of our protocol.

Oftentimes, end users accessing virtual desktops on a tablet or mobile device find it cumbersome to type or use touch with applications that do not support touch well. For those end users, we are pleased to announce support for the Swiftpoint GT mouse, which can be leveraged for Horizon Client on Apple iPads to give users the experience they want with a mouse and Windows apps.

vmworld horizon news swiftpoint

  1. New partnership with Riverbed.

Our new partnership leverages Riverbed Steelhead and Blast to deliver a better end-user experience over WAN.

  1. Support for Intel (Skylake GPU) pass-through and NVIDIA M10 shared vGPU to enable high-end 3D graphics.

We also did a lot of work to improve CPU and VM densities with NVIDIA, allowing IT to now support 120 users per server. We also teamed with NVIDIA to improve Blast performance and reduce latency by roughly 24 milliseconds.

vmworld horizon news intel

  1. View key Blast performance metrics through VMware vRealize Operations for Horizon.

This innovation is included in Horizon Enterprise edition. Customers can now leverage more troubleshooting capabilities and visibility into key performance metrics, including:

  • Round-trip latency;
  • Encoding frame rates;
  • Protocol throughput;
  • And more.

We now also support new Blast-enabled smart policies to dynamically change bandwidth settings based on location or other unified endpoint management (UEM) policy.

Apps, Apps, Apps

In 2014, we first announced support for RDS-hosted apps. In one fell swoop, this allowed customers to deliver all of their virtual desktops and apps, as well as session based-desktops and RDS-hosted apps, from a single platform. Over the past two years, we were busy adding new features in support of RDS apps on a quarterly basis—with over 16 new features introduced in the last eight quarters alone. At the show, we are excited to announce two (actually, make that three!) new features in support of RDS-hosted apps.

1 & 2. Support for real-time audio and video (RTAV) and generic USB re-direction (biometric sensors, card readers, etc.) for RDS-hosted apps.

vmworld horizon rtav usb support

We are excited about one truly awesome announcement around apps at this show:

  1. Epic 2015 support for Horizon RDS-hosted apps.

This is huge for the healthcare industry, as it simply and securely supports clinicians and doctors with seamless access to Epic-enabled RDS-hosted apps.

Support for the Latest Platforms

To better support their end users, many of our customers are evaluating the move to Windows 10 or the latest version of Windows server. For these customers, we are also pleased to announce day-zero support for Windows Server 2016, as well as the latest versions of Windows, including Windows 10 and the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. We are also announcing a tech preview of a new Horizon Client for Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform.

New Plug-n-Play Solutions with Horizon Air Hybrid-Mode

Last quarter, VMware announced Horizon Air Hybrid-Mode, a new service that pairs cloud management with on-premises, hyper-converged infrastructure and VSAN-ready node appliances. This service leverages innovative VMware technologies like Instant Clones and App Volumes to allow customers to set up and manage desktops with unprecedented ease and speed.

At VMworld, we announced four brand new validations around Horizon Air Hybrid-Mode with EMC (VxRail), Dell, HDS and QCT. We’ll talk about these new solutions quite a bit at the show. But here is a great video that shows just how easy it is to unbox and get your first 100 desktops up and running with Horizon Air Hybrid-Mode and VxRail. In this demo, we showcase how this solution can be unboxed with 100 desktops fully deployed in under an hour.

If you ever struggled to get started with desktop and application virtualization, I highly encourage you to take a look at this new joint solution. It allows you to quickly and cost-effectively get started with a small number of desktops and linearly scale out your infrastructure, desktops and apps as needs grow.

vmworld horizon air vxrail dell hds qtc

New Financial Services Solutions

Finally, we know there is a lot of planning that goes into architecting and rolling out EUC solutions across vertical segments. To help de-risk this process and help you get started, we are excited to announce a new blueprint for branch banking and financial services customers that leverages our EUC solutions including Horizon to secure and centralize the management of banking kiosks, teller workspaces, banking applications, ATM images and mobile devices.

Learn more: VMware AlwaysOn Desktop Design Guide for Financial Services

We are excited about the wide range of announcements we made today at VMworld U.S. 2016. Be sure to take part in the sessions, stop by the booth and meet with all of us.

Not at the show? Reach out to your VMware rep to find out more, or check out one of the Hands-On Labs.

There is a lot of fanfare this week across all of VMware, and the Horizon team is pleased to be contributing in a big way!

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