We’re excited to announce the latest VMware Horizon Air updates. For this release, we focused on both administrative enhancements and end-user experience. Here are 11 key Horizon Air updates and feature enhancements for this release:
- Administration console improvements
- Image sync across pods in the same data center
- Image Upload Service (beta)
- In Guest Agent improvements
- VMware Blast Extreme protocol
- HTML access portal for end-user access
- VMware Identity Manager support (beta)
- Multisite redirect for multiple data center tenants
- Real time audio-video (RTAV) with HTML access and RDSH
- File transfer with HTML access
- Flash redirection
1. Administration Console Improvements
The administration console is updated, providing a visual refresh and streamlining the most common management tasks, such as creating a new VM assignment and managing images. Key new features include:
- Initial setup and configuration of the Horizon Air service, which replaces enterprise center.
- Reports page for viewing mapping of users and desktops, such as desktop name, desktop model, assignment name and active sessions.
- REST-API available to automate all tenant administrative functions, allowing customers to integrate their own internal provisioning and management tools.
2. Image Sync across Pods in the Same Data Center
Horizon Air customers with multiple pods in a single data center can now manage a master set of images across all pods. Image sync will publish the master images across all pods, removing the need to manage two or more duplicate images that must be maintained and managed.
3. Image Upload Service (Beta)
Image Upload Service allows customers to upload their own images into their Horizon Air environment to be used for their desktops and RDSH servers. Find Image Upload Service in the Horizon Air Helpdesk Portal Beta. Customers need to ensure images are properly configured before using in Horizon Air. Please refer to the Horizon Air Tenant Administration Documentation.
Today, Image Upload Service is an early-adopter feature and currently unsupported. Please send feedback and questions to email@example.com.
4. In Guest Agent Improvements
Horizon Air no longer requires installation of the View Agent Direct Connect (VADC) component in the golden image, desktops or RDSH servers. This further reduces the number of agents that need to be maintained and updated.
5. Blast Extreme
Blast Extreme is a new display protocol purpose-built and optimized for the mobile cloud. Based on customer use cases and requirements, you can use Blast Extreme in addition to PCoIP. Built on industry standard H.264, Blast Extreme supports a broad range of client devices and leverages either TCP or UDP, making it network friendly and reduces CPU consumption—extending battery life on mobile devices. Blast Extreme is feature parity with PCoIP, sharing the same common feature-rich user experience across ever-expanding VMware Horizon optimized clients. Just as with PCoIP, Blast Extreme can also be managed and configured with Microsoft GPO.
6. HTML Access Portal
End users can now access remote desktops and applications using a brand new HTML access portal. This has been optimized for simple navigation and delivery of desktops and applications in the browser. Key new features include:
- Cleaner interface for end users when accessing with HTML.
- Ability to search for remote desktops and applications assigned to end users.
- End users can mark remote desktops and applications as favorites. They can also now choose to display only their favorites.
7. VMware Identity Manager Cloud & On-Premises Support (Beta)
Horizon Air now integrates with VMware Identity Manager (vIDM), both the cloud and on-premises versions. This integration allows end users to access their Horizon Air desktops and applications from a centralized enterprise workspace. vIDM provides single sign-on (SSO) into Horizon Air desktops and applications, along with other services and apps, including web, mobile and SaaS.
8. Multisite Redirect
Horizon Air customers with multiple data centers can now provide end users with a single FQDN URL for accessing their desktops. When users connect, they are automatically routed to the correct data center where their desktop resides, improving overall end-user experience. This feature requires Windows Horizon Client and only supports desktop assignments.
9. Real Time Audio-Video with HTML Access & RDSH
With this new feature, end users are no longer required to utilize a client to take advantage of Real Time Audio-Video (RTAV).
Using an HTML5-compliant browser (Chrome, Edge and Firefox), end users can utilize the client machine’s webcam and microphone inside the virtual desktop. End users can now use standard conferencing applications, bi-directional audio devices and browser-based video applications from within a virtual desktop when using HTML Access.
End users who access published desktops or applications using RDSH can now take advantage of RTAV, as well. This enables use of webcams and microphones from the client machine within desktop or application sessions.
10. File Transfer with HTML Access
Continuing to enhance the HTML Access user experience, end users can now transfer, upload and download files between the client and a remote desktop. This feature works with an HTML 5-compliant browser (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Edge) and can be controlled (enabled, disabled or allow in one direction only) by the Horizon Air administrator using VMware User Environment Manager or Microsoft GPO.
11. Flash Redirection
Flash content can be redirected and rendered on the end-user device versus being rendered within the virtual desktop. This results in smoother video playback and overall lower bandwidth and CPU usage on the virtual desktop—all improving user experience.
As you can see, this Horizon Air update greatly enhances end-user capabilities and streamlines IT administration. To learn more about Horizon Air, please visit our website at vmware.com/go/daas.
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