Co-authored by Graeme Gordon, Senior End-User-Computing Architect, EUC Technical Marketing, VMware
In part 1 of the Horizon 7.1 What New blog article, we looked at the list of new Horizon 7.1 platform features, a sampling of Horizon Client 4.4 features, and an overview of the new remote experience features. In this post, we delve deeper into:
- Blast Extreme enhancements
- VMware Horizon Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business (Beta Release)
- Remote Experience features
- VMware Horizon for Linux version 7.1
Blast Extreme Enhancements
To provide an even greater user experience over a variety of network types, Blast Extreme has been extended with an adaptive transport. From their client devices, users can indicate the quality of the network they are using. This helps Blast Extreme select the best strategy for dealing with that network to deliver the best experience. Typical is the default and in the majority of scenarios the end user should not need to change this.
The options are:
- Typical – TCP is used for the initial connection to authenticate, and then our new adaptive UDP-based transport is used for the connection to the desktop or published app session.
- Excellent – Suited to LAN environments or can be useful in low bandwidth WAN links. Blast Extreme uses TCP for both the initial authentication and the connection to the desktop or app.
- Poor – Helps adapt to very poor network connection, such as one with more than 20 percent packet loss, the adaptive UDP component will take measures to ensure an acceptable user experience. This adds a capability to duplicate some packets on the network to improve user experience on a high packet loss connection.
If users are connecting from outside the corporate network, the UDP component requires the VMware Unified Access Gateway 2.9 (formerly called Access Point), which is being released at the same time as Horizon 7.1. Connections will fall back to use TCP if any in-line component, such as Unified Access Gateway, does not support the new UDP stack.
The other new feature for Blast Extreme is the ability to broker physical, Windows 7 or 10 workstations (Tech Preview). We have developed this feature to enable remote access to secured, high-performance PCs using NVIDIA GPUs and no monitor. For the best experience, use a graphics card supporting H.264 encoding. Horizon Agent 7.1, Horizon Client 4.4, and Blast Extreme are required.
Horizon Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business (Beta Release)
From Windows-based Horizon Clients, you can now make audio and video calls from within a virtual desktop.
- Virtualization pack components include a media proxy on the agent (virtual desktop) side, and a media engine on the client side.
- All media is sent as a separate RTP stream directly between endpoints, outside of the display protocol so that the server infrastructure is not affected during audio and video calls.
- Through the use of native Skype codecs, bandwidth usage is equivalent to native Skype for Business calls.
For this beta release, several limitations apply. For example, point-to-point calls are supported, but multi-party video conferencing is not. For more information, go to the VMware Horizon Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business Beta site.
Remote Experience Features
New features for all types of RDSH farms include the ability to select a graphics file to customize the app icon shown in the selector window so that users can more easily identity the application they want. For a demo, check out the new video Customizing Horizon RDSH Application Icons.
Also available for all types of RDSH farms is the ability to allow unauthenticated user access to published apps from Windows and Linux clients. This feature is useful for kiosk-mode scenarios or where the application has its own security and user management. Find out the configuration details and see a demo by watching the new video Providing Unauthenticated Access to Horizon Published Applications.
Horizon for Linux
For Linux-based virtual desktops, Version 7.1 of Horizon for Linux adds support for the following 64-bit operating systems:
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.3
- SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 12 SP2
- SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP2
- CentOS 7.3
In technical preview, Linux desktops get the ability to use USB redirection:
- The USBD service has been re-architected to support Linux desktops.
- USB devices can be used with both USB redirection and client-drive redirection (CDR).
- Linux desktops must run on Ubuntu 14.04 or 16.04.
- Client devices must be using Horizon Client for Windows 4.4.
For information about these and other new features, such as single sign-on support for Ubuntu and the ability to sync the client keyboard locale and input language with those on the remote desktop, see Setting Up Horizon 7 Version 7.1 for Linux Desktops.
VMware Horizon 7.1 is a significant release in all areas: server, platform, protocol, client features, Linux desktops, integration with Skype for Business, and on and on. So many new features we could not begin to do them justice here. Use the following resources to begin your own exploration.
We’re pleased to announce that all of the following are now generally available:
- VMware Horizon 7.1
- VMware Horizon 7 for Linux Version 7.1
- VMware Horizon Clients, version 4.4 for Windows, Windows 10 UWP, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android
Horizon 7.1 Documentation:
Horizon Client 4.4 Documentation: