Co-authored by Graeme Gordon, Senior End-User-Computing Architect, EUC Technical Marketing, VMware.
With this new release, VMware Horizon 7.1 extends just-in-time delivery from virtual desktops to published applications by leveraging our Just-in-Time Management Platform (JMP). With JMP, the operating system (OS), applications, and user personalization are assembled on demand for users. Users get their desktops, their apps, their settings, and their preferences, all based on where they are connecting from at that moment and what type of device they are using.
Administrators use VMware Instant Clone Technology to rapidly recreate and maintain desktop VMs and, now, with Horizon 7.1, RDSH server VMs. Applications are provided on demand with VMware App Volumes. User personas and permissions are managed in real time by VMware User Environment Manager. Finally, Horizon 7.1 enhancements to the Blast Extreme display protocol improve performance even on poorly performing networks.
Horizon 7.1 includes lots of new features in addition to the above-mentioned fast provisioning of RDSH servers with Instant Clone Technology and the Blast Extreme Adaptive Transport component added to Blast Extreme.
Here’s an overview of the new platform features.
One feature seen here, Hide Server and Domain Info, allows an administrator to prevent server and domain information from being displayed in the Horizon Client interface. Be sure to see the new video Hiding the Connection Server URL and Domain List from the Horizon Client to find out how easy it is to set up this new security feature.
If you use vSphere 6.5 with Horizon 7.1, you can make use of the vSphere 6.5 VM encryption feature to encrypt full-clone VMs. Encryption is done at the hypervisor level rather than within the VM, which provides a variety of benefits, as outlined in What’s New in vSphere 6.5: Security.
Next, we have the remote experience features. Every three months, new client and agent binaries are released that add enhancements to the end user’s remote experience. The Horizon 7.1 release includes Horizon Client 4.4 and an associated new Horizon Agent. Key new remote experience features in this release include considerable improvements to Blast Extreme, Beta release of the Horizon Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business, and improvements to Horizon 7 RDSH based published applications.
And finally, here is a sampling of just a few of the new client-specific features.
In this blog post, which is part 1 of the series, we’ll expand a bit on the following major features:
- Support for Instant Clone based RDSH published apps
- Newly supported features on instant clones
In part 2 of this series, we expand on the remote experience features and new VMware Horizon for Linux features.
- Blast Extreme enhancements, including the new adaptive UDP transport component, as well as access to physical workstations
- VMware Horizon Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business
- New OS support for Linux desktops and USB redirection (Tech Preview)
RDSH Published Apps and Desktops
Extending Instant Clone Technology to RDSH farms allows administrators to instantly spin up new RDSH farms and quickly refresh existing RDSH farms, with zero down time.
- The Add Farm wizard in Horizon Administrator now includes an option for Instant Clones, and uses ClonePrep to customize RDSH VMs without requiring a reboot.
- Instant clones are rapidly created, customized, and ready for use. Simply editing the Farm settings allows for the scale up or down of a farm in seconds.
- The Schedule Maintenance wizard lets you schedule an immediate one-off update or refresh of the VM, or automated regularly recurring refreshes, or both. The benefit is that the farm and the RDSH servers can quickly and easily be updated or automatically regenerated on a schedule to maintain optimal performance and storage use.
With instant clones, maintenance windows are brief, and some servers can always be available.
For guidance about maintenance options and a list of best practices, see the Just-in-Time Apps with Horizon 7 blog post.
Instant Clone Feature Support
Horizon 7.1 adds support for the following features for Instant Clones:
- NVIDIA GRID vGPU – This feature adds support for NVIDIA M-series cards. You can now use instant-clone desktop VMs if you need high-end, hardware-accelerated workstation graphics. More information will be published in an upcoming blog post.
- Multi-VLAN support – You can now create large desktop pools or RDSH farms in environments where the physical network is divided into smaller subnets and would not normally support large numbers of VMs.
On the vCenter Settings page of the Add Pool or Add Farm wizard for instant clones, browse to select multiple networks that use static port binding groups. The VMs will be distributed among the selected networks.
- VMware vSphere host maintenance mode enhancements – Placing a vSphere host in maintenance mode now automatically deletes running parent VMs used for instant clone creation. Because the running parent VM is a protected entry in VMware vCenter Server, the VM cannot be powered off or deleted manually, which would ordinarily prevent a vSphere host from entering maintenance mode.
With this enhancement, when a vSphere 6.0 U1 or later host enters maintenance mode, the running parent VMs are powered off and deleted. Instant clones are migrated to another host in the cluster using VMware vSphere Distributed Resource Scheduler. After the vSphere host exits maintenance mode, running parent VMs are created automatically only when needed, such as for a provisioning task.
This post provides only the briefest gloss on the long list of Horizon 7.1 platform and Horizon Client 4.4 features. With headline features such as rapidly provisioned RDSH servers with Instant Clone Technology, and now that Blast Extreme has added a newly reworked adaptive UDP transport to accommodate the full gamut of network types, we have finally and fully arrived at just-in-time apps and desktops. For details about new remote experience features and Horizon for Linux, be sure to see What’s New with VMware Horizon 7.1 – Part 2.
We’re pleased to announce that all of the following are now generally available:
- VMware Horizon 7.1
- VMware Horizon 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: