VMware Horizon Desktops

VMware Horizon Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business (Beta) Is Now Available!

Co-authored by Frank Anderson, Solutions Architect, Desktop Technical Marketing, VMware

The Horizon 7 product team is excited to announce that the VMware Horizon Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business (beta release) is now available for download. Organizations can use the virtualization pack with Skype for Business to make optimized audio and video calls within Horizon 7 desktops without negatively affecting the host infrastructure.

VMware Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business Evolves

The VMware Horizon Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business is comprised of two components, the Horizon Media Proxy and the Horizon Media Engine. The Horizon Media Proxy acts as a proxy between the Skype for Business client (located on the virtual desktop in the data center) and the Horizon Media Engine (located on the endpoint device). The Horizon Media Engine is responsible for processing all audio and video packets and sending the Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP) stream directly to the other endpoints. In this initial beta release, the Horizon Media Engine is available for Windows clients only.

Delivering the VMware Horizon Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business

The Media Proxy works hand-in-hand with the Media Engine to deliver audio and video while preserving the native experience of the Skype for Business client. Media is sent to and from the client devices outside of the remote display protocol, which both ensures an optimal user experience and minimizes the performance impact to the Horizon 7 infrastructure such as host resources and network bandwidth.

Virtualization Pack Skype for Business audio and video

Focus for the VMware Horizon Virtualization Pack

The virtualization pack benefits organizations that use Skype for Business to make audio and video calls. Features such as instant messaging do not require or benefit from the virtualization pack.

Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business key capabilities

Better Unified Communications in the Making

VMware is, and has been, committed to providing the best user experience for Skype for Business. Since 2013, VMware has supported the Microsoft Lync VDI plug-in. Support will continue for this plug-in; the virtualization pack will evolve as an optimal and more extensive approach.

Microsoft and VMware announced a collaboration at VMworld Europe 2016 to deliver an even better solution for virtualizing Skype for Business. Watch the video Tech Preview Coming Soon – An Even Better Experience for Skype for Business and Horizon 7 to hear Raj Gopalakrishnan, Microsoft CTO for Skype for Business Engineering, and Shawn Bass, VMware CTO for End-User Computing, discuss this thrilling partnership.

In addition, the video SfB Video Broadcast: Ep. 35 VMware & VDI in Skype for Business, co-presented by Paul Cannon, Microsoft Senior Product Marketing Manager, and Tony Huynh, VMware Director of Product Management, covers the details of the beta release and answers questions from interested organizations.

This is a highly strategic area for both companies because over 70 percent of organizations using Horizon 7 also use Skype for Business to communicate, and Microsoft reports that organizations using Skype for Business make three billion minutes of audio calls per day and three trillion minutes of video calls per day.

Where to Download and Provide Feedback

You can go to the Horizon Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business beta community site to download the virtualization pack and also provide feedback directly to the product team. Alternatively, you can directly email the Horizon 7-Skype for Business product team.

Note: This virtualization pack is a beta release and therefore should not be used in production environments. The solution will not be supported by VMware support services.