Well this is a busy time of year! Right now, two conferences are happening that affect nearly every organization on the planet: VMworld Europe and Microsoft Ignite. Our teams are split between Barcelona and Orlando, and there is a lot going on! It’s an especially exciting time for the virtual desktop and apps market as customers are looking at use cases to leverage our VMware Horizon hybrid and multi-cloud capabilities for their environments. Let’s take a look at all the innovation we’ve been talking about and releasing with regards to Horizon hybrid and multi-cloud capabilities, Horizon 7, and Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure.
Expanding our Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Capabilities
It wasn’t that long ago that we were talking about the hybrid and multi-cloud capabilities of the Horizon Control Plane at VMworld in the US, so as you can imagine it’s a hot topic for us in Europe as well.
At VMworld Europe, we’ve started to release the first set of management services in our control plane to enable hybridity and easy of management across multi-cloud deployments. We’re excited to make the Cloud Monitoring capabilities generally available for all platforms. Cloud Monitoring delivers consistent monitoring and helpdesk capabilities across all Horizon desktops and applications regardless of platform or location. You’ll be able to drill down and see applications accessed by users, with performance information on a per-process basis. Additionally, you’ll have access to historical data, quick troubleshooting capabilities, and remote assistance tools, all from a single UI.
The next version of App Volumes is currently in beta (register here) for Horizon 7 on-premises and Horizon 7 on VMC on AWS. The latest version allows you to create single-application packages that can be dynamically packaged and deployed to any platform. This new functionality eliminates performance bottlenecks of having multiple App Stacks and allows for easy update and rollback of applications, all from one UI.
App Volumes support for Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure is currently in Tech Preview, and it will enable the same functionality inside a customer’s Azure subscription, using native Azure Files shares for package management and delivery. When available, it will also plug into the Horizon Control Plane, giving customers one UI and workflow to manage all applications across their entire desktop virtualization environment.
The Image Management service of the Horizon Control Plane is targeted for beta stage in our fiscal year Q4, supporting Horizon 7 deployments both on-premises and in VMC on AWS. This feature will allow customers to create, manage, and use the same images across platforms. Image Management will provide a single interface to change and promote images, track version history, and optimize images for specific platforms. Once released for Horizon 7, our plan is to extend this functionality to Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure.
Universal Broker (formerly Multi-Cloud Broker)
At VMworld US, we briefly touched on our upcoming Multi-Cloud Broker, and though there aren’t any updates on availability, the name has been updated to Universal Broker. Universal Broker, formerly what we referred to as Multi-Cloud Broker at VMworld US, is a cloud-based service that will extend brokering across clouds, allowing admins to configure rules that will automatically route end-users to the most appropriate resources based on parameters like location, client capabilities, performance requirements, and more. Plus, there’s no need for GSLB or WAN connectivity between sites because, as a cloud service, Universal Broker can orchestrate connections from a higher level.
The name change reflects the fact that this isn’t limited to cloud scenarios, rather, it truly is a “universal” broker that works across all VMware Horizon deployments, on-premises or in any cloud.
Horizon 7 Updates
Support for Microsoft Teams
Horizon 7 now has support for Microsoft Teams, which has been validated using with Horizon’s Real Time Audio Video feature. With this feature, standard webcam, USB audio, and analog audio devices work with Teams in Horizon 7 sessions. Additionally, Horizon’s Audio Optimization Pack for Microsoft Teams is now in beta. This new feature pack will allow audio to flow directly between participants, reducing bandwidth and increasing performance.
New REST APIs
Horizon 7 now has support for REST APIs, which give organizations and partners the ability to leverage the custom and third-party tools of their choice in conjunction with Horizon rather than having to go through PowerCLI. This initial release is focused on monitoring, and will make automation, scripts, and integration with third party tools much easier.
Deliver Modern Management to Your Virtual Desktops
True to our execution and vision of unified endpoint management, IT admins can now manage Horizon persistent virtual desktops using Workspace ONE UEM. Workspace ONE UEM is the industry-leading modern management solution that helps organizations manage the full lifecycle of endpoints through a single management console. Now with added support to manage Horizon persistent virtual desktops, admins get the best of modern management for both physical and virtual endpoints, from one place. These capabilities include automated patching, streamlined app delivery, and policies delivered from the cloud that simplify management.
Avi Networks and Horizon Integration
First introduced at VMworld US, Horizon customers will be able to take full advantage of multi-cloud applications services, such as load-balancing, that are delivered through Avi Networks and Horizon integration. IT can now focus on delivering a better user experience to virtual desktops and apps on any cloud with a software-defined approach. We’ll be sharing more details on this integration soon.
Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure Updates
There have been many updates to Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure since VMworld US, the most notable of which are probably Pod Manager high availability, PCI compliance, and support for all Azure VM types, which you can read about in detail in our Q3 Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure update blog post.
Windows Virtual Desktop Capabilities in Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure
Given the time of year and the fact that Microsoft Ignite is happening in parallel to VMworld Europe, many eyes are on Windows Virtual Desktop and our plan to extend its features to Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure. If you’re interested in learning more about the work being done, check out our post: Coming Soon: Windows Virtual Desktop support in Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure
At both events, we’ll be sharing more about our progress, including details about the upcoming Tech Preview, which will be available in our FYQ4 2019. Here’s what customers accepted into the preview can expect:
• Support for Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session desktops and apps
• Support for Windows 7 64-bit desktops
• Control plane located in the West_US2 Azure region (expanding to UK and Australia at GA in early calendar year 2019, with more to follow based on demand)
• Support for all Horizon clients, including Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and more…
• The Horizon Windows client will support Blast Extreme and PCoIP for Windows 10 VMs, as well as USB, client drive, serial port, scanner, Smart Card, browser, URL content, and HTML5 redirection. (For Windows 7, only RDP 8.x and USB redirection are supported)
• The Cloud Monitoring and helpdesk capabilities of the Horizon Control Plane
You can register for the Tech Preview of Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure with support for the features of Windows Virtual Desktop now. When it’s generally available, existing Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure customers that are entitled to Windows Virtual Desktop will automatically be able to take advantage of the new features. If you’re not already a Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure customer, you can register for a free 45-day trial to get ready.
So as you can see, there’s a lot going on! We’re very excited, and we hope you have a chance to check out the breakout sessions at VMworld Europe. Or, if you happen to be at Microsoft Ignite in Orlando, stop by booth 1813, where we can show you Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure in action.