Tech Zone VMware Horizon

Announcing general availability of VMware Horizon with SDK for WebRTC redirection

This article was originally published at the VMware Digital Workspace Tech Zone Blog.

With the remote workforce being the new norm, demand for VDI has increased. But in addition to VDI, we must not forget the importance of reliable audio-video communication tools. 

It can, however, be challenging to get video-conferencing solutions to work smoothly in a virtualized environment. Making a video call from a virtual desktop can present a data hair-pinning challenge that leads to network congestion. Media redirection and optimization eliminates the extra hop in and out of VM by moving the video and audio communication out of the VM and onto the endpoint, thereby reducing traffic out of the data center and usually improving the quality of calls for end users. Benefits of media offload include bandwidth optimization and no dependency on CPU on VDI desktop. 

VMware has already invested in building optimization packs for Microsoft Teams and Skype for Business. We have also enabled other propriety video conferencing application partners — including Zoom, Cisco WebEx, Cisco Jabber, Avaya, and more — to build optimization packs for VMware Horizon leveraging our Horizon Session Enhancement SDK and RDP VC Bridge SDK. While this is great, we see tremendous growth of WebRTC-based unified communications (UC) app providers like RingCentral, Intermedia, IPC, Genesys, Cloud9, Vonage, Amwell, BlueJeans, 8×8 Inc, and more. However, the above-mentioned SDKs do not support WebRTC-based apps. 

WebRTC is the next big thing that is shaking up the enterprise communications landscape. Enterprises are quite comfortable with deploying WebRTC-based services. This is true in all industries, including highly regulated ones such as finance and healthcare. And the list is growing. We see our customers are increasingly interested in leveraging these WebRTC-based UC apps in Horizon VDI environments. 

We already support optimization of WebRTC browser-based applications via the Browser Content Redirection feature. Microsoft Teams Web client, Google Meet, Cisco Webex Web client, Zoom Web client, and other web-based audio-video applications can leverage media redirection to endpoints using browser content redirection technology. 

Considering WebRTC is getting popular and is a technology choice for many thick client UC applications too, we also want UC providers and customers to have the ability to have a great audio-video experience in Horizon VDI. We are pleased to announce the general availability of VMware Horizon SDK for WebRTC redirection, which is available at TechPartnerhub. 

VMware Horizon SDK for WebRTC redirection will help electron-based UC applications to implement a media redirection solution. This SDK is a JavaScript that you can hook in your application on a virtual desktop, so that it allows you to leverage our WebRTC media stack. We will redirect your WebRTC API calls to our WebRTC media engine inside the Horizon Client. This essentially removes hair- pinning and allows you to have a direct WebRTC media stream between Horizon endpoints and the media server. The SDK contains additional resources such as README files and code samples to help you develop applications that use and redirect audio/video/screen-share media data to a user’s local machine via WebRTC standard. Both Horizon Enterprise and Horizon Cloud Services platforms are supported for this SDK. 

With this announcement, we would also like to take this opportunity to extend an invitation to unified communications providers (WebRTC-based or if you have your own proprietary media technology) to reach out to us so we can partner to provide a great audio-video experience to our mutual customers. See EUC Integration Program to learn more and to start the onboarding process. 

This is an exciting time in the UC space! We want to provide the support that ensures that our customers and UC providers benefit from the SDKs — and have a great audio-video experience in Horizon VDI.