Posts Tagged ‘view’

VMware announces Horizon View 6 taking on Citrix XenApp with RDS Hosted Apps

April 9th, 2014 No comments

VMware has announced the latest version of their End User Computing product Horizon View.

There have been 5 major changes to Horizon View:

  • RDS Hosted Apps
  • Application Catalog Enhancements
  • Cloud Pod Architecture
  • Virtual SAN Support
  • vCOPS for View 6

RDS Hosted Apps

RDS Hosted apps will allow Horizon View clients to access applications and full desktops running on Windows Remote Desktop Services Hosts. This is big news as it gives VMware a competing product to Citrix XenApp.


For people who know about VDI, what is the difference? Well, VDI delivers an entire desktop to a particular user. This desktop is a whole virtual machine with an OS and applications. RDS (Remote Desktop Services) means using the capabilities of Microsoft RDS (previously Terminal Services) to allow multiple users to connect to a single OS but have separate private desktop instances and applications (the server doesn’t even have to be virtual but you’d be daft not to). With RDS you can display a full desktop but can also display just an application seamlessly without all the desktop stuff around it. You don’t need as many OS instances which means better resource utilisation as well as fewer Microsoft licenses.

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Categories: Citrix, View, VMware, XenDesktop Tags: , , ,

What’s New in vCloud Suite 5.5: vCenter Server SSO

August 26th, 2013 No comments

VMware has announced its latest update to version 5.5 of its global virtualisation powerhouse, vCloud Suite.

To read the updates for all the suite components, see my post: What’s New in vCloud Suite 5.5: Introduction

key vCenter SSO gets one of the major updates. This is welcome news to anyone who installed SSO in vSphere 5.1 which was plagued with an overly complex and restrictive design. SSO in 5.1 was apparently an OEM component which VMware customised. SSO in 5.5 has been completely rewritten from the ground up internally.

Evolving vCenter is a major undertaking as it was originally built as a monolithic platform with everything included in one place. VMware’s strategy is to pull out all the core central services from vCenter and have them run stand-alone.

In the future, vCenter may not in fact be the only management option. I can think of other future management options such as OpenStack or even Microsoft System Center or some other partner management ecosystem, all obviously at cloud scale. Today SSO has been re-built to scale serving vCloud Director, vCenter Orchestrator and Horizon View.

What’s New:
The whole architecture has been redesigned with a multi-master model with built-in replication both between and within sites. There are no longer primary and secondary SSO servers. Site awareness is part of the design, you can add new sites and SSO can be aware of the original site.

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What’s New in vCloud Suite 5.5: Introduction

August 26th, 2013 1 comment

vmw_logo_1CloudComputing_2 VMware has announced its latest update to version 5.5 of its global virtualisation powerhouse, vCloud Suite.

I would say that this is an evolutionary rather than revolutionary update being the third major release in the vSphere 5 family (5.0,5.1,5.5).

There are however some significant storage additions such as Virtual SAN (VSAN) and VMware Virtual Flash (vFlash) as well as a new vSphere App HA to provide application software high availability which is in addition to vSphere HA.

VMware has also responded to the customer frustration over Single-Sign on (SSO) which is an authentication proxy for vCenter and made some changes to SSO to hopefully make it easier to deploy. Every component of the suite has been updated in some way which is an impressive undertaking to get everything in sync.

Here are all the details:

  1. What’s New in vCloud Suite 5.5: Introduction
  2. What’s New in vCloud Suite 5.5: vCenter Server and ESXi
  3. What’s New in vCloud Suite 5.5: vCenter Server SSO fixes
  4. What’s New in vCloud Suite 5.5: Virtual SAN (VSAN)
  5. What’s New in vCloud Suite 5.5: VMware Virtual Flash (vFlash)
  6. What’s New in vCloud Suite 5.5: vCloud Director
  7. What’s New in vCloud Suite 5.5: vCenter Orchestrator
  8. What’s New in vCloud Suite 5.5: vCloud Networking & Security
  9. What’s New in vCloud Suite 5.5: vSphere App HA
  10. What’s New in vCloud Suite 5.5: vSphere Replication and vCenter Site Recovery Manager
    VMware is certainly evolving their strategy of the software defined data center, this release puts software defined storage (SDS) on the map at least from a VMware perspective, a multi-year project. VMware vVolumes hasn’t made it into this release which shows what a major undertaking it is, we will have to wait for vSphere 6!
    SDS is going to have a huge push this year from VMware and of course all the other storage vendors, expect some exciting innovation.
    Software defined networking is the next traditional IT infrastructure piece to “Defy convention” and is arguably by far the hardest one to change. Another multi-year project is just beginning.

Optimise your VDI image with a new OS optimisation tool

July 31st, 2013 No comments

VMware has released a new Fling called the VMware OS Optimization Tool for Windows 7.

One of my bugbears with the whole VDI industry is the I in “VDI”, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. Many people often focus too much time and effort designing the infrastructure part of delivering virtual desktops: hypervisors, clusters, brokers, security, storage, networks, streaming, provisioning etc. and don’t pay enough attention to the actual OS build.

The OS build is absolutely critical for the success of any VDI project. If you don’t optimise your OS image you will use more CPU, memory and critically storage IOPS than you actually need which can ramp up your costs or cause your whole project to fail.


VMware has released the VMware OS Optimization Tool to assist with just this for Windows 7 desktops and VMware Horizon View. There are customisable templates to enable or Windows services and features to ensure you have optimum performance.

There is also a Remote OS Optimization Tool which allows you to connect to a remote Horizon View broker to optimise images.

Although this tool is specifically written for VMware View and uses VMware’s recommendations and best practices, the OS settings are as applicable when using Citrix XenDesktop or other brokers or in fact when running any Windows 7 workstation even without a broker when your users connect using just RDC.

If you are wanting to get more information on your current Windows desktop (not only limited to VDI) performance, I would also suggest looking at Helge Klein’s fantastic UberAgent for Splunk which gives you all sorts of information to help find out what’s taking too long.

To really ensure you cover all bases I would suggest using this new VMware tool in conjunction with other scripts and tools:

VDI Optimizer

VMware Horizon View Optimization Guide for Windows 7 and Windows 8

IT Blood Pressure’s EUC Tips

Quest vWorkspace Desktop Optimizer

Citrix Windows 7 Optimization Guide for Desktop Virtualization

Project VRC White Papers (free registration required)

How to Optimize XenDesktop Machines

Best Practice: Group Policy for Virtual Desktops Infrastructure (VDI)

VDI Group Policy Optimisation Template and Script

VMware releases its integrated EUC offering, the VMware Horizon Suite

February 20th, 2013 No comments

VMwareHorizonSuiteVMware has today released the VMware Horizon Suite which they are calling “The platform for workforce mobility.”

The Horizon Suite was initially announced at VMworld 2012 in San Francisco and is VMware’s integrated product suite for End User Computing which comprises three main components:

This is a big step for VMware by providing a far more integrated End User Computing suite for customers rather than perpetuating the old tiring battle of VDI brokers between VMware View and Citrix XenDesktop. VDI is important but only a part of the overall “delivering applications to users” so VMware is providing  a lot more in this suite by bringing together traditional VDI with applications and data. This is the initial release with some things that don’t integrate yet or as well as they should so hopefully the Suite will become more tightly knit down the road. It will be interesting to see how customers respond.

VMware Horizon Workspace
imageVMware envisions VMware Horizon Workspace as a “Multi-device workspace for IT services” and sees three trends that are changing IT. New device platforms with less reliance on Windows, new apps with more SaaS and mobile apps and new user expectations including better collaboration and productivity.

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Categories: EUC, VDI, View, VMware Tags: , ,