Well what a year it has been for VMware End User Computing. We have seen any number of new releases with great gains in moving the technology forward yet again. Here I will try and recap some of the great things we have seen from the VMware EUC team in 2015.
VMware Horizon 6
What a year its been for VMware Horizon 6 with 3 fantastic released 6.1, 6.1.1 and 6.2. These 3 releases brought with them so many new features its hard to cover them all, so lets tray and cover some of the big new features that were added in 2015.
Horizon 6.1 was released in March and was the first of the big releases this year. With the release of 6.1 we got the following new features:
- NVIDIA GRID vGPU (shared GPU hardware acceleration)
- Smart Card for RDS desktops and Hosted Apps
- Support for IPv6 networks
- Support for Virtual SAN 6.0
- Support for Virtual Volumes
- View Administrator (UI) support for configuring Cloud Pod Architecture
- USB Redirection of mass storage on RDS desktops and Hosted Apps
- Windows Server 2012 R2 operating system support for VDI desktops
Could they fit any more in to this release well yes there was much more added for the full list of new features you can see the release notes here.
In June VMware release Horizon 6.1.1 with the long awaited feature, support for Linux Desktops, this was a game changer for a number of user opening up a whole new set of use cases. Here are some of the other features released in 6.1.1
- Client Drive Redirection
- Serial Port Redirection
- Support for Windows Media Multimedia Redirection (MMR) for RDS Desktops
- HTML Access Support for Hosted Apps
For more information on this release you can fine the release notes here.
That brings us to the Horizon 6.2 release that was released in November and this was yet another fantastic release with the following new features.
- Windows 10 Support
- View Composer and linked clones for RDS Server
- Enhanced Load Balancing for RDS Farms
- Hosted App Support for Cloud Pod Architecture
- HTML Access (Blast) Support for Cloud Pod Architecture
- Virtual SAN 6.1
- Access Point Integration (New solution for external access)
Again this is only a subset of all of the new features added in 6.2 and you can find all the new features in the release notes here. You can also see my blog on the new feature working with VMware User Environment Manager here.
VMware App Volumes
Now let’s look at what’s happened with with App Volumes over the course of 2015. App Volumes had a number of great release over 2015 from 2.5.2 in January to 2.10 in November. Here are just a few of the new features that were added across the number of release in 2015.
- Horizon View integration for better performance
- AppStack Grouping
- Automatic AppStack Import
- Storage Group Distribution Strategy
- Editing a Storage Group
- Direct-To-Host Mounting
- Agent access to VHD
- Multi vCenter Configurations
- Windows 10 Support
- Enabling vMotion
- Storage Group management
- Expand existing writable volumes
This is just a small number of the of the great new features that were added to App Volumes this year. You can find all of the new features in all of the release note at these links. 2.5.2, 2.6, 2.7, 2.9 and 2.10.
I have also release a number of blogs on App Volumes over the year. Here are just a couple that I think you might find useful.
VMware App Volumes Storage Group Improvements with 2.10
Storage Considerations with App Volumes
VMware User Environment Manager
VMware User Environment Manager was added to the VMware EUC portfolio this year when VMware bought Immidio, with the release of UEM 8.6 and then 8.7 update. I believe that User Environment Manager was a great addition to the VMware EUC Family and I even wrote the following white paper around the deployment of UEM VMware User Environment Manager Deployed in 60 Minutes or Less. I also did a Demo of UEM at VMworld this year in San Francisco, you can see the demo here.
Some of the new features added over 2015 include.
- Extended Conditions
- Improved Horizon View Support
- Windows 10 support.
- Improved Application Onboarding
- Advanced Physical Support
For more information on the two releases you can see the release note here, 8.6 and 8.7.
You can also find a number of blogs around User Environment Manager on this blog site.
VMware Identity Manager
VMware renamed their Workspace product to Identity Manager with the 2.4 release in September showing a real intent on focusing on user Identity, I think this will be a big move and a great decision as this product continues to improve.
Here are the new features added in Identity Manager 2.4
- HTML Access support for Horizon View applications
- New integrated authentication methods
- RSA Adaptive Authentication
- Certificate/Smart Card Authentication
- RADIUS Authentication
- Microsoft SQL Server 2014 as an external database
- Simplified Admin UI for setting up directories, identity providers, and policies
- External access to XenApp with NetScaler
You can see the release notes for Identity Manager 2.4 here.
VMware Mirage has also seen a number of updates through 2015 starting with 5.3 in March with the 5.6 release in December.
Here are some of the new features added to Mirage over the year.
- Mirage supports managing multiple platforms, including Windows Embedded for Point of Service (WEPOS), POSReady 2009, and POSReady 7 operating systems.
- Mirage supports automated backup and full disaster recovery for devices running Windows Embedded POSReady operating systems.
- Administrators can perform OS migration operations using Mirage PowerCLI.
- Administrators can automate endpoint provisioning and perform various CVD operations using Mirage API or Mirage PowerCLI.
- Mirage requires lower IOPs, enabling faster centralization and upload operations.
- Mirage PowerCLI supports vSphere 6.0 SDK
- Branch PC technicians and administrators can provision new laptops and desktops directly from the device using the self-service provisioning interface
- Administrators can specify base layer and app layer download only operations and manually initiate layer updates for a future time, for example, off-peak hours
- Bare-metal provisioning supports POSReady 2009
- You can now run Mirage database on Microsoft SQL Server 2014 Express, Standard, and Enterprise editions also
- Administrator can now change the Management Server’s MongoDB data path using the Mirage Web Console
For a full list of all the new features added you can see the release notes here, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5 and 5.6.
As I mentioned in my Blog here ThinApp is certainly not dead and this year in November VMware release ThinApp 5.2 that brought with it support for Windows 10, a great achievement from the ThinApp team. For more information on ThinApp 5.2 you can see the release notes here.
There was also updates to AirWatch, vRealize Operations Manager for Horizon, Horizon FLEX, VMware Workstation and VMware Fusion.
Well what a great year, can VMware beat that in 2016 well we will have to wait and see what’s to come but I have a feeling 2016 is going to be an even bigger year for the VMware EUC Team.
Congratulations to everyone at VMware working on the EUC products from the Engineers to the guys out in the field meeting with customers every day.