Using a Mouse with my iPad Pro

Earlier this Month VMware released the latest update to the Horizon Client for the iPad. Version 4.2 can be downloaded here

This brought a number of great updates but my favorite is the ability to use a Mouse with my iPad, yes that’s right when connected to a Horizon desktop or application I can now use a Bluetooth connected mouse.

The mouse that is supported is the SwiftPoint GT mouse, this is a great mouse and fantastic from people that travel with an iPad Pro


This mouse is extremely small but works really well, I have been using the iPad for travel for a few months now and it has been working well but when connected to a virtual desktop there is definitely something missing and that’s the mouse. I have tried to use the Apple Pencil and that works OK but it’s not as good as a mouse. The SwiftPoint GT fixes that problem and now I feel that when traveling with my iPad I have everything I need to do my job as if I was at my desk.

If you would like more details on the SwiftPoint GT mouse you can find it here.

Configuring VMware Identity Manager and VMware Horizon 7 Cloud Pod Architecture

With the release of VMware Horizon® 7 and VMware Identity Manager™ 2.6, it is now possible to configure VMware Identity Manager to work with Horizon Cloud Pod Architecture when deploying your desktop and application pools over multiple data centers or locations.

Using VMware Identity Manager in front of your VMware Horizon deployments that are using Cloud Pod Architecture makes it much easier for users to get access to their desktops and applications. The user has just one place to connect to, and they will be able to see all of their available desktops and applications. Identity Manager will direct the user to the application hosted in the best datacenter for their location. This can also include SaaS applications as well as the applications that are available through VMware Horizon 7.

For the full blog please see my blog on VMware.com

http://blogs.vmware.com/consulting/2016/07/configuring-vmware-identity-manager.html

VMware User Environment Manager 9.0 – What’s New

Earlier this month VMware released a new version of User Environment Manager that brings some new and exciting features, not only to User Environment Manager, but also to the Horizon Suite. To learn about the new features in Horizon 7 you can see my blog here.

Here I would like to highlight the new main features of VMware User Environment Manager 9.0

Smart Policies

The new Smart Policies offer more granular control of what users can do when they connect to their virtual desktop or applications. With the first release of Smart Policies you will be able to manage these capabilities based on the following conditions:

  • Horizon Conditions
    • View Client Info (IP and name)
    • Endpoint location (Internal/External)
    • Tags
    • Desktop Pool name
  • Horizon Capabilities
    • Clipboard
    • Client drive
    • USB
    • Printing
    • PCoIP bandwidth profiles

 

For more information on these capabilities, see my more detailed blog Here.

It should be noted that to use Smart Policies you will need Horizon 7 View and User Environment Manager 9. You will also need the latest View Agent and Clients installed to take advantage of these new features. Also note that these policies only work with the PCoIP and BLAST Extreme protocols, and not RDP.

Application Authorization (Application Blocking)

This feature gives administrators the ability to white- or black-list applications or folders. In the example below you can see that some applications are allowed and some will be blocked.

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Using this feature with User Environment Managers Conditions will not only give administrators great control over what applications users can use, but also how they can be used. An example would be if a user is on the internal network they have access to company-specific applications; however, if they accessed their desktops from an external network then these applications would not be available.

With a simple check of a box, administrators have a very simple model for enforcing applications that the users are authorized to use, and using conditions in this way could be result in a different set of applications depending on where the user connects from.

Picture2

ThinApp Support

When clicking on the DirectFlex tab of an application you will now see the new check box to Enable ThinApp Support for that application.

Picture3

When this is selected you will be able to manage what happens within the ThinApp “bubble” from within User Environment Manager, rather than doing this by setting specific values during the ThinApp capture process, or afterward via a script. This integration generalizes the approach that packagers can take when choosing isolation or encapsulation. It allows them to not have to force the knowledge of each and every configuration during the capture process by setting isolation modes or creating separate packages for different application configurations.

You should also note that you do not need to configure a separate application within User Environment Manager to take advantage of this. If the box is checked the flex agent will notice if the application is natively installed or accessible via ThinApp, and automatically apply the correct settings.

Manage Personal Data

User Environment Manager now has the ability to easily manage personal data. This would include things like My Documents, My Music, My Pictures, etc.

The example below shows how easy this is to configure.

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Office 2016 Support

User Environment Manager 9.0 now supports Office 2016. As you can see from the example below this also includes Skype for Business and OneDrive. Just like with earlier versions these can all be added with the Easy Start button.

Picture5

New User Environment Manager Conditions

As part of the new deep integration with Horizon 7, User Environment Manager has added a number of new conditions that can be pulled from Horizon 7. These include Pool-Name, Tags, and client location – such as internal or external.

Picture6

 

I have also posted this blog on VMware.com here

VMware Horizon 7 New Features

With the release of VMware Horizon 7 I thought I would try and highlight some of the new features that have now been added with this released.

Blast Extreme Protocol

With the update to Blast Extreme, VMware has upgraded the Blast Extreme protocol to the same level as PCoIP and RDP. Now not only will you be able to use the Blast Extreme protocol when connecting via HTML5, but now when you connect to a Virtual desktop or RDSH App using your Horizon client on any device you will be able to connect using the Blast Extreme protocol.

Just as with PCoIP and RDP, Horizon Administrators will be able to configure the Blast Extreme protocol as the default protocol for both desktop and application pools.

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Blast Extreme will not only be available for standard desktop and application pools but also Global pools when configured with Cloud Pod Architecture

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As time permits I will write another blog with more details around the new Blast Extreme protocol so watch this space

VMware Instant Clone Technology

VMware Instant Clones is the long awaited technology that is built on the VMware Fork technology that was previewed at VMworld and VMware has been working on for some time. VMware Instant Clones is helping to create the Just in Time desktop and it allows for a new virtual desktop to be created in seconds and thousands of virtual desktops to be created in a very short time. This is one of the best features of the Horizon 7 release and I believe that Horizon Administrators are going to love creating desktop pools using this new Instant Clone Technology.

For information on configuring the new Horizon Instant Clone technology see my blog here

Cloud Pod Architecture

The two main updates to Cloud Pod Architecture are Scale and Home Site improvements.

I have written two new blogs to cover these new updates you can find them below

Cloud Pod Architecture New Features

Update to How CPA Home Sites Work with Horizon 7

Smart Policies

The new Smart Policies are a way to have more granular control of what users can do when they connect to their virtual desktop or applications. With the first release of Smart Policies you will be able to manage these capabilities based on the following conditions

  • Horizon Conditions
    • View Client Info (IP & Name)
    • Endpoint location (Internal/External)
    • Tags
    • Desktop Pool name
  • Horizon Capabilities
    • Clipboard
    • Client Drive
    • USB
    • Printing
    • PCoIP bandwidth profiles

For more information on these Capabilities see my more detailed blog Here

It should be noted to use Smart Policies you will need Horizon 7 and User Environment Manager 9. You would also need the latest View Agent and Clients installed to take advantage of these new features. The other thing to note is that these policies only work with the PCoIP and BLAST Extreme protocols and not RDP.

Desktop Pool Deletion

The Desktop Pool Deletion feature is often a request from customers to make it possible to stop Administrators from deleting a desktop pool that currently has active desktops with in the pool. With Horizon 6.x and earlier it was possible that an administrator could accidentally delete the wrong desktop pool and all the VM’s with in that pool. This feature when enabled would stop that from happening.

To enable this feature follow the instructions in my blog Here

 

These are just some of the new features that have been released with Horizon 7. For a full list of the new features check out the release notes here.

I also posted this blog on VMware.com here

 

Configuring VMware Horizon Instant Clones

I have been testing VMware Horizon Instant Clones for some time now and several people have asked me how I configured instant clones as when they tried to test them either the instant clone option was grayed out or when instant clones is selected the next button is grayed out. The other issue I see is some people have issues deploying instant clones and they fail to deploy.

Below are all of the things to check when configuring View Instant Clones. One of these issues has fixed all of the question I have been asked over the last few week during testing.

Licensing

Make sure you have the correct VMware Horizon license, there is a new license that include the Instant Clone feature. If you do not have the correct license then the option will be grayed out.

View Storage Accelerator

One of the requirements for Instant Clones is to enable the View Storage Accelerator. Before you try and deploy a new Desktop pool using Instant Clones make sure you have configured the View Storage Accelorator on you vCenter server.

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Select the vCenter Server

If you have the View Storage Accelorator enabled and you select Instant Clones but the Next option is still grayed out make sure to select the vCenter itself.

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Configure Instant Clone Domain Admin

Make sure you configure the Instant Clone Domain Admin, this account will need to be able to add new computers to your Active Directory.

3

Horizon View 7 Agent

Make sure you install the new Horizon View 7 Agent on to the gold image. There are a couple of things here you need to know

  1. First if you want to use the gold image for View Instant Clones, then during the install of the View 7 agent you need to select this option
  2. If you do select the View instant clone during the install then you can not install the view composer option, it is one or the other
  3. Unlike with view composer with View Instant Clones it is the Agent its self that adds the VM to active directory and not a separate composer server. This make View Instant Clones much more light weight, no extra server or database is needed for View Instant Clones.

If you make sure you have checked all of these things, then I am sure that View Instant Clones will work and you will see just how fast this new option is when deploying desktops.

Final Note

One last thing to Note, you will see a number of new VM’s in your vCenter that relate to your newly deployed instance clone desktops. I have listed these below.

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cp-template-XXXXXXXXX This is the template VM that will be used to create your Instant Clones, this will be created from your Gold Image. This will be created on the destination storage or your desktops, but under storage you will also see that it is on the same storage as your gold image. You will also notice you can not edit this VM.

cp-replica-XXXXXXXXX this is the replica that is created for your VM parents. This is created from the cp-template and is placed on the destination storage.

cp-parent-XXXXXXXXX you will see one of these for each of the servers in your cluster, so in my case you see 6 as there are 6 ESXi servers in my cluster. These are all created on the destination storage and will be powered on, each ESXi server will have 1 of these cp-parents powered on and in memory ready to create a new desktop.

Horizon 7 Desktop Pool Deletion Feature

One of the great new features in VMware Horizon 7 is the ability to stop desktop administrators from accidentally deleting a desktop pool that is currently full of active desktops. Once this feature is enabled the administrator will have to delete all of the desktops before deleting the desktop pool.

In this blog I will document how to configure the Desktop Pool Deletion feature. Before you configure this setting you should be aware that this is a global setting and as such once enabled it will be enabled for all desktop and application pools.

Follow these steps to enable the Desktop Pool Deletion feature

  1. Upgrade all Connections Servers to Horizon 6.2
    1. Note that signed Certificates are required
  2. Start the ADSI Edit utility on the View Connection Server host.2015-09-07_10-17-37
  3. In the Connection Settings dialog box, select or connect to DC=vdi,DC=vmware,DC=int
  4. In the Computer pane, select or type localhost:3892015-09-07_10-26-55
  5. Double click on the object CN=Common, OU=Global, OU=Properties2015-09-07_10-29-59
  6. Edit the pae-NameValuePair attribute
  7. Add the value cs-disableNonEmptyPoolDelete=1
  8. Click Add and OK
  9. Now when you try and delete a pool you will see the following message3

 

VMware Horizon Smart Policies

With the release of VMware Horizon 7 and User Environment Manager 9 VMware has introduced Smart Policy’s to help administrators manage their Virtual environments better and improve what users can get access to and from where.

Smart Policys can be set on the following conditions

  • View Client Info (IP & Name)
  • Endpoint location (Internal/External)
  • Horizon Tags
  • Desktop Pool name

Below is a list of the smart policy that can be set and how they can be used by the Horizon administrators.

Clipboard

  • Enable
  • Disable
  • Allow Copy from Client to Agent
  • Allow Copy from Agent to Client

Client Drive

  • Disable
  • Allow All
  • Read Only

USB

  • Enable
  • Disable

Printing

  • Enable
  • Disable

PCoIP bandwidth profiles

  • High-Speed (20 Mbps)
  • LAN (10Mbps or Higher)
  • Dedicated WAN (5Mbps default)
  • Broadband WAN (2Mbps)
  • Low-Speed (1Mbps)
  • Extremely low-speed connections (up to 500Kbps)

The following table shows when to use the best bandwidth profile and for what use cases

Description BW(Mbps) typical network typical user
1 Best User Experience(workstation) 20 LAN M&E CAD/CAM
2 Best User Experience(VDI) 10 LAN – MAN Knowledge worker, video
3 Default Setting 5 WAN Task worker, light video
4 Optimal User Experience 2 WAN Office Apps
5 Prioritize Bandwidth 1 WAN Basic Apps only
6 Minimum Bandwidth 0.5 WAN Low Data Entry

The following table shows how the PCoIP profile is tuned based on the profile selected

GPO 1 2 3 4 5 6
Max Session BW (kbps) 9000 9000 9000 5000 2000 1000
Min Session BW (kbps) 100 100 100 100 100 100
Enable BTL 1 2 0 0 0 0
Max Initial Image Quality 100 90 80 70 70 70
Minimum Image Quality 50 50 40 40 30 30
Max FPS 60 30 30 20 15 5
Max Audio Bandwidth (kbps) 1600 1600 500 500 200 90
Image Quality performance. 50 50 50 50 25 0

 

To take advantage of these new Smart Policy you will need to use Horizon 7 and User Environment Manager 9 and have the latest Horizon Agents and Clients installed. It should also be noted that these policy only work with the PCoIP and BLAST Extreme protocols and not RDP.

For information on more new feature released with Horizon 7 see the following blog

VMware Horizon 7 New Features