VMware Horizon 6.2 Top New Features for Hosted Applications

This week at VMworld VMware announced the latest version of Horizon, 6.2, with this release comes a number of new features. Here are 3 new features that were added I feel will make a big difference when deploying hosted applications.

View Composer for RDSH Servers

The View Composer has been around for a number of years now with great effect when deploying linked clone desktops. Well now this technology is  available for RDS hosts. Using the composer to deploy your RDS host will give you the following benefits

  • Automated built out of RDS server farms
  • Faster deployment of RDS Hosts using the View Composer technology
  • Storage savings due to the sharing of the base OS disk by the RDSH clones in a farm

Load Balancing RDSH Pools based on Usage

New load balancing enhancements have been added to make sure the users are being assigned to the best available RDS Hosts in the application farm. The load balancing can be configured to utilize either CPU utilization or Memory utilization. Horizon View administrators will able to configure the Application Farms to utilize either the CPU or Memory option depending on the applications in the Farm.

Cloud Pod Architecture support for RDS Applications

Hosted applications are now supported using Cloud Pod Architecture (CPA), this will greatly help when deploying large scale Horizon deployments and across multiple sites.

CPA hosted applications will also support HTML Blast access giving users the options to access there application through there web browser.

These are just a few of the new features of Horizon 6.2, other new features include. One way AD Trusts, FIPS/CC support, 4K Monitor Support and Streamline Pool Creation to name a few.

For more information go and check out the Horizon page on VMware.com Here

Is ThinApp Dead?

Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 8.48.52 AMNow that VMware App Volumes is live and a number of customers have deployed App Volumes or are thinking of deploying App Volumes, one of the questions that I constantly get asked is, “is ThinApp Dead?” Or “is App Volumes replacing ThinApp?”

Well I want to say this once and for all that ThinApp is not dead and App Volumes is not replacing ThinApp.

ThinApp still has a purpose in the EUC stack and is still the leader in Application Virtualization. In fact, App Volumes and ThinApp can work together happily and App Volumes is a great tool for delivering ThinApped applications to the End User.

App Volumes makes it very easy to deliver your ThinApp application quickly and instantly to your End Users.

Another use case for App Volumes and ThinApp is to deliver your ThinApped applications to RDSH servers so that you can stream your ThinApped applications to your End User devices such as iOS and Android devices. This can even improve your XenApp environment.

App Volumes and ThinApp working together make it very easy to quickly spin up a RDSH host and publish applications through VMware Horizon View or through Citrix XenApp.

I hope that this quick post puts the question to bed for the foreseeable future.

As a ThinApp fan I am happy that there is still life in this great solution!!!

EUC Professional Services Engineering (PSE) and VMworld

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 11.21.56 AM

VMworld in San Francisco is approaching very quickly. It’s a must-attend event for VMware customers, but there is a lot to take in, so I thought I would take a few minutes to highlight some key activities led by my team of End User Computing (EUC) consultants and architects that you won’t want to miss.

Our organization is called Professional Services Engineering (PSE) and is part of the Global Technical and Professional Services Organization. As VMware’s EUC subject matter experts, our team works with some of our largest EUC customers worldwide.

You can read the rest of my post and find out what I will be doing on VMware.com. Click Here

Adding a Second Connector to VMware Workspace

Recently I was asked by a customer if it was possible to add an untrusted Domain to their current VMware Workspace deployment to easily manage access to applications that are currently being managed by Workspace.

Workspace does give you the option to add a non trusted Active Directory Domain by adding a second connector to that domain as an Identity Provider.

The following figure shows the high level architecture of both a Multi-Forest Domain and separate Active Directory Domain utilizing VMware Workspace.

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The following steps document how to add a second connector to your VMware Workspace environment.

Before Installing a Second Connector

The following is required before you configure a second connector for Workspace

  1. Workspace is currently up and running in your environment
  2. Create a IP address in DNS for the second connector and make sure its using reverse lookup.

Procedure for Adding a Second Connector

  1. Within vCenter Deploy a new OVF Template
  2. Browse to the OVF file and click Next
  3. Confirm the OVF Details and click Next
  4. Accept the License Agreement and click Next
  5. Enter the Name of the connector and select the correct location with in vCenter and click Next
  6. Select the Cluster and click Next
  7. Select the Resource Pool and click Next
  8. Select the Storage and click Next
  9. Select the Disk Format and click Next
  10. Select the Network and click Next
  11. On this screen it is important to select Connector Only Install, enter the Network Properties and click Next

2

  1. Confirm everything is correct, select Power on after deployment and click Finish
  2. While the OVF is installing connect to the Admin portal of the original Workspace deployment
  3. Click on Settings, Identity Providers and Add Identity Provider

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  1. Add the fully qualified domain name of the second connector and click Save

4

  1. Copy the Activation Code as you will need this during the configuration of the second connector
  2. In a second web browser connect to the second connector
  3. On the Getting Started Page click Continue
  4. Configure the passwords and click Continue
  5. Paste the Activation Code and click Continue

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NOTE: If you are using self signed certificates then you will need to copy the root certificate from the first Workspace Appliance and paste it in the Root Certificate box that will show up

  1. Configure the new Active Directory and click Continue
  2. Configure the User Attributes and click Continue
  3. Select the users and click Continue
  4. Select the AD groups and click Continue
  5. Confirm everything is correct and click Push to Workspace
  6. Click Finish

App Volumes AppStacks vs Writable Volumes

With the release of VMware App Volumes I wanted to take the time to explain the differences between AppStacks and Writable Volumes and how the two will need to be design as you start to deploy App Volumes

With App Volumes the way that you manage your Windows desktops is changing and App Volumes will help manage these changes. The graphic below shows the traditional way of managing a Windows Desktop and the way to manage a desktop with App Volumes and the introduction of “Just in Time Apps”

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So what are the differences between AppStacks and Writable volumes?

AppStacks

For the full blog please see my post on VMware.com http://blogs.vmware.com/consulting/2014/12/app-volumes-appstacks-vs-writable-volumes.html

Horizon View: RDS PCoIP Design Tips

With the release of VMware Horizon View has come the ability to not only configure virtual desktops but also virtual applications hosted on Windows RDS servers.

In this post, I will cover a couple of things that you should take in to consideration when configuring virtual applications and how they might affect the sizing of your View Cluster and the number of connection servers you will need.

There many different papers and posts on how to configure RDS servers themselves, so I will not be touching on that in this post. I want to discuss the effects of how the PCoIP connections connect to RDS servers and what you should look out for.

For the full blog please see my post on VMware.com  http://blogs.vmware.com/consulting/2014/06/horizon-view-rds-pcoip-design-tips.html