A New Era into EUC – What’s New in Horizon 7

Today VMware has announced exciting news on the release of Horizon 7!
In this release of Horizon 7 they made great changes in architecture as well as under the hood.
This blog will guide you through the changes and the great new features.

Architecture
For Horizon 7 VMware extended the capabilities of facilitating desktops and applications by releasing the following two products:
• VMware Horizon Air Cloud-hosted
• VMware Horizon Air Hybrid

With Horizon Air Cloud-hosted architecture you can now deliver desktops and applications directly from the cloud. With this architecture you can easily connect your on-premises AD with Horizon Air to maintain access and security management. Another great feature about this is that you can chose the specific desktop, for any user workload from an easy to use GUI.

A lot of people often raise the question that they want to add temporarily extra VDI resources. With the on-premises install you must buy or rent extra hardware to facilitate these needs. Now with Horizon Air Hybride you can simply add extra resources to your Horizon infrastructure from the cloud. With this hybride infrastructure, you can also create a Horizon DR location in the cloud, so that you are prepared for any kind of failure.

Scalability
With every new version from Horizon that is launched, they raise the maximum numbers to new heights. For Horizon 7 they now support a Cloud Pod which scales up to 50.000 session across up to 10 sites, with 25 Pods of infrastructure.

Just in Time Delivery of Desktops
Horizon 7 comes with a new technique cold “Instant Cloning”. With this new technology it is possible to “hot-clone” virtual machines. How does this process work? The running parent VM is quiesced, when hot-clone comes into action, and rapidly leverages the same disk and memory of this VM.
Because the parent VM is in a running-state there is no boot-storm and additional configuration during the boot is not necessary.

One of the questions that I get a lot is, how to keep my Windows desktops up-to date. Now with hot-cloning this isn`t an issue anymore. The parent VM is always running and patches witch are applied to this VM will also be included in the new desktops.

For more information about Instant Cloning (Project Fargo) I refer to a great blog written by my colleague Johan van Amersfoort. https://itq.nl/project-fargo-and-app-volumes-hans-klok-meets-euc/

Blast Extreme
We already know the Blast protocol who introduced us into HTML5 access for Horizon View.
But now, his big brother Blast Extreme kicks in with great new features. Blast Extreme uses the H.264 display technology which is optimized for the widest array of devices. With this new built-in protocol the following advantages are realized:
• 3D functionality vGPU support for Nvidia Gird cards
• Longer battery life on mobile devices by lowering CPU consumption
• Less network bandwidth consumption
• Leverage both TCP or UDP transport capabilities
• Support for unified communications
• Adapts better to lossy networks, build for the Cloud

Access Points
Access Point (formerly known as Security Servers) is the unified security solution, which is placed as a front-end server for all Horizon products. From a security perspective this server has become (also in Horizon 6) a hardened Linux appliance which can be easily deployed and scaled-out.

In the former versions of the Access Points it was necessary to pair a Access Point to a Connection Server. In this setup the authentication level and methods where attached to the Connection Server.
In the new Access Points the following authentication methods can now be handled natively in-skin, within the appliance:
• Radius
• RSA SecurID
• SmartCard

Smart Policies
With Smart Policies Horizon 7 introduced a robust suite of security an policy focused capabilities, which can help customers to improve their security posture. The security management of the older Horizon (View) versions was based on user groups or desktop pools. With the introduction of Smart Policies they introduced Policy-Managed Client Features. With policy based access it is now possible to attach security to roles which will be distributed to users. The policies can be based on location, unsecure login or evenly user based.

For example users who login from a unsecure network, cannot use their USB-devices.
With Smart Policies the security can be centrally managed, IT is finally back in control!

Other Horizon 7 improvements
The following improvements are implemented into Horizon 7.
• AMD GPU Support with vDGA
• Intel vDGA graphics support in Intel Xeon E3
• Flash redirection to the end-point
• URL content redirection to the end-point
• Horizon Clients are updated for all Operating Systems
• Horizon Certifications are meeting requirements of FIPS 140-2

Joey Ketels

Author Joey Ketels

When I started my IT career in 2006 there was much going on in the infrastructure landscape. The “old” legacy environments could be changed with “new”, more efficient virtualized infrastructures. This was a real eye opener and convinced me to step on the (VMware) train. I got to work and gained knowledge on these products. Throughout the years, I’ve been able to build up experience by participating in highly varied projects for small and large scale environments. I have a wide focus area on VMware products with a speciality in End User Computing. My primary objective is to get happy customers while providing high quality standards.

More posts by Joey Ketels
9 February 2016

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