My Top 3 Features In The Horizon 7.1 Release

vmware_horizon_viewThis week VMware released a major update to Horizon (View).

I’ve been using Horizon 7.1 for a few weeks and I wanted to share my Top 3 features with you. They are in no particular order.

1. VMware Horizon Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business (Beta)

This is something I’ve been waiting for, for a long time. With the Horizon Desktop I use internally in VMware, this is the only thing that has been stopping me from going ‘all in’ 100% VDI. Until now, I’ve been making my Skype for Business calls via the client which is installed on my laptop. Now I can finally move everything inside the virtual desktop, including my voice and video calls.

Making Audio/Video calls in a virtual desktop has a long history of pain which goes back to my early days here at VMware. If you were to install the Skype For Business client into a virtual desktop environment and use it as if it was installed on your local PC/Laptop, you encounter an issue which we term ‘Media hairpinning’. What happens here is, all of your Audio/Video traffic gets streamed via the virtual desktop infrastructure, rather than going point-to-point or ‘end user’ to ‘end user’. For example, we might have two users on the West coast of the US. Their Horizon environment is located on the East coast. When they Skype called each other, User A’s  Audio/Video would travel from their end point on the West coast, to their virtual desktop on the East coast, to User B’s virtual desktop on the East coast and then to User B’s end point on the West coast. (See below)

media hairpinning

The distance that the traffic has to travel can cause Audio/Video performance to be really poor. What we ideally want is for the Audio/Voice traffic to got direct, from User A to User B, point-to-point.

No media hairpinning

And this is essentially what the VMware Horizon Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business does for us.

As mentioned above, this feature is currently in Beta. Do not let that deter you, I’ve been using it for a little while and it seems to be functioning really well. When testing it with my colleagues, they are unable to tell if I am calling from my laptop or within my Horizon desktop. From the end user perspective, there are a few things that I’ve noticed which have slightly different behavior from the native client. For example, my mute button on my headphone lead no longer mutes me in the client and when someone is talking in a group chat the little window which usually shows the profile photo of who is talking doesn’t seem to update. Honestly, this isn’t a problem for me.

If you use Skype For Business within your company, I highly recommend that you test it out even whilst it is in Beta. The requirements are very basic and configuration is very straight forward unlike the old LyncVDI Plugin.

You can read more about it here: https://blogs.vmware.com/euc/2017/03/vmware-horizon-virtualization-pack-skype-for-business-beta.html and download the software and documentation here: https://communities.vmware.com/community/vmtn/beta/horizon-skype4business-beta/overview

Read the rest of this entry »

PCoIP Log Viewer Now Supports VMware Horizon View 5.2 Log Files

PCoIP Log Viewer Update for Horizon View 5.2Great news PCoIP users, Chuck Hirstius (@rexremus) has finally got around to updating his invaluable PCoIP Log Viewer to support Horizon View 5.2 PCoIP log files. The PCoIP Log Viewer is extremely useful when working with Horizon View environments that are using PCoIP. Whether you are trying to troubleshoot a PCoIP issue or trying to workout PCoIP bandwidth consumption.

For those of you who haven’t use the tool before, I’d recommend checking out my PCoIP Troubleshooting section.

 

Changes

  • Now supports VMware Horizon View 5.2 PCoIP log files
  • The Parser Command-line utility has been integrated into the Viewer. So no need to Parse the logs into XML first.

NOTE: The new version of the PCoIP Log Viewer will only parse Horizon View 5.2 PCoIP log directly in the Viewer. For PCoIP logs from older versions of Horizon View, you’ll still need the Parser.

Although there isn’t a lot of changes on the front end, Chuck has made some substantial changes on the back-end of this tool. You can read more about the changes he has made in his latest post: PCoIP Log Viewer Updated for View 5.2

Downloads

If you already have the PCoIPLogViewer.jnlp Webstart you will automatically get updated to the latest version.

If you do have it, you can download it from the mindfluxinc.net website.

Netapp’s VMware Horizon View 5 Solutions Guide

Netapp

I just heard that this document was released and just wanted to bring it to your attention. VMware Horizon View 5 Solutions Guide

 

This solution guide outlines VMware View 5 on NetApp storage. The guide covers pool design, cloning choices, and guest optimization, as well as end-user data layout. New technologies that are available in View 5.1, such as View Storage Accelerator, are also covered. This solution guide explains the different design choices and why each choice affects the outcome of the virtual desktop deployment.

So if you're are working on a Horizon View project using Netapp storage, I'd highly recommend you read this first to make sure you are following all of the recommended guidelines

The document is available for download here: http://www.netapp.com/us/media/tr-4181.pdf

Why Can’t I Have A Stretched VMware Horizon View Cluster?

For those of you who are involved in the architecture of Horizon View environments, I'm sure you this is a question you've always asked, but may have only ever got the response of "VMware doesn't support that design". Why doesn't VMware support this design? It works….most of the time?

During my time at VMware I've heard many different reasons as to why VMware does not support this design. Finally I have an accurate reason and wanted to share it with you.

What is a stretched VMware Horizon View cluster?

For those of who are asking yourselves, "What is a stretched VMware Horizon View cluster?", I'll set the scene a little. A stretched Horizon View cluster is when a single View Pod (cluster of View Connection Severs), spans more than one physical location connected by WAN / MAN / MLAN and NOT by a LAN.

An example of a stretched Horizon View Cluster:

Stretched Horizon View Cluster

After an internal discussion around this subject, a colleague and good friend of mine Mike Barnett, who used to be an Escalation Engineer in VMware's GSS (Global Support Services) set the record straight for us. 

So I've decide to adapt his explanation and share it with you.  Read the rest of this entry »

VMware Horizon View: New Technical White Papers

Technical White PapersOver the past few week or so VMware has release some really useful technical white papers focused around VMware Horizon View. I just wanted to bring these to your attention in case you messed the announcements.

If you have an Horizon View environment, I would highly recommend you give these papers a read to ensure you are following all of the VMware's latest "Best Practices" that are appropriate for your environment.

My First Published Technical White Paper

Virtual Machine Graphics Acceleration Deployment GuideToday my first official technical white paper got released on VMware.com – titled, Virtual Machine Graphics Acceleration Deployment Guide. It's been a long time coming. It was one of those papers where I could keep adding and adding to it.

The paper talks about the following topics:

  • Why 3D Matters for VMware Horizon View
  • Understanding the Differences Between Soft 3D/SVGA, vDGA and vSGA
  • Prerequisites
  • Application Requirements and Use Cases
  • vSGA Installation
  • vDGA Installation (Tech Preview)
  • VMware Horizon View Pool Configuration for vSGA
  • Performance Tuning Tips
  • Resource Monitoring
  • Troubleshooting

Hopefully it should cover everything you need to enable your Horizon View desktops for 3D rendering.

There are a number of other VMware Horizon View: New Technical White Papers that have been released recently that are well worth a read. Check.Them.Out

How Can I Run Multiple VMware Horizon View Clients At Once?

Horizon View ClientSomething I get asked regularly is, "How Can I Run Multiple VMware Horizon View Clients At Once?", so I thought I'd just put a quick post out in the hope that in the future people will come across this post before having to ask. Quite often users would like to have multiple View sessions open at once on the screen or across screens. By default the Horizon View client only allows you to see a single View session at any one time. You can swap between multiple sessions, but you will still only be able to see a single session at any one time. This is how you can run multiple VMware Horizon View clients at once.  Read the rest of this entry »

VMware Horizon View 5.2: Network Ports (External Design)

Following on from yesterdays VMware Horizon View 5.2: Network Ports (Internal Design) post, I present to you my second Horizon View 5.2 Networking Port diagram. This diagram is of an External Horizon View 5.2 design and includes Security Servers and all of the ports required for both the internal and external firewalls. I hope you find these digrams useful. Read the rest of this entry »

VMware Horizon View 5.2: Network Ports (Internal Design)

I've been doing some work internally at VMware which I thought could be useful to the wider public, so I've decided to share this with you.

I've put together a couple of detailed diagrams that display the networking port requirements and directional traffic flow to the various component that make up an Horizon View 5.2 environment. Some of the diagram's I've seen documented in the past don't always show everything that is required and customers can often encounter issues when important information is missing.

I've decided to split these diagrams out into to separate posts. Here is the internal design Horizon View design. 

VMware Horizon View 5.2 Network Port Requirements (Internal Design)

View 5.2 Networking Ports (Internal Design)

VMware Horizon View: vSGA VIB’s and HCL Released

nvidia logo smallAs part of the VMware Horizon View 5.2 release a few weeks ago, VMware introduced a new technology feature called vSGA (Virtual Shared Graphics Acceleration). To find out more about this technology, checkout my VMware View 3D Gaming Experience post.

Two of the common questions I've been asked many times since the release of Horizon View 5.2 are:

  • What NVIDIA GPU Cards are supported with vSGA?
  • Where can I download the vSphere drivers (VIB's) for vSGA?

Up until now, I've not been able to give a good answer as the release of the VIB's and a list of supported GPU cards are being provided by NVIDIA and not by VMware.

But today both of these questions are answered. (Hurray!).

NVIDIA state the following GPU's are supported with the released VIB:

  • Quadro series: 6000, 5000, 4000
  • M-Class Processors: Tesla M2070-Q
  • GRID Series: GRID K2, GRID K1
 
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