VMware releases Horizon View Feature Pack 2

As VMware is working hard to continue the improvements in their End User Computing (EUC) products, they have released the second feature pack for View. This pack brings some enhancements and new features. Lets hope there is some even better news coming at VMworld this year.

VMware Horizon View 5.2 Feature Pack 2 includes the following new features:

  • Flash URL Redirection – Customers can now use Adobe Media Server and multicast to deliver live video events in a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environment. To deliver multicast live video streams within a VDI environment, the media stream should be sent directly from the media source to the endpoints, bypassing the virtual desktops. The Flash URL Redirection feature supports this capability by intercepting and redirecting the ShockWave Flash (SWF) file from the virtual desktop to the client endpoint.
  • Real-Time Audio-Video – Real-Time Audio-Video allows Horizon View users to run Skype, Webex, Google Hangouts, and other online conferencing applications on their virtual desktops. With Real-Time Audio-Video, webcam and audio devices that are connected locally to the client system are redirected to the remote desktop. This feature redirects video and audio data to the desktop with a significantly lower bandwidth than can be achieved by using USB redirection. Real-Time Audio-Video is compatible with standard conferencing applications and supports standard webcams, audio USB devices, and analog audio input.
  • Unity Touch improvements – You can now add a favorite application or file from a list of search results, and you can now use the Unity Touch sidebar to minimize a running application’s window. Requires users to connect to their desktops from VMware Horizon View Client for iOS 2.1 or later, or VMware Horizon View Client for Android 2.1 or later.

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About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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How to create a VM in VMware vCHS – vCloud Hybrid Service

I will now take you through the process of deploying a new VM from the global catalog in vCHS. This process is very much like it was in vCloud Director if you have done that before. But the new portal in vCHS makes the process a bit easier to understand for a common user.

The first step in the process is we must choose which Virtual Datacenter we want to deploy the VM into. The image below shows the options available, giving me the four available Datacenters that my account has access to.

new-vm1

Step 1

 

Next up is to select which selection we want to deploy from the VMware Catalog. This is the global catalog that VMware publishes for vCHS users. This catalog will have a small number of operating system images that will be kept up to date with patches. To keep things simple lets choose a 32 Bit CentOS 6.4 VM to deploy.

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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Book Review – VCDX Boot Camp from VMware Press

VCDX-Bootcamp If you working on your VCDX design or thinking about taking a shot at it, you will want to consider reading VCDX Boot Camp from VMware Press. This is a short focused book that gives to a little bit of a look at the process leading up to and on the day of your design defense.

The whole VCDX certification and process is still a bit of a mystery to many. VMware has been working harder lately to promote the VCDX certification and have additional opportunities for candidates to attempt the defense process. In the past there were only a few blog posts and limited details in the VMware forums about the program. This has grown over the last year as more people have earned the VCDX cert.

VMware has been holding VCDX sessions and mock defenses at VMworld, PEX, VMUGs and even one online via the vBrownBag podcast. These sessions are hosted by several VCDXs from VMware that look to educate the community on the process and increase their chances to passing. This does not mean they are going to teach you how to architect VMware solutions or tell you exactly what you need to know. They are there to help you understand the outline of the defense process and provide some guidance on the design submission process.

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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Swing and a miss my first VCDX defense failure

I was not sure if I would write up anything about failing to pass my first VCDX defense panel, but since you don’t hear much about misses. I wanted to let people know that it happens more than you think. Anyway these are some of the things that I encountered in my journey.

Location:

In effort to not waste any opportunities I applied and was accepted to defend my panel in Sydney. I did not want to waste any opportunities since there are a limited number of chances each year to defend your VCDX. This is a major goal for me in my job and a personal one to achieve VCDX certification. So I wanted to allow myself another opportunity this year in case I did not pass on this attempt.

Since I live in the US the travel to Sydney would take up a lot of time. It was 20+ hours of travel each way and a 15 hour time difference. I found that this did add extra stress to the already stressful process and I would definitely need to look at the options before making the same decision. I do not travel much and never internationally so many things were new and added to the anxiety that I was already feeling about standing in front of VMware experts to explain my decisions.

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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My VMware Horizon Suite presentation from Chicago VMUG June 2013

On June 5, 2013 I was lucky enough to be able to present a session at the Chicago VMUG meeting. There was a very good turn out for the meeting. Around 180 users registered and around 100 people in the room for the presentations. I was asked to present a session on VMware Horizon Suite, the End User Computing (EUC) offering that is getting a ton of press from VMware and media. This is right up my alley as I work as an Architect for a Ahead VMware partner in Chicago and Horizon is on fire as of late. There have been a large number of requests for briefings and consulting services in this space since Horizon was announced.

During the session I focused on the separate parts that make up the Horizon Suite and what was new with each of the products. Since most people are pretty familiar with at least the base functions of View the sessions mostly covered what cool things View 5.2 brings to the table. The Mirage and Workspace parts of the presentation focused more on educating people in whole about the products since these are either new products or not widely understood by most customers. The session prompted some great questions from the audience which is always a good sign that people are listening and interested.

Later in the day myself, Chris Wahl, Eric Shanks and Nimble storage sat on a panel that took open questions from the audience. During this session there was a large amount of interest in the Horizon Suite which lead to more great questions from the attendees. Overall the VMUG meeting was a great day and I enjoy helping the the Chicago VMUG and when available its always fun to present a session.

You can view my presentation from the session by grabbing a PDF version from here.

If you want to learn more about the Chicago VMUG or find out about meetings or connect with the leaders visit the Chicago VMUG Blog.

 

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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Things VMware Horizon Suite needs to improve on and you should be aware of

After working with VMware Horizon Suite for the past couple of months I have found a number of items that I was kind of surprised or bummed to find out. So I am putting together a list of things that people should be aware of and a few things that I hope get updated in the next release.

Also I would like to offer help on future releases with shaking out some of these issues. Myself and teammates have seen a bunch of installs in EUC space and can offer some great feedback. I have participated in many VMware Beta programs, but I think by the Beta stage they are only going to fix major issues. Some of these items make me thing that some of these teams don’t work with end users much.

Things to be aware of:

  1. App viability in workspace port. The workspace portal looks at the device your are using and will present apps that your device is capable of running. This makes sense, so it won’t show mobile apps to my Macbook and won’t show it ThinApps either. Now the confusing part is if I’m on a Windows desktop and look at the Workspace portal to view my applications, it will not show me the ThinApps assigned to me unless I have the workspace agent installed. So if I want to look from my laptop rather than my View desktop it looks like I have no apps assigned. While I can see that they are probably not showing them since I wont be able to launch them. But it does confuse users.
  2. When looking at the desktop pools you are entitled to in workspace the default behavior when clicking on a pool is to launch the desktop via the Blast protocol. To get the option to connect with PCoIP and a better user experience the user must right click the pool icon and choose connect with View client. This is not clear to users and they are just going to connect using Blast and this will cause support requests. The behavior should be reversed or prompt people to choose when clicking on the pool.
  3. Once you fully link Workspace and View with SAML you loose the ability to open the View client and connect directly to a desktop. You must authenticate with workspace and then open desktop from there. This one is more of a heads up, but I kind of expected to still be able to open the View client directly and that it would authenticate with workspace or view directly.

Things to improve on:

  1. There is almost no documentation on setting up workspace SSO with SaaS based applications. I know the product is pretty new and the community has not had time to generate the helpful content that many have grown to rely on. But it would be helpful if VMware would have generated guides on how to setup all or some of the SaaS apps that are in the supported list. (Update) You can find some of this information if you go back to the Horizon Application Manager 1.5 documentation for the previous product.
  2. The process to replace the default security certificates for the vApp is not documented. When replacing them so that we were not using the default certs, one of the team members had to rely on past experiences and had to dig through old 2011 forum posts to find the password to the keystore in the appliance to get the cert loaded. This is something that is increasingly important due to all the web based consoles on VMware products.

Overall I am very impressed with the Horizon suite of products from VMware. I think having them in a suite for licensing and integration is great and hope they continue to improve them quickly. I do have high expectations for VMware and get disappointed when things do not live up to them.

 

 

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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