This is the introductory post to the Horizon 6 Suite blog series that I am currently working on. The blog series will focus mainly on View, vCOPs, and Workspace. I wanted to create this series of posts to show what’s new in Horizon 6, but also help people build their own labs so that can they learn the new stuff.
So what’s new and improved with Horizon 6?
- Cloud Pod Architecture
- RDSH Hosted Apps
- VSAN integration
- vCenter Operations Manager for View
- Horizon Mirage
Blog Series Articles:
- Introduction – Deploying Horizon 6 (with View) – What’s New?
- Part 1 – Deploying Horizon 6 (with View) – Connection Server
- Part 2 – Deploying Horizon 6 (with View) – Replica Server
- Part 3 – Deploying Horizon 6 (with View) – Composer Server
Cloud Pod Architecture:
The underlining Architecture of Horizon 6, Cloud Pod Architecture allows us to build Highly Available and Scale Out View Deployment across multiple datacenters.
- Support for Disaster Recovery (DR)
- Provides a Single Point of Management of All Horizon View Datacenters
- Load Balancing across multiple datacenters
- Support for Scale-out Deployment
- Support for more than 10,000 connections (was previously limited to 10,000)
- Dedicated protocol designed for communication over WAN connections
RDSH Hosted Apps:
With Horizon 6, VMware introduced a new feature, which quite frankly, I am very happy to see, RDSH for Hosted Apps! So what does this mean? By leveraging Microsoft RDS feature, we can publish applications independently of the View Desktop. Previously, using Horizon View 5.x 4.x, the administrator was only able to publish the applications inside a virtual desktop, this meant that if a user wanted to use a specific application, they would need to first connect to their virtual desktop and then launch the application. This imposed a an issue with licensing, which would require the administrator to use a virtual desktop license, aside from the application license. As you can imagine, cost wise, this wasn’t the best approach.
Realizing that most customers already purchase RDS CALs, VMware decided to integrate RDS with View to allow the administrators to publish applications independently of the view desktop. This functionality alone, gives the Horizon 6 offering a competitive edge.
VSAN integration was introduced in an earlier release of VMware View, that is VMware View 5.3. For those that are not familiar with VMware VSAN (and you should be!!), VSAN is a Virtual SAN that allows the use of local disks (both magnetic and flash) to provide a converged infrastructure (think SDS) where I/O intensive applications such as View can reside and not require a dedicated SAN. This ideally should help with reduction of costs when sizing storage for View and also reduce the complexity that goes along with Storage design. For anyone that deployed Horizon View in large environments, I am sure you’ve experienced the complex calculations that go into storage sizing. In fact, storage is probably the most important aspect of View Architecture, which means that there’s very little room for error!
vRealize Operations (formerly vCenter Operations Management Suite) for View:
If you’ve worked with VMware vSphere, you’ve probably heard of vCenter Operations Manager. This is a tool that allows us to monitor the entire vSphere infrastructure environment (Physical and Virtual). In reality, vCOPs works by detecting new or existing issues and reports key information to the administrator, the administrator is then able to address the issue quickly and efficiently. Another very interesting aspect of vCOPs is the ability to aid the administrator to be proactive and detect issues before they happen. We will cover a lot more in a later post!
vROM comes in a few editions, each edition has it’s own set of features:
Just like vROM monitors the vSphere environment, through an integration module, we can also monitor the View environment. Personally, if you’re going to be implementing View, this tool should be automatically considered as part of the package. It has so many benefits and can save the administrators a lot of time and headaches! We will cover the View integration piece in another post.
Workspace is a way for an end user to access their entitlements (Desktops/Apps) either through their desktops or mobile devices by connecting to a portal. We’ll cover Horizon Workspace in more detail in another post. But for now, just know that you can use Workspace Portal as a way to provide your users access to both Applications and Desktops in one location. Another interesting aspect of Workspace, is that you can present XenApp and Office 365 apps to the users. However when opening apps that are published through XenApp, the users will still need to have the Citrix Receiver deployed on their workstations, just using View Client alone is not enough.
This is another interesting offering from VMware. The focus of this blog series is the Horizon Suite, meaning we’re not only focusing on virtual desktops, but also on products that help us manage those virtual desktops. But what if I told you that Horizon Suite, is not just about virtual desktops, but it’s more about the End-User Computing infrastructure. Then the question you might have is, what about my physical desktops? How do I manage using Horizon Suite? the answer to that question, is Horizon Mirage. Mirage allows us to centrally manage the physical endpoints. These physical endpoints could be Laptops, Desktops, Macs, and Linux based machines. However, Mirage is not limited to physical endpoints, Mirage is also capable of managing virtual desktops. I’ve always said this, it’s very difficult to find one solution that fits all.. But I believe that Horizon 6 Suite, does a great job of managing the entire EUC stack!
This should be it for now… We’ll cover these technologies in more detail as the series progresses!
Stay tuned for more!