VMware Horizon 7.2 is released and it’s awesome!

Today VMware released the newest version of the Horizon Suite, version 7.2 And although the previous releases contained great new features, this is one that I am really excited about. VMware added some great new features to existing functionality and better yet, added a complete new feature called Helpdesk which makes me really enthusiastic.

Let me first give you an overview of all the new features before digging into Helpdesk.

Instant clone

  • Reuse pre-existing AD account for Instant Clone pool – if an existing AD computer account name matches the Instant Clone machine name, then re-use computer account name.
  • SVGA settings for Instant Clone pools – allows admin to specify video memory settings in master VM and pools to inherit those settings. Things like memory, number of monitors and resolution can be adjusted.
  • Local storage support – admin can create an Instant Clone pool using local datastores.  Does not include HCI such as vSAN, which was already supported.

Scalability

  • Cloud Pod Architecture – CPA now supports 12 Pods which can be spread across 5 sites. These 12 Pods can accommodate a maximum supported number of 120.000(!) sessions.
  • vCenter – 1 single vCenter instance can support a maximum of 4.000 desktops (unregarded the type of pool, so InstantClone, Linked Clone and Full Clone).

Skype for Business

  • As part of the Horizon 7.2 release, Horizon® Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business will be released for Windows clients and fully supported in production environments. Linux clients wil also be able to run the Horizon® Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business, but only in private beta.

    This is an overview of the Skype for Business architecture
  • Supported Skype functionality:
    • Point to Point audio and video calls
    • PSTN call via dial-pad
    • Call-transfer
    • Call-forward
    • Call-hold
    • Call-resume
    • HID commands
    • Calls to PSTN through mediation server
    • Calls through Edge Server
    • Music on hold
    • Voicemail integration

Blast Extreme Protocol

  • Blast Extreme Networking has been enhanced to leverage SHA-256 encryption
  • Blast Secure Gateway now supports FIPS libraries as part of UAG 3.
The Blast protocol has evolved over the years.

 

 

Client updates

  • Windows 4.5 client updates
    • We have a completely rewritten client installer, with a beautiful UI. The new installer includes .net and both the 32 and 64 bit versions of the clients for a total size of 220 MB.
    • Allows install of 32bit components on 64 bit client as an installer option
    • Skype for business support
    • Horizon 7 and vIDM contextual policy enforcement
    • Extending login in as current user to support wake from sleep
    • Windows 10 creators update support
    • Scrolling wheel pad support on Panasonic laptops
  • Mac 4.5 client updates
    • Support for session pre-launch and linger for remote applications
    • Horizon 7 and vIDM contextual policy enforcement
    • DPI sync support
    • Aero Peek support
  • Linux 4.5 client updates
    • Skype for business support – Beta release
    • DPI sync support
  • iOS 4.5 client updates
    • DPI sync support
  • Android 4.5 client updates
    • Support for Samsung DeX mode
    • Horizon 7 and vIDM contextual policy enforcement
    • High Quality mode to obtain best display quality (DPI sync)
    • Unauthenticated access to remote applications
    • Improved audio with VMware Blast Extreme
  • Chrome 4.5 client updates
    • Support for multiple monitors (2 monitors)
    • Helper extension to support default Server URL configuration
    • Unauthenticated access to remote applications
    • Improved audio with VMware Blast Extreme
  • HTML Access 4.5
    • Horizon 7 and vIDM contextual policy enforcement
    • Unauthenticated access to remote applications
    • Multiple monitor support
    • DPI sync support
    • Skip initial portal screen to go directly to launcher
  • Windows 10 4.5 UWP client updates
    • Windows 10 creators update support
    • Windows Hello authentication support
    • Copy and paste support
    • Xbox One support

Horizon 7 HelpDesk Tool

The moment you all have been waiting for… As most of you know, one of the key things of successfully deploying a VDI solution is to design, deploy and monitor your User Experience. Like I explained in these blog posts, this is possible by using vRealize Operations for View. Unfortunately, the information shown in vROps has a refresh lag of approximately a minute. And so it might be difficult to troubleshoot in realtime. Also, vROps has no integration for the logon monitor fling, and logon processes form a lot of challenges.

With no further ado……. VMware released the Horizon 7 Helpdesk Tool. A web-based solution that comes with the Horizon Apps Advanced or Horizon Enterprise (and higher) license. The Horizon 7 Helpdesk Tool gives the admin a realtime overview (5 second lag) of the User Experience of a session (with 15 minutes look back). Both VDI sessions and RDSH sessions are included. Things like CPU, Mem, Latency, TX bandwidth, Packet Loss (PCoIP), Protocol, Session start time and duration, logon breakdown are included in the solution and can be requested on a near-realtime basis.

Horizon 7 Helpdesk
Use this interface to find specific users.

 

 

As soon as you have found a user, you can check all kinds of metrics.

Horizon Helpdesk
As soon as you found a user, the sessions can be selected.

By selecting a session, multiple metrics can be viewed.

Helpdesk
The most important User Experience metrics are displayed.

 

 

 

In my honest opinion, the Horizon 7 Helpdesk Tool is a great new addition to the Horizon Suite and is an awesome complementary tool to vROps for near-realtime User Experience troubleshooting.

Horizon 7 is directly available and can be downloaded through My VMware.

Johan van Amersfoort

Johan van Amersfoort

Johan van Amersfoort is a Technical Marketing Architect and EUC specialist at ITQ Consultancy. More about Johan can be found on the about page.
Johan van Amersfoort