Saturday, May 3, 2014

What's new in VMware Horizon 6

            In many previous discussion with customers i have seen lots of questions regarding hosted share desktop specially SMBs. I believe that citrix is (or was) market leader in end user computing because they were able to deliver hosted share desktop and app virtualization to SMB sector and when those SMBs grows they will definitely implemented xendesktop for VDI as scalable architecture.

          Recently 4 months back i am hearing many new announcement from vmware in end user computing. In those announcement cool stuff like airwatch, vsan and horizon 6 was big attraction for many customers. Now VMware has hosted share desktop which is a big competition for Citrix.

VMware Horizon 6 has five major enhancements:
  • Cloud Pod Architecture. 
  • Remote Desktop Session Host (RDS) Hosted Apps 
  • Virtual SAN 
  • Application Catalog 
  • vCops for View 6 

Cloud Pod Architecture

Enable Horizon deployments across multiple datacenters New data layer replication across all Horizon Connection Servers (such as pool configurations and user entitlements).
  • Support single namespace for end users with a global URL 
  • Global entitlement layer to assign and manage desktops and users 
  • Scale Horizon View deployments to multiple datacenter above 10.000 desktops 
  • Support Active/Active and DR use case of Horizon deployments 
  • Support geo-reaming users 
Maximums of the Cloud Pod Architecture
Number of sites (datacenters)2
Number of Pods4
Number of users/desktops (sessions)20.000

RDS Hosted Apps Windows 2008 and 2012 Microsoft Remote Desktop Services Hosts are supported
Seamless local look, feel and interaction for users
Works with Windows and Non-Windows devices such as Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows 8 desktops, laptops and thin clients, iOS and Android tablets and Mac OSX. A client for Linux will be available soon

Virtual SAN for Horizon View Desktops

  • Application Catalog 
  • XenApp integration in the Application catalog 
  • ThinApp package delivery on any Windows desktop 
  • Office 365 and non-SAML web apps 
  • Improved resource management & categorization 
  • Seamless integration with Horizon View 

vCops for View 6

  • Horizon 6 support 
  • 25K concurrent users per instance 
  • Single integrated console for all vCOPs support environments (desktop, server etc) 
  • Application & In Guest Metrics. Drill down to the process level for key resource consumption per user and application 


  • Horizon View Standard Edition: Delivers simple, high-performance VDI-based virtual desktops with a great user experience 
  • Horizon Advanced Edition: Offers the lowest cost solution for virtual desktop and application management, optimized storage with VMware Virtual SAN, image management and a unified workspace that supports hosted desktops and applications. 
Here is an overview picture of the Horizon 6 architecture:

In version 5 Horizon View supports 10000 desktops in a Pod. If you need to to have more or than 10000 desktops or needed to span a datacenter another Pod was needed. With the Cloud Pod Architecture the following improvements has been made :


Maximums of the Cloud Pod Architecture
The Horizon 6 View infrastructure servers supports Windows Server 2012 R2 as Operating System.
Prior Horizon 6 VMware only offers a VDI desktops. With RDS Hosted Apps in Horizon 6, VMware offers access to applications and full desktops running on Microsoft Remote Desktop Services Hosts with the PCoIP and Blast protocol. 

The RDS apps are available to the Horizon View broker.


In the View clients the full desktops and RDSH applications looks as follows:

In Horizon View 5.3.1 support for VSAN was added. It was available as separate product. Now in Horizon 6 VSAN is added for free in the Horizon 6 Advanced and Enterprise Edition!

The Application Catalog offers a unified workspace for applications. One portal to for all applications (Local ThinApps, Citrix XenApp, SAAS and Remote Apps) from different devices.

The Application Catalog key themes are:

The application catalog has multi-forest Active Directory support and can be easily customized by changing logos, login prompt, application launchers, backgrounds etc.

vCenter Operations Manager for View 6 has the following new improvements:

Airwatch product integration with horizon is already available and I think very soon we will be seeing vcops integration for airwatch product family.

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