What’s New in VMware Horizon 7.2 and Horizon Client 4.5

What’s New in VMware Horizon 7.2 and Horizon Client 4.5

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We have just announced the general availability of VMware Horizon 7.2 and Horizon Client 4.5. This is a significant release for our flagship product, with improvements across the board—from scalability and user experience to deep technical innovations and improved policy controls. Let us dive straight in and highlight the key technical advances this release delivers.

Horizon 7.2

What’s New Highlights

Horizon Help Desk Tool
  • Provides user-session details for the Horizon 7 environment.
  • Single console for troubleshooting and solving user issues.
Workspace ONE mode
  • Forces using Workspace ONE when the client supports it.
  • Optionally blocks clients that do not support it.
Reuse AD account for instant-clone pool
  • Create a new computer account only if it does not exist.
Graphics settings from snapshot
  • SVGA settings / vGPU profile from master snapshot.
ADM template removal
  • Only ADMX in 7.2.
Increased scale
  • Pod , Cloud Pod Architecture, and Connection Server.
Storage improvements
  • Storage DRS cluster, storage policy-based management, encryption, local storage.

Horizon Help Desk Tool

The Horizon Help Desk Tool provides a tailored troubleshooting interface for the help desk that is installed by default on the Connection Servers. To access the Horizon Help Desk Tool, navigate to https://<CS_FQDN>/helpdesk, where CS_FQDN is the fully qualified domain name of the Connection Server, or click the Help Desk button in the Horizon Administrator console.

Horizon Help Desk Tool

The Horizon Help Desk Tool reduces workload for administrators and provides quick troubleshooting and metrics for the help desk.

The tool allows help desk staff to easily perform the following tasks on the user machine:

  • Restart, Logoff, Reset, and Disconnect
  • Remote Assistance
  • Send Message

You can obtain the following metrics for the client and virtual machine:

  • Client
    • Username
    • Client IP, Name, and OS
    • Protocol, TX Bandwidth, and Frame Rate
  • VM
    • Computer Name
    • Agent Version
    • Session State and State Duration, Logon Time and Duration, and Session Duration
    • CPU, Memory, Latency, and Logon Segments
    • Connection Server
    • Pool
    • vCenter

Horizon Help Desk Tool metrics

To get logon segments in the help-desk feature, you need to enable timingProfiler writes to the event database on each Connection Server:

vdmadmin -I -timingProfiler -enable

Timing Profiler enablement

For detailed information on the Horizon Help Desk Tool, see the VMware blog post Help’s on the Way with the New VMware Horizon Help Desk Tool.

Watch this quick demo of the Horizon Help Desk Tool to see it in action:

Workspace ONE Mode

Workspace ONE mode secures access to Horizon 7 by allowing applications and desktops to launch only from Workspace ONE. This setting enforces access policies per application or per desktop. You enable Workspace ONE mode on the Connection Servers. When a user connects to a Workspace ONE mode-enabled server in Horizon Client, they are redirected to the Workspace ONE portal to launch desktops or applications, and the Horizon Client will no longer show other items that are available to launch. You also have the option to disable clients that do not support Workspace ONE mode.

Enable Workspace ONE mode

See Workspace ONE mode in action in this short demo:

Reuse AD Account for Instant-Clone Pool

You can now rebuild a virtual machine in an instant clone and keep all machine assignments by reusing the computer account.

Reuse existing computer account

Graphics Settings from Snapshot

Instant-clone desktop pools inherit graphics settings from the vCenter Server parent-VM snapshot:

  • Memory
  • Number of monitors (with a new maximum of four)
  • Resolution

Inherited graphics settings

Just as with the SVGA settings, the vGPU profile for an instant-clone desktop pool is automatically selected when you select the snapshot of the vCenter Server parent VM.

All Active Directory Group Policy Templates Are Available as ADMX

All policy settings have been migrated to ADMX, and ADM is now deprecated and no longer included with Horizon 7. With all settings now in the ADMX templates, managing Horizon 7 is more streamlined and simpler than ever because now all templates can be placed in a central store, and no redundant copies need to be made into Sysvol.

ADMX templates

Scalability

Horizon 7.2 increases scalability for Cloud Pod Architecture deployments to now support up to 120,000 sessions across 12 View pods and five sites. Additionally, Horizon 7 can now support 4,000 desktops with a single VMware vCenter Server for linked-clone, full-clone and instant-clone deployments.

Cloud Pod scalability

Local Storage Support for Instant Clones

You now have the option to use local storage as a low-cost storage tier for instant clones. However, for high-availability events, this requires careful pool capacity planning and adds complexity to vSphere host maintenance, which you would not have with vSAN.

Local storage for instant clones

Ability to Select Storage DRS Clusters for Full Clones

It is no longer required to select all storage devices belonging to a Storage DRS Cluster; you can now directly select the cluster for easier administration.

Storage DRS clusters for full clones

vSAN and Storage Policy-Based Management Improvements

Horizon 7.2 adds support for vSAN encryption and provides updated storage policy-based management for finer granularity.

Storage-policy-based management

Horizon Agent 7.2 for RDSH

What’s New Highlights

Smart Policies for applications
  • Extend support from desktop to remote applications.
Session pre-launch
  • Launch application on broker login.
  • Can be enabled per application.

Smart Policies for Applications

Smart Policies give administrators granular control of a user’s desktop experience. You can dynamically control a variety of Horizon 7 features based on user, device, and location. Horizon 7.2 now introduces Smart Policies for RDSH applications. Smart Policies for applications, together with tags, can control the behavior of published applications.

Following are client properties mapped to User Environment Manager properties:

Volatile Registry Key User Environment Manager Property Value
viewClient_Broker_GatewayLocation Client location Internal/External
viewClient_Launch_Matched_Tags Launch tag(s) Tags (comma)
viewClient_Launch_ID Pool name Pool ID

Edit the Connection Server settings to add a tag for a desktop pool. The tag can be any string value, for example, Internal or External.

Create tag

Then, from User Environment Manager, create a Smart Policy and reference the tag name.

Smart Policy using a tag

Condition for the tag

Or if you want this policy to apply only to specific applications, you can make the condition more specific, for example, only for applications that have Secure in their pool name:

Refined condition for the tag

But remember that the pool name that launched the session is evaluated at user-session launch time, so you cannot differentiate between applications on the same farm. If you want to differentiate, separate the applications with nonmatching settings into different farms and use OR to add all the applications to the conditions.

Session Pre-Launch

Administrators can configure a published application so that an application and remote desktop session are launched immediately after a user has authenticated to the Connection Server. When the user starts the session from Horizon Client, the session loads almost instantly. The pre-launch setting enables faster start times for frequently used applications. From the Horizon 7 Administrator console, you can configure pre-launch, as follows:

Enable session prelaunch

It is recommended to enable this option only for applications that the user will almost certainly use immediately after launching, to minimize unnecessary load on the farm. To further reduce impact, you can set a timeout for unused pre-launched applications, as follows:

Prelaunch session timeout

To minimize impact even further, you can set a reasonable maximum amount of users, as determined by testing on the RDSH servers, and configure session load-balancing based on CPU and memory load, leaving enough headroom for boot storms.

Configure prelaunch

For more information, see Configuring Load Balancing for RDS Hosts in View Administration.

Horizon Agent 7.2

What’s New Highlights

Recursive Unlock
  • Single unlock of the client device also unlocks the virtual desktop or published desktop.
USB over virtual channel
  • USB-redirection port consolidation.
HTML5 content redirection (beta)
  • Redirect HTML5 from agent to client.
Blast Extreme SHA-256
  • Upgraded to use the latest security algorithms.
Horizon Agent DX11
  • Complete rewrite of the D3D9 renderer.
Skype for Business GA
  • General availability.

Recursive Unlock

The Recursive Unlock feature unlocks all remote sessions after the client machine has been unlocked. After the user logs in to the server, remote sessions such as published applications, RDSH desktops, and Windows desktops are unlocked. This feature removes unnecessary authentication steps for the user.

Requirements for this feature include:

  • The Windows client device must be domain-joined
  • The user logging in to the client must be the same user logged in to the remote session
  • Enable the client setting Log in as current user

Enable log in as current user

  • Enable the Group Policy setting Unlock remote sessions when the client machine is unlocked in ComputerPoliciesVMware Horizon Client ConfigurationSecurity.

Enable unlock remote sessions

USB over Virtual Channel

You can enable USB redirection without opening the firewall port 32111. USB over virtual channel allows USB over a side channel.

Configure this registry setting as follows:

  • Key path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREVMware, Inc.VMware VDMAgentConfiguration
  • Key name: UsbVirtualChannelEnabled
  • Key value: true

HTML5 Redirection (Tech Preview)

The HTML5 redirection feature allows video content redirection for websites that do not use Adobe Flash Player. Benefits of this feature include reduced CPU usage and smoother video playback.

HTML5 redirection requires:

  • Windows 7 or Windows 10 Enterprise for the agent and client OS, with VMware Horizon 7 HTML5 redirection package (available by request)
  • Google Chrome 58 with extension, from Chrome Web Store
  • Setting URL lists in the registry, for example:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesVMware, Inc.VMware HTML5MMR]

"enabled"=dword:00000001

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesVMware, Inc.VMware HTML5MMRUrlWhiteList]

"https://vimeo.com/*"=""

"https://www.youtube.com/*"=""

Note: Tech Preview features and capabilities are not supported for production deployment. These features are available to test in a lab or UAT environment as a preview of potential upcoming innovations. You can provide feedback to improve these features through VMware Communities.

Horizon Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business

Optimized audio and video calls are now possible with Skype for Business inside a virtual desktop without negatively affecting the virtual infrastructure and overloading the network. All media processing takes place on the client machine instead of in the virtual desktop during Skype audio and video calls. Using native Skype codecs, bandwidth usage is equivalent to native Skype for Business calls.

For detailed information on this feature, which is now generally available, see the VMware blog post VMware Horizon Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business (Beta) Is Now Available!.

Horizon Client 4.5

The Horizon Client has been updated, too, with availability of an XBox One Client in the Windows store, a new installer UI for Windows, dual-monitor support for HTML Access, SSO for RHEL/CentOS 7.x, and KDE and CDR support for Linux.

What’s New Highlights

Horizon Client 4.5 what's new

For more information, see the Release Notes on the Horizon Clients Documentation page.

With all these great additions, it is easy to see why we are so excited about this release. We invite you to see it all yourself by visiting the Horizon 7.2 download page and the Horizon Clients download page.

 

The post What’s New in VMware Horizon 7.2 and Horizon Client 4.5 appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

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