Horizon 6 (with View)! YAY!

Happy, happy.. joy, joy!
Happy, happy.. joy, joy!

So, if you haven’t heard Horizon 6 (with View) was announced today. We (VMware Education) will have a new course (Install, Configure, Manage) out soon. The course is being worked on as I speak and if you want in on the beta of the course sign up for them here – Beta classes are always 50% off and gets you in on the course material ahead of everyone else. (you still have to do work during the course by providing feedback on the course, lab work, etc.)

Now some usual verbiage: there is potential that what I talk about may not appear in the final product due to bug, security issue or gremlins. So take it with a grain of salt.

Now as to the product…

The official blurb highlights the following:

  • Desktops and Applications Delivered through a Single Platform: Deliver virtual or remoted desktops and applications through a single platform to streamline management, easily entitle end users, and quickly deliver Windows desktops and applications to end users across devices and locations.
  • A Unified Workspace with Great User Experience: Support easy access to desktops and applications – including RDS hosted applications, packaged applications with ThinApp, SaaS applications, and even virtualized applications from Citrix through a unified workspace with Blast Performance.
  • Central Image Management for Physical, Virtual and BYO Devices: Centrally manage, patch and update images for virtual and physical PCs
  • Closed-Loop Management and Automation: Streamline desktop and application provisioning, protect corporate assets and automate desktop reporting and troubleshooting
  • Optimized for the Software-Defined Data Center: Horizon 6 allows you to leverage your expertise in VMware vSphere and is optimized for VMware® Virtual SAN™ to automate storage provisioning and drive down costs.
  • Hybrid Cloud Delivery: Choose from an array of on premise or cloud-based deployment options.

Simply put, the main features, as a simple set of bullets (less fuzzy):

Cloud Pod Architecture: Global entitlements across View pods

So imagine you have employees in Toronto and Tokyo. Rather than having two seperate View Pods and two different screens to manage you’ll have one pane of glass. Additionally, if someone from Toronto goes to visit Japan, they can authenticate in Tokyo and get their desktop from Toronto. A single Cloud Pod has been tested to 20,000 desktops.

View Hosted Apps: Application access from any device

End-users will be able to access applications without a desktop (on Windows, Mac, iOS and Android). So that means I can finally use Visio on my Mac and I don’t need a special client for it (uses the Horizon Blast web interface). 🙂

Virtual SAN – Software Defined Storage for Horizon

Leveraging that local storage for VDI means not necessarily spending extra for storage for VDI. This is great when starting out with VDI and then later additional storage can be bought as needed.

VMware Workspace – Unified access to desktops & Applications

This has more integration with the Horizon idea and can allow for a single login from any device from anywhere. You can even customize the branding on the interface. Support will include SaaS, Citrix Apps, ThinApps and more!

vCOPs for View 6 – New platform & In-guest visibility

Now, you’ll be able to monitor even more of the environment, right down to the processes inside the guest! There will be support for the RDSH as well as some more What If modeling and capacity planning (for up to 25K per instance). And all from one interface (!!).

Mirage & View – more integration between the two

One of the nice things, IMO, is the use of Mirage to manage the images in View. Most people don’t know much about Mirage (if you want some ideas into it, check out the videos I recorded here). Basically, this will allow for easier management of the “master/gold” images in an environment as well as the physical laptops (Windows) and virtual machines (full VMs in View or Fusion or Workstation).

I’m hoping to have more (and maybe some nifty pictures) soon. All-in-all this is a really awesome release. It still has that simple straightforward install  and ease of management that has always been part of the product. In fact, I’ve installed all components and built a small linked-clone pool in 4 hours; this doesn’t, however, include the build time of the master or what one really needs to do to plan properly (a discussion unto itself).

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