In this article I want to highlight the new features in Horizon 6. In one of my next articles I will give an overview on how the solution is priced and packaged.In short words Horizon is a bundle of different products that fit into VMware’s enduser computing strategy. With Horizon View, VMware has already delivered a feature rich, robust and enterprise desktop virtualization solution. The latest major release added now the needed features to call Horizon a complete Desktop Management solution.
Here are the main enhancements in Horizon 6. I will give a short list first and then touch each improvement.
- Cloud Pod Architecture
- View Hosted Apps
- Virtual SAN
- VMware Workspace
- Mirage & View
Cloud Pod Architecture:
A single Horizon View deployment can now span across multiple datacenters. These DC’s can even be geographically separated. With this enhancement, you benefit in the following ways. First, a single View deployment can now scale beyond 10k users. Secondly, View can be designed as an active / active multi datacenter VDI environment. Even geo roaming across continents is now possible if you wish.
View Hosted Apps:
This improvement is a real game changer. With Horizon 6 you are finally able to publish and deliver RDSH based applications in addition to SaaS and Thinapp applications. Another great enhancement in this area, that should be noted separately, is the possibility to publish Citrix XenApps. And this goes all down through the well-known PCoIP protocol. If you want to dig deeper into the different app publishing methods, I encourage you to visit this article written by Eric Sloof.
VMware’s scale out storage solution is now bundled into Horizon 6. This enhancement can definitely drop down storage costs for VDI deployments. With vSAN you leverage local disks and flash storage to create a high available and fault tolerant datastore that spans across all hosts in the cluster. This removes the need for external storage but enables features like HA, DRS and vMotion. Duncan Epping and Cormac Hogan have written a series for great articles on VMware Virtual SAN.
Workspace is the place where all links together. It gives you the opportunity to execute RDSH Apps, VDI Sessions, SaaS Apps, Office 365 Apps, ThinApps and Google Apps. Workspace provides you a frontend for any device where your services should be consumed. It gives you the same look and feel whether it’s a Windows, Mac, Android or IOS device.
Mirage & View:
In Horizon 6, Mirage fills the gap that the dismissed local mode has created. Mirage can be used for Windows Operating System migrations and is a continuous backup solution for your endpoints. A huge win for the Horizon package and worth writing an own blog article about it. With its dynamic layering technology you can update and manage applications, user data and the OS itself.