ThinApp 5.0 and support for Horizon View and Workspace

In ThinApp 5.0 some major changes we’re incorporated and therefore broke the interoperability with Horizon View 5.2 and Horizon Workspace 1.5.

Officially only the following scenarios are supported and do work:

  • Horizon View up to 5.2: Only 32-bit ThinApp 5.0 packages are supported
  • Horizon View 5.3 and later: ThinApp 5.0 is fully supported (32-bit and 64-bit packages)
  • Horizon Workspace 1.5: ThinApp 5.0 is not supported at all, wether 32-bit nor 64-bit packages.

Unfortunately there is a bug in the knowledge base article which states that ThinApp 5.0 is, at least for 32-bit packages, supported in Horizon Workspace 1.5. This however is not true and will technically not work. If you want to use ThinApp with Horizon Workspace please use the version 4.7.3 of ThinApp.

Update (29/11/2014): The knowledge base article was updated and now states the correct and supported scenarios.

Source: Horizon View and Horizon Workspace support for ThinApp 5.0 applications

Managing Horizon View Desktops with Horizon Mirage: Supported scenarios

With the latest release of Horizon Mirage (4.3) VMware introduced the ability to manage Horizon View Desktops using Mirage. While the supported scenarios are currently somewhat limited it is still a major benefit when you have to manage full clone persistent desktop.

Support for managing virtual desktops with Mirage is currently limited to the following scenarios:

  • The virtual desktop needs to be deployed using VMware Horizon View 5.3
  • The virtual desktop needs to be deployed as full clone persistent desktop

Also currently only the following Mirage operations are officially supported with full clone persistent desktops:

  • App layer management
  • Base layer management
  • Enforce layers (to enforce IT applications and settings)
  • Apply driver library

Even with all these restrictions in mind you now have the ability to manage your virtual persistent desktops and your physical desktop with the same tool and the same image (Single image management). This is a huge benefit.

Another big benefits comes in to play when you think about managing your non-persistent virtual desktop using Mirage. It is currently not supported to manage non-persistent desktops directly with Mirage but with a little workaround it can be done today.

As you know, when deploying a non-persistent desktop, Horizon View is using View Composer to created linked-clones. This is a highly optimised process to deploy virtual desktops fast with as little storage consumption as possible. View Composer uses a template virtual machine (master image), better said a snapshot of this machine, to create the linked-clones. As administrator you always install new software, updates and any other customisation to this master image and the recompose all your non-persistent desktops. This means the next time the user logs in he has all the updated stuff on his virtual desktops.

As already said you are not able to manage a linked-clone virtual machine with View yet but of course you can manage your master image with Horizon Mirage. So you can use Mirage deploy all the application, updates, etc. to your master image, uninstall the Mirage client afterwards and then deploy your linked-clones the way you know it.

Now you are able to manage your persistent and non-persistent virtual desktops with Mirage as well as your physical desktops with the same tool.

Last but not least, from a technical point of view, you can of course manage full clone persistent desktops the same way you would manage a physical desktop with Mirage including operations like centralisation, restore, steady state uploads, revert to snapshot, etc. So technically you are able to do a full backup and restore and all other Mirage tasks with a full clone persistent desktop. In this scenario you will put much more workload on your virtual infrastructure as Mirage needs, like every backup tool, resources to backup and restore all the data.

Please keep in mind that officially only the first scenario is currently officially supported by VMware. The second scenario (Managing the master image with Mirage) is kind of a gray area but works perfectly from a technical point of view. The last scenario (full Mirage functionality on a full clone persistent desktop) is definitely not supported but will work.

View Connection Server Memory Sizing and JVM Heap Size

In general VMware always recommends to assign at least 10GB of memory to each View Connnection Server when deploying View in production with more than 50 and up to 2000 desktops per Connection Server . There is also a a minimum requirement of 4GB of memory if you only want to deploy 50 desktops or less per Connection server.

Until version 5.3 of Horizon View the installer of the Connection Server automatically set the JVM heap size to a static amount of memory dependent on the amount of memory installed in you server. For example if your server has less then 10GB of memory installed the JVM heap size was set to 512MB. You even get a message at the end of the installation of Connection server that the system is configured with reduced resources due to the limited amount of memory.

ViewInstallerWarning

So if you configured your Connection server with 4GB of memory at the beginning and later changed it to 10GB, because you added more desktops, the JVM heap size needed to be changed. While there are some guides how to do this manually it is recommended to reinstall the View Connection server software to get the JVM heap size right.

Now with version 5.3 of Horizon View the JVM heap size is automatically adjusted to the optimal size on each start of the View Connection server. No need for manual adjustment or reinstalling the Connection server.

As additional help every now and then you get an event log warning when your View connection server is not configured with the recommended amount of memory.

BrokerSmallMemory

Update: To check if the JVM heap size was changed after adjusting the amount of physical memory available just have a look inside the current Connection server debug log file located under %ProgramData%VMwareVDMlogs, e.g. debug-2014-01-08-145917.txt.

If you configure your server with less then 10GB of memory the following entry should be found:

2014-01-09T09:32:06.072+01:00 INFO (09A8-0C18) <Service Main Thread> [ws_TomcatService] The service 'TomcatService' is started
2014-01-09T09:32:06.072+01:00 DEBUG (09A8-0C1C) <javabridge> [ws_java_bridgeDLL] Java heap size configured to -Xmx1024m -Dcom.vmware.vdi.SmallPhysMemory=1

If you configure your server with 10GB of memory or more the following entry should be found:

2014-01-09T09:42:47.696+01:00 INFO (0A94-0C14) <Service Main Thread> [ws_TomcatService] The service 'TomcatService' is started
2014-01-09T09:42:47.696+01:00 DEBUG (0A94-0C18) <javabridge> [ws_java_bridgeDLL] Java heap size configured to -Xmx4096m

Release: VMware Horizon View 5.3

VMware Horizon View 5.3 went GA last night and is now available to download.

The new features and functions included in Horizon View 5.3 and Feature Pack 1 for Horzion View 5.3 are:

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Desktop Operating System Support
  • Windows 8.1 Desktop Operating System Support
  • VMware Horizon Mirage Support
  • VMware Virtual SAN Datastore Support (Tech Preview)
  • View Connection Server Memory Recommendation Messages if Connection server has less than 10GB RAM
  • vDGA Support
  • Linked-Clone Desktop Pool Storage Overcommit Feature Enhancements
  • View Persona Management Supportability Improvements
  • Support to Grant Domain Administrators Access to Redirected Folders in View Persona Management
  • Public availability of the VMware Horizon View Agent Direct-Connection Plug-in
  • View Composer Array Integration (VCAI) Support
  • Higher amount of Blast Secure Gateway Maximum Connections
  • Windows 7 Multimedia Redirection
  • Flash URL Redirection
  • Real-Time Audio-Video for Linux, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 8.1
  • Unity Touch for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 8.1
  • HTML Access is much faster and supports Sound, Copy and paste and much more

Andre Leibovici (@andreleibovici) at myvirtualcloud.net created a nice link list with everything you need to know about Horizon View 5.3.

To get the latest and greatest features you need to have the latest Horizon View clients, Horizon View 5.3 and Feature Pack 1 for Horizon View 5.3 installed.

Release Notes |  Documentation | Download

Release: VMware Horizon View Client for Windows 2.2

In preparation of the Horizon View 5.3 release VMware released a new View client for windows. First of all the version number changed from 5.4 to 2.2. This change was done to better align the client version numbers. Also the version 2.2 sports a new look and feel (like the new View iOS client does).

View22Win

The new client also includes:

  • Support for Microsoft Windows 8.1 as client system
  • Support for VMware Horizon View 5.3 and therefore support for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 as desktop
  • Windows 7 Multimedia Redirection
  • Flash URL Redirection enhancements

For more information about this new release have a look at the release notes or the official announcement blog article.

Release Notes | Documentation | Download

 

Release: VMware Horizon View Client for iOS 2.2

Today VMware released the new and gorgeous looking version 2.2 of the Horizon View Client for iOS.

ViewiOS22Update

Besides bugfixes the new client now officially supports iOS 7 and got an updated look and feel.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Also you can now use Unity Touch menus when using an external display and presentation mode is disabled (Mirror mode). Last but not least this client already supports the upcoming Horizon View 5.3 release which includes support for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 desktops.

Release Notes | Documentation | Download

Release: VMware Horizon View Client for Mac OS X 2.1

Besides Feature Pack 2 for Horizon View 5.2 VMware released a major update of the Horizon View Client for OS X.

The new client now supports virtual printing and running multiple desktops at the same time (without a workaround).

  • Virtual printing – End users can now use local or network printers from a View desktop without having to install additional print drivers in the View desktop. Requires Horizon View 5.2 servers and desktops.
  • Running multiple desktops at the same time – End users who are entitled to multiple desktop pools from a server can now have these desktops open on their client system at the same time. The desktop selector window for the View Connection Server instance remains open, so that after you connect to one desktop, you can easily connect to another.

You can download the new client via vmware.com/go/viewclients and find additional information using the buttons below.

Release Notes | Documentation | Download

Release: VMware Horizon View 5.2 Feature Pack 2

Yesterday VMware release Feature Pack 2 for VMware Horizon View 5.2 which introduces two new features called Real-Time Audio-Video and Flash URL Redirection. It also includes some very useful improvements to Unity Touch.

  • Flash URL Redirection – Customers can now use Adobe Media Server and multicast to deliver live video events in a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environment. To deliver multicast live video streams within a VDI environment, the media stream should be sent directly from the media source to the endpoints, bypassing the virtual desktops. The Flash URL Redirection feature supports this capability by intercepting and redirecting the ShockWave Flash (SWF) file from the virtual desktop to the client endpoint.
  • Real-Time Audio-Video – Real-Time Audio-Video allows Horizon View users to run Skype, Webex, Google Hangouts, and other online conferencing applications on their virtual desktops. With Real-Time Audio-Video, webcam and audio devices that are connected locally to the client system are redirected to the remote desktop. This feature redirects video and audio data to the desktop with a significantly lower bandwidth than can be achieved by using USB redirection. Real-Time Audio-Video is compatible with standard conferencing applications and supports standard webcams, audio USB devices, and analog audio input.
  • Unity Touch improvements – You can now add a favorite application or file from a list of search results, and you can now use the Unity Touch sidebar to minimize a running application’s window. Requires users to connect to their desktops from VMware Horizon View Client for iOS 2.1 or later, or VMware Horizon View Client for Android 2.1 or later.

Also there are several improvements to the View HTML Access feature which now includes localization support for French, German, and Traditional Chinese

To get the lastest features you need to be on version 5.2 of Horizon View and also make sure you use the latest clients on Windows (5.4), iOS and Android (2.1)

Besides the official documentation on the new features I want to highlight two article from Andre Leibovici.

You can find all information about the new Feature Pack 2 on my.vmware.com or directly via the buttons below.

Release Notes | Documentation | Download

Black boxes around application fields in VMware View PCoIP session

One of my customers had some pretty annoying display errors inside VMware View PCoIP sessions when connecting to a Windows 7 desktop. As a picture is worth a thousand words here is an example of the problem:

Black boxes around application fields in VMware View PCoIP session

The solution to this problem was to downgrade the virtual hardware version to version 7.

 Downgrading the virtual machine hardware version
This article provides steps to downgrade virtual machine hardware from a newer version to an older version.
Link: http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1028019

This problem was seen and solved with the current VMware Horizon View version 5.2 on top of ESX 5.0 with Windows 7 virtual machines.

If this workaround isn’t working for you please have a look at the following article (Black Boxes around application fields in VMware View Manager 5.0.x / 5.1.x PCoIP session) or open a support request with the VMware technical support.

At this point I want to thank Michael Kittlaus for his support solving this problem.

Update: This problem is now fixed with Patch ESXi510-201307401-BG for ESXi 5.1.

Release: VMware Horizon View Clients 2.0

To support the latest VMware Horizon View 5.2 release and Unity Touch VMware release a wave of new and improved VMware Horizon View clients. The following list shows you all the latest client releases and what they are bringing to the table in terms of new features.

VMware Horizon View Client for Windows 5.3

  • Microsoft Lync support on Windows 7 client systems
  • Enhanced support for 3D applications
  • Localization support for Traditional Chinese
  • Optional customer experience improvement program (CEIP)

VMware Horizon View Client for Mac OS X 2.0

  • Support for multiple monitors
  • Retina Display support
  • USB redirection enhancements
  • Localization support for Traditional Chinese

VMware Horizon View Client for Linux 2.0

  • Support for Windows 8 Horizon View desktops
  • Localization support for Traditional Chinese

VMware Horizon View Client for Android 2.0

  • Support for Unity Touch
  • Android 4.x Dictation with Windows Applications
  • Full screen mode
  • Optimizations for VMware Horizon View 5.2
  • Localization support for Traditional Chinese

VMware Horizon View Client for iOS 2.0

  • Support for Unity Touch
  • Optimizations for VMware Horizon View 5.2
  • iOS Dictation with Windows Applications
  • Enhancements to presentation mode
  • Localization support for Traditional Chinese

VMware Horizon View Client for Windows Store 2.0 (Tech Preview)

  • Support for Windows 8 Pro client systems and Horizon View desktops
  • Pin to Start
  • Smart card support
  • User interface and documentation available in 7 languages
  • URI (Uniform resource identifier) support
  • Optional customer experience improvement program (CEIP)

The iOS and Android clients are already available in their respective app stores. All other clients can be downloaded here: vmware.com/go/viewclients

To use Unity Touch on Android and iOS you need to deploy the Feature Pack 1 for VMware Horizon View 5.2 first.

Documentation | Download