Visio Stencil Set for 2014 VMware vSphere and Horizon

Ray Heffer shares a new Visio stencil set for 2014 which contains some popular shapes for VMware Horizon View, Workspace and vSphere. These are not official VMware stencils, but have been created from existing external content (thanks to Maish Saidel-Keesing at TechnoDrone) in addition to using Adobe PhotoShop and pulling images from public PDF documentation.

Download at www.rayheffer.com

VMware Horizon View 5.3 is now generally available

At November 21 VMware released VMware Horizon View version 5.3.0.

This release has some interesting features like support for Virtual SAN, and Windows 8.1 & Windows Server 2008 as desktop operating system.

It also features  a new storage overcommit option for linked-clone desktop pool storage.
When customers select the Unbounded overcommit option, they can place as many linked clones on the selected datastore as they desire. This feature is beneficial to customers who use third-party storage technologies (for example, Atlantis Computing VSA), which optimize the space consumed by the virtual disks of the individual virtual machines.

More on the storage optimization features in View 5.3 in this blogpost. 

Release notes are here
Documentation can be downloaded here.
Download the software from MyVMware

What is new in View 5.3? 

VMware Horizon View 5.3 delivers important features and enhancements and resolves some known problems in the previous release. This release of VMware Horizon View adds the following new features and support.

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Desktop Operating System Support
    Windows Server 2008 R2 (Datacenter edition) is now supported as a desktop operating system. For installation instructions and limitations, see KB 2057605: Using Windows Server 2008 R2 as a desktop operating system in VMware Horizon View.
  • Windows 8.1 Desktop Operating System Support
    Windows 8.1 is now supported as a desktop operating system.
  • VMware Horizon Mirage Support 
    You can now use VMware Horizon Mirage 4.3 to manage View desktops. See the VMware Horizon Mirage Administrator’s Guide for complete information about this feature.
  • VMware Virtual SAN Datastore Support
    When you create a desktop pool in View Administrator, you can now select a Virtual SAN datastore to store desktop virtual machines. Because Virtual SAN is in Beta, this feature is being released as a Tech Preview, which means that it is available for you to try, but it is not recommended for production use and no technical support is provided. The space-efficient virtual disk format is not available on Virtual SAN datastores. If you use Virtual SAN datastores to host virtual desktops, you will not be able to reclaim allocated unused space on the virtual machines.
  • View Connection Server Memory Recommendation Messages 
    If you install View Connection Server with less than 10GB of memory, VMware Horizon View provides memory recommendations by generating warning messages after the installation is complete.
  • vDGA Support
    vDGA (virtual Dedicated Graphics Acceleration) is now supported for View desktops. For linked-clone desktops, vDGA settings are preserved after refresh, recompose, and rebalance operations.
  • Linked-Clone Desktop Pool Storage Overcommit Feature Enhancements 
    The linked-clone desktop pool storage overcommit feature includes a new storage overcommit level called Unbounded. When you select Unbounded, View Manager does not limit the number of linked-clone desktops that it creates based on the physical capacity of the datastore. You select the storage overcommit level for a linked-clone desktop pool on the Select Datastores page when you add or edit a linked-clone pool. SelectUnbounded only if you are certain that the datastore has enough storage capacity to accommodate all of the desktops and their future growth.
  • View Persona Management Supportability Improvements
    Supportability improvements include new log messages and profile size and file and folder count tracking. View Persona Management uses the file and folder counts to suggest folders for redirection in the Windows event log and provides statistics for these folders.
  • Support to Grant Domain Administrators Access to Redirected Folders in View Persona Management
    A new group policy setting, Add the Administrators group to redirected folders, has been added to make redirected folders accessible to domain administrators. For information about the new group policy setting, see KB 2058932: Granting domain administrators access to redirected folders for View Persona Management.
  • VMware Horizon View Agent Direct-Connection Plug-in
    You can use VMware Horizon View Agent Direct-Connection Plug-in to connect directly to a virtual desktop. This plug-in is an installable extension to View Agent that allows a View client to directly connect to a View desktop without using View Connection Server. For more information, see VMware Horizon View Agent Direct-Connection Plug-in Administration.
  • View Composer Array Integration (VCAI) Support 
    The Tech Preview designation has been removed from VCAI. VCAI appears as an option during pool creation when you select an NFS datastore on an array that supports VAAI (vStorage API for Array Integration) native snapshots. The VCAI feature is now supported with select NAS vendors. For a list of supported NAS vendors, see KB 2061611: View Composer API for Array Integration (VCAI) support in VMware Horizon View.
  • Blast Secure Gateway Maximum Connections
    The Blast Secure Gateway (BSG) now supports up to 350 connections to Horizon View desktops from clients using HTML Access. This connection limit applies to a BSG on one View Connection Server instance or security server.

VMware releases Network port diagram poster for Horizon View 5.2

VMware released a nice PDF file in poster format showing traffic flow between the components in a VMware Horizon View 5.2 infrastructure. So if you want to know which traffic flows from the View client to the Security Server, the View Agent or the Connection Server etc this poster has the answers.

This poster is very helpfull in understanding traffic, which ports are used etc. It will help to configure the firewall rules.

download here.

view-network-diagram-2

view-network-diagram

VMware Horizon Mirage 4.2.3 released

VMware released VMware Horizon Mirage 4.2.3 at August 6. It contains bug fixes and some new features.

VMware Horizon Mirage offers a unique solution for managing physical laptops  and desktops that combines centralized management for IT and local execution for  end users. When Mirage is installed on a Windows PC, it centralizes a complete  virtual copy of that end point to the data center and keeps it synchronized. The  synchronization includes changes from a user’s Windows PC being uploaded to the  data center, and changes from IT being downloaded and applied directly to the  user’s Windows PC. Horizon Mirage enables central image management of desktops while  still allowing local execution at the user end point.

Whats new

Horizon Mirage 4.2.3 is a maintenance release focused on internal mechanisms to enable better handling of storage disconnects. This version provides the following new features and improvements:

  • Better storage disconnects handling – Horizon Mirage servers now identify high load conditions on storage that can cause disconnects  and can throttle down to allow storage utilization to return to normal.
  • SSL configuration option in Horizon Mirage server installation – The IT manager can now configure SSL communication during server installation. There is no need to perform this operation with the Management console after installing.
  • CE calculator – A new tool enables VMware personnel to better estimate Horizon Mirage centralization process requirements.  The calculator estimates the network resources and storage that will be required and the time that the centralization will take.
  • Branch reflector enhancements – The IT manager can better design and monitor branch reflector deployment  by simulating the branch reflector selection on endpoints.  The IT manager can now click any device from the Management console and see if it has a branch reflector in its vicinity.

Read the release notes here.

VMware Horizon Mirage 4.2.3 Documentation
VMware Horizon Mirage Installation Guide

VMware Horizon Mirage Administrator’s Guide

VMware Horizon Mirage Web Manager Guide

VMware OS Optimization Tool helps optimize Windows 7 for VMware Horizon View

VMware released a new fling. A fling is unsupported software made by VMware.

The VMware OS Optimization Tool helps optimize Windows 7 desktops for use with VMware Horizon View.  The optimization tool includes customizable templates to enable or disable Windows system services and features, per VMware recommendations and best practices, across multiple systems.  Since most Windows system services are enabled by default, the optimization tool can be used to easily disable unnecessary services and features to improve performance.

You can perform the following actions using the VMware OS Optimization Tool:

  • Analyze
  • Optimize
  • Viewing History
  • Managing Template

Also included is the Remote OS Optimization Tool, which uses the same functionality as the Optimization Tool, but connects to a remote VMware View broker so that remote parent and template VMs can be enumerated and optimized.

Download and more information here.

DCIG 2013 Flash Memory Storage Array Buyer’s Guide

A lot of solutions are available to accelerate VDI. It is a growing and crowded market which welcomes new solutions almost every week. In just week time in February 2013 solutions were released of GreenBytes, PernixData and Atlantis Computing.  I wrote about those solution in this blogposting titled Overview of purpose-built VDI solutions to accelerate storage performance . Very recommended if you want a high level overview of all sorts of solutions.
One of the solutions is using pure muscles:  a purpose built storage array full of Flash or SSD. It is fast but also very expensive. Some of the  arrays costs the same as one or two BMW’s.
There is not much info on the internet which gives an objective overview of all major solutions. I believe the Buyer’s Guide of DCIG is a great resource if you are interested in purchasing an all Flash Array. It lists a lot of details of solutions.
DCIG-Flash-storage
DCIG is a company which analyzes software, hardware and services companies within the enterprise data storage and electronically stored information (ESI) industries.
They did a research on 34 different storage arrays having flash memory from ten (10) different storage providers.
dcig-1
The DCIG 2013 Flash Memory Storage Array Buyer’s Guide accomplishes the following objectives for end users:
  • Provides an objective, third party evaluation of Flash Memory Storage Arrays that evaluates and scores their features from an end user’s viewpoint.
  • Scores and ranks the features on each Flash Memory Storage Array based upon the criteria that matter most to end users, and presents the results in easy to understand tables so they can quickly know which Flash Memory Storage Arrays are the most appropriate for their needs.
  • Provides a standardized data sheet for each of the 34 Flash Memory Storage Arrays from 10 different storage providers so end users can do quick comparisons of the features that are supported and not supported on each Flash Memory Storage Array.
  • Provides insights into what VMware vSphere APIs the Flash Memory Storage Arrays offer to optimize their VMware environments.
  • Gives any organization a solid foundation for getting competitive bids from different providers of Flash Memory Storage Arrays that are “apples-to-apples” comparisons.
The DCIG 2013 Flash Memory Storage Array Buyer’s Guide is immediately available. It may be downloaded for no charge with registration.

Atlantis ILIO Persistent VDI 4.0 released.

VDI deployments struggle with costs and performance. According to Gartner, “storage is the No. 1 challenge most IT organizations face when considering virtual desktop (server-hosted virtual desktop or virtual desktop infrastructure) projects.

To deliver sufficient performance many solutions are available on the market. Lots of startups emerge with solutions which accelerate storage. Lots of them are based on the usage of Flash and SSD drives in purpose built hardware appliances. Up front costs of those appliances are high. Those appliances are targeted at enterprise environments.

In a previous post titled Overview of purpose-built VDI solutions to accelerate storage performance I wrote about the available approaches to accelerate storage performance for VDI. One of the approaches is to use host RAM as storage. Host RAM is the fastest storage available.

Atlantis Computing today released a product with enables the use of persistent virtual desktops named  Atlantis ILIO Persistent VDI 4.0. Press Release can be read here.

Until the release only shared desktop images (non-persistent desktops) were supported by Atlantis.  But users want to personalize their desktop with background pictures, shortcusts etc. A desktop which is dedicated to a single user and saves the state is named a persistent desktop.

This posting will explain a bit more about:

  • What is it ?
  • What are the features?
  • What does it cost ?

Read more of this post

VMware vSphere 5.1 now supports VMware View 5.1.x.

At the release of vSphere 5.1 VMware’s own Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solution View was not supported on vSphere 5.1.

This has now been fixed.

Current installations of vSphere 5.1 need an express hotfix so View 5.1.x can run on it. More details and download of the hotfix at the VMware website.

For new vSphere 5.1 installations an updated ISO build is available which has View 5.1.x support built in.
To download the ISO:

  1. Navigate to the vSphere Download Center.
  2. Click View Download for the VMware ESXi 5.1.0 Installable for your version of ESXi.
  3. On the Product Downloads tab, download VMware-VMvisor-Installer-201210001-838463.x86_64.iso.

The original vSphere 5.1 built released on September 10 has filename VMware-VMvisor-Installer-5.1.0-799733.x86_64.iso

The vSphere 5.1 build with View support has been released at October 25 has filename VMware-VMvisor-Installer-201210001-838463.x86_64.iso

 

Free online VMware courses

VMware released 21 free online, self pased courses on various solutions.

See VMware.com for an overview and how to register

These courses are available:

  • VMware vCenter Operations Manager Fundamentals [V5.X]
  • VMware View: Fundamentals [V5.0]
  • VMware vCloud Director Fundamentals [V1.5]
  • Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Design [v5.X]
  • VMware vSphere: Transition to ESXi Essentials [V4.1]
  • VMware Workstation: Fundamentals [V7.0]
  • Virtualizing Microsoft SQL Server with VMware [V5.X] Customer
  • VMware vShield Fundamentals [V5.X]
  • Virtualizing Microsoft Exchange 2010 with VMware-Customer
  • VMware View: Fundamentals [V5.X]
  • Introducing the VMware Security Solution Fundamentals
  • Virtualizing Business-Critical Applications [V5.X] – Customer
  • Virtualizing Oracle Database with VMware [V5.X] Customer
  • VMware vShield App Fundamentals [V5.X]
  • VMware vShield Edge Fundamentals [V5.X]
  • Virtualizing Microsoft SharePoint with VMware [V5.X] – Customer
  • VMware vShield Endpoint Fundamentals [V5.X]
  • VMware vShield Data Security Fundamentals [V5.X]
  • Virtualizing SAP ERP Software with VMware [V5.X] – Customer
  • vFabric RabbitMQ Essentials
  • VMware Fusion 3

New releases of VMware Workstation, View and SRM available for download

VMware made VMware Workstation 8 available for download at September 14. Download here

Also released at the same time are:

View 5.0
Fusion 4.0.1
Site Recovery Manager 5.0
To learn what is new in Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 5.0 read this posting.
vFabric 5 Standard/Advanced

VMware vCenter Orchestrator Plug-In for vCenter Server 5.0 More info here. A great overview of Orchestrator at vcoteam.info

Released: VMware View Client for iPad

At March 9 2011 VMware released the ‘VMware View Client for iPad’ app by publishing it on the Apple iTunes App Store.

Download and more information here.

FEATURES:

WORK THE WAY YOU WANT TO
Work on your Windows based VMware View virtual desktop right from your iPad giving you on the go access from any location. Support for the PCoIP display protocol means your desktop is fast and responsive regardless of where you are.

BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
Feel right at home with support for native iPad gestures for quick and easy navigation around your desktop. Need to do something more complex? Call up the trackpad for better mouse targeting or the keyboard for efficient text input.

SIMPLE CONNECTIVITY
Tightly integrated with the VMware View 4.6 release for simple setup and connectivity. Quickly reconnect to you desktop by selecting from the recent desktop list.

UNMATCHED PERFORMANCE
The adaptive capabilities of the PCoIP protocol are optimized to deliver the best user experience even over low bandwidth and high latency connections.

SECURE FROM ANY LOCATION
At your desk or away from the office you’re always secure. Access your View desktop over WiFi or 3G and with tight VMware View 4.6 integration your desktop is delivered securely to you wherever you are.
SUPPORT:

- The VMware View Client for iPad is supported with VMware View 4.6 or later.
- For more information on VMware View and the View Client for iPad please visit http://www.vmware.com/go/view

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