Application Publishing with Horizon 6

One of the most important IT can deliver to their users is the applications they need. Users need applications to be productive and the easier you can make it for the user to obtain the applications the happier (more productive) they will be.

VMware’s release of Horizon 6 comes with a new delivery method and an update to another. Let look at these options to delivering application.

Remote Desktop Services Hosted

Application (Apps) publishing using Remote Desktop Services (RDS) Hosted is new in Horizon 6 and allows Horizon client access to applications along with full desktops running on Windows Remote Desktop Services Hosts.

Let’s take a moment and explain what this means and how it’s different than straight VDI solution. VDI delivers the entire desktop to a particular user. The desktop is an entire virtual machine with the OS and the applications. RDS uses the capabilities of Microsoft RDS (previously known as Terminal Services) and allows multiple users the ability to connect to a single OS but still allow individual desktop instances with the applications. With RDS, while you can present the full desktop, you also can just present an application without the rest of the desktop around it.

This reduces the need for multiple OS instances and also provides for better utilization of the resources. Just as important is the reduced need for Microsoft licenses.

View 6 allows seamless access to Windows Applications and Desktops from many types of clients, whatever can run the Horizon View Client (Windows, Mac, IOS, Android, Linux, Mac OSX).

Applications are installed on Microsoft Remote Desktop Servers in the same matter as they are with Citrix XenApp. The connection uses the same PCoIP protocol which is being used to deliver a View desktops. The Horizon Client will be used to display both Full virtual Desktops, RDSH Desktops and the RDSH Applications. VMware uses the Blast protocol to allow access to Desktops only, with only a HTML5 browser. This means the Horizon Client is not required.

Unified Workspace

Building on the solution above, View 6 also has enhancements to the application Catalog, called a Unified Workspace. This will allow you to present not only your VDI Desktops, RDSH Desktops/Apps, but also your Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, Citrix XenApp published applications, local ThinApps, Office 365 and more within a single workspace

In 2012 at VMworld, VMware announced Citrix XenApp integration into Horizon Workspace and now has delivered that solution. Logon to Horizon Workspace Portal once and it will connect to the Citrix XenApp infrastructure and present published desktops and applications that you have the entitlement for.

Integrating XenApp with the Workspace Portal is relatively easy. You would deploy the Workspace Portal for Horizon 6 and then implement the Citrix Integration Broker. Next, configure the Workspace Portal to connect to the integration broker and sync the XenApp applications. When the synchronization has completed, the XenApp published applications that users are entitled to access are added to their Workspace Portal in Horizon. Finally decommission the Citrix Web Interface.  You can then launch them directly from View. This solution uses the local copy of Citrix Receiver (must be installed) to display the application. Once you are using Horizon as your application catalogue it will display both Citrix XenApp along with the VMware RDS applications. This provides a migration path from one to the other. You would upgrade View to enable app publishing (covered in the previous section) and pull in the same RDS hosts that are running XenApp, then choose whether the apps are delivered through XenApp or Horizon View. 

Now the delivery of VMware ThinApps to Windows endpoints, which could include non-domain member devices using HTTP is much easier. Microsoft Office 365 integration has been added to the Horizon Suite and this allows you to sign in once to View and then allows access to Office 365, Sharepoint and Outlook 365 Web Applications and Web Sited with a single authentication.

The new Multi-Forest Active Directory support has also been added. This allows for the support of directories from a single forest to multiple forests with multiple domains, which will simplify large enterprise deployments. The integration is done with a domain joined connector that is a virtual appliance.


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