Updates to VMware Horizon 6 Desktop Virtualization Solutions

VMware Horizon 6 Desktop Virtualization Solutions (a mouth full, right) was released September 2014. Since that time there have been a few minor releases and now Horizon 6.1 (actually 6.11 was just released on June 4) is available.

I thought it would be a good idea to give an overview of the new and updated features since the release of the book.

Here is the link for the book: http://tinyurl.com/oapfz99



 • Configure Cloud Pod Architecture using the View Administrator (UI)

View Administrator can be used to configure and administer a Cloud Pod Architecture environment. This is in addition to the lmvutil commands (See VMware Horizon 6 Desktop Virtualization Solutions – Chapter 12 page 296). The View Administrator can also be used to review pod health and desktop session information.

•Smart Card for RDS

The Smart Card support for both remote desktop service (RDS) desktops and Hosted Applications allows users to authenticate to RDS-based desktops and applications using smart cards.

•IPv6 Networks Support

Now, there is support for IPv6 networks. The environment must be configured IPv6 or IPv4 meaning IPv6 is an alternative to IPv4. When installing the View components, you should choose IPv4 unless you have a working IPv6 environment.  Only fresh installations are supported in an IPv6 environment. A mixed of IPv6 and IPv4 in the View environment is not supported.  If you accidentally configure a mixed environment, the clients will fail to connect to View Connection Server, remote desktops, or applications.

Note: All features that are currently supported in the IPv4 environment are not supported in the IPv6 environment. Refer to the View Installation guide (IPv6 topics) if you plan to run IPv6 in your View environment.

• Mass storage on RDS desktops and Hosted Apps using USB Redirection

This feature enables the redirection of USB flash drive and hard disks to RDS Hosted Desktops and Applications. The feature is supported on Windows clients and Windows Server 2012 RDS hosts.

Note:  This does NOT support the redirection of other types of USB devices including other types of USB storage devices such as security storage drives and USB CD-ROM.

Windows Server 2012 R2

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 operating system is supported for VDI desktops
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 (Datacenter edition) is supported as the guest operating system for single-user, virtual desktops.

• Resolve Database Inconsistencies

The ViewDbChk utility is used to resolve database inconsistencies for Horizon 6.  This will resolve inconsistencies in the following databases used to deliver a View solution: View LDAP, View Composer, and vCenter Server. The databases are used to store information about desktop virtual machines. ViewDbChk can automatically identify and also resolve the configuration issues that previously required manual intervention.

•Enhanced Message Security Mode

The new Enhanced message security mode allows messages to be delivered through secure channels (instead of signing and encrypting individual messages).  This new mode provides performance benefits by reducing the load on View Connection Server, Security Servers, virtual desktops, and RDS servers.

Notes: When you perform a fresh installation of version 6.1, the enhanced message security mode will be enabled by default.

If you upgrade to version 6.1, the per-existing message security mode is retained. To enable the enhanced mode after an upgrade, you must change the Global Setting in View Administrator.

Port 4002 must be opened on the back-end firewall to allow security servers to communicate with the Connection Server in the new enhanced message security mode.

Once enhanced message security mode is enabled, you cannot deploy desktops with the View Agent earlier than 6.1.

•3rd-Party SSO Credential Handling

This feature allows 3rd-party solutions to be tightly integrated with Horizon 6. It enables the 3rd-party Single Sign On (SSO) providers to access credential information during the login to Horizon 6.

•vSphere Transparent Page Sharing in Horizon 6

The level of Transparent Page Sharing (TPS) that takes place on the ESXi host is set using the View Administrator. TPS can be set to eliminate redundant copies of memory pages. The levels are set by virtual machine, pool, pod, or global. This feature allows you to decide how broadly to share pages based on the use case and the need to isolate the users’ virtual machines. Using TPS will reduce the total memory consumption in the View environment.

•HTML Access Enhancements

  • You now can have 2,000 simultaneous users per security gateway (increased from 350). This is the same as PCoIP native clients.
  • Support for Location Based Printing with HTML Access
  • 3D desktops support, backed by NVIDIA GRID vGPU technology and vDGA

•Virtual hardware version 11

Virtual hardware version 11 is supported by Horizon 6 which is available in vSphere 6.0 or later versions. This hardware version is required for virtual machines that want to use NVIDIA GRID vGPU (see below).

• GPU hardware acceleration using NVIDIA GRID vGPU

The feature allows a physical graphical processing unit (GPU) installed on the ESXi host (vSphere 6.0) to be shared with multiple virtual desktops. This addresses a wide variety of graphics use cases along with lowing the costs when compared to physical workstations. This solution can be used for lightweight 3D tasks and up to high-end workstation graphics requirements.

•Support of Windows XP and Vista guest OSs as desktop virtual machines

The Horizon 6 (version 6.1) servers will work with Windows XP and Windows Vista desktops if you use the View Agent 6.0.2. This older agent will not offer all of the features of the newer 6.1 agent. This means if you install the version of View Agent that ships with Horizon 6 (version 6.1), it will not support Windows XP and Vista desktops.

•Virtual Volumes Support

Virtual Volumes (available with vSphere 6.0) allows vSphere to offload intensive storage operations such as snapshot creation, cloning, and replication. The virtual disks and their derivatives, clones, snapshots, and replicas are mapped directly to virtual volumes on the storage system. The implementation of Virtual Volumes depends on the availability of products by certified storage vendors.

I hope this helps to keep you updated on the Horizon 6 Solution.

Happy Virtualizing!

Nutella Frappuccino




For the numerous Nutella lovers out there, order:

Coffee frappuccino
Hazelnut syrup (1.5 pumps for venti, 1 pump for a grande, half a pump for tall)
Mocha syrup (3 pumps for venti, 2 pumps for a grande, 1 for tall)
Whipped cream blended in
Top it with whipped cream and/or caramel if you so desire.


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