One of the nice things about being a consultant at VMware is that we get early training and access to products so we can be up to speed on them when they’re released. My group was brought in to the VMware Palo Alto campus in January of this year for some training on Horizon Mirage and Workspace, as well as what was to be Horizon 6.
As soon as the training was over, and I got home, I downloaded the beta and installed it in my lab. Since then, I’ve been using it for remote desktop and app remoting pretty consistently – here are my thoughts.
The experience and ease of functionality for the user is phenomenal. No longer do you as an administrator have to provision each user an individual desktop. You can deliver to them what they want – apps and data.
I don’t have tons of apps that I use on a consistent basis, but I have a couple of remote app needs. These are:
1. I want to be able to perform administrative tasks in my lab.
2. I want access to basic Office apps
3. I want a web browser.
So here’s what I end up with when I log in to my Horizon 6 environment remotely (Note – this is beta, so the GA interface may not look like this):
On the app side, I can launch Firefox for my remote browser, the core Office functionality, or the vSphere 5.5 C# client. Nothing really pretty to show here, it just works. Just a quick aside – these are all ThinApps thick-installed on an RDS Host. Cool, eh?
When I launch it, my vSphere C# Client pops up and behaves exactly as you’d expect. The performance is great, just like the experience with PCoIP always is.
I’ve been using VSAN in my lab for a while, so it was great to see the VSAN integration in Horizon 6. From the Horizon side of things, it’s pretty easy to enable for a pool:
Then the appropriate storage policies are created in vCenter Server:
Pretty neat, in my opinion.
Things I didn’t get to experience but still have an opinion on
Being that I’m a small shop (just the one user, me) I don’t really get to play with some of the more “enterprisey” features. That being said, here are some things I want to talk about:
1. Horizon 6 vCenter Orchestrator integration – The new ability to create workflows around desktop operations has been a long time coming.
2. vCenter Operations for View improvements – An integrated console for both desktop and server workloads is being introduced, as well as the ability to do capacity management on your View environment. Really cool stuff here.
3. Cloud Pod Architecture – We can now stretch our View deployments across datacenters! This is a big deal in the world of high-end View architecture, because you now have the ability to do centralized management of desktops and entitlements, load balancing, and disaster recovery.
That’s all I have for today. In the coming weeks, I’m sure there will be more content to come out on this subject, so stay tuned!