What’s new in Horizon 7.3.1?

VMware just released Horizon 7.3.1 which is now globally available! This new version contains many new features and improvements:

  1. Horizon Helpdesk Tool enhancements
  2. Horizon Instant Clones new features
  3. Horizon Apps new features
  4. Windows Start Menu Shortcuts
  5. Skype for Business update and support for RDSH
  6. Many new remote experience features

1.     Horizon Helpdesk Tool Enhancements

When Horizon 7.2 was released, VMware introduced a new Helpdesk Tool. This tool was further expanded in Horizon 7.3.1:

  • Display RDSH app process resources and the option to reset or close the application or process
  • Create role based access control for helpdesk staff
  • Actions taken in the Helpdesk Tool are logged
  • Option to view Horizon Client info
  • Check the granular logon time
  • Updated Blast metrics with more in-depth information

For more information about the new Helpdesk Tool features click here.

2.     Horizon 7.3.1 Instant Clones new features

VMware development keeps improving Instant Cloning. This time, they added new options and support for Windows Server operating systems: Server 2008 R2, Server 2012 R2 and Server 2016. If you want to use App Volumes with Instant Cloning, assign the Appstacks to the Active Directory Organizational Unit that contains your instant clones. Other new features:

  • Instant-clone desktops can now use dedicated assignment to preserve the hostname, IP address and MAC address of a user’s desktop
  • Instant Clones are now compatible with Storage DRS (sDRS)
  • If there are no internal VMs in the four internal folders created in vSphere Web Client, these folders are unprotected and they can be deleted
  • Enhanced IcUnprotect.cmd available on the Horizon Connection Server to unprotect or delete template, replica, or parent VMs or folders from vSphere hosts

3.     Horizon Apps new features

VMware also added new security features for Horizon Apps:

  • This update makes Horizon Apps easier to use and allows the administrator to restrict entitlements
  • Restrict access to desktop and application pools from specific client machines

4.     Windows Start Menu Shortcuts

In VMware Horizon 7.3.1, you can now create Start Menu shortcuts in the Horizon Administrator Console to the following resources:

  • Published applications
  • Desktops
  • Global entitlements

Check out the following video for more information about the new start menu shortcuts options.

5.     Horizon Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business

The Horizon Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business was updated as well:

  • Multiparty audio and video conferencing
  • Horizon 7 RDSH support: Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Forward Error Correction (FEC)
  • Quality of Experience (QOE) metrics
  • Customized ringtones
  • Call park and pickup
  • E911 (Enhanced 911) support, to allow the location of the mobile caller to be known to the call receiver
  • USB desktop-tethering support
  • Horizon Client for Linux support for the following Linux distributions:
    • Ubuntu 12.04 (32-bit)
    • Ubuntu 14.04 (32 & 64-bit)
    • Ubuntu 16.04 (64-bit)
    • RHEL 6.9/CentOS 6.x (64-bit)
    • RHEL 7.3 (64-bit)
    • SLED12 SP2 (64-bit)

6.     New Remote Experience Features

Support for the Tesla P40 Graphics Card from NVIDIA

VMware has expanded NVIDIA GRID support with Tesla P40 GPU cards in Horizon 7.3.1.

HTML5 Video Redirection

This feature provides the ability to take the HTML5 video from a Chrome (version 58 or higher) browser inside a Windows VDI or RDSH system and redirect it to Windows clients. This feature uses Blast Extreme or PCoIP side channels along with a Chrome extension.

The redirected video is overlaid on the client and is enabled as well as managed using GPO settings.

Benefits include:

  • Supports generic sites such as YouTube, without requiring a server-side plugin.
  • Provides smooth video playback comparable to the native experience of playing video inside a browser on the local client system
  • Reduces data center network traffic and CPU utilization on the vSphere infrastructure hosts

Sources: VMware End User Computing blog, VMware Horizon 7.3.1 Release Notes

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