What’s new in VMware Horizon 7.1?
VMware recently released Horizon 7.1 which is now globally available! This new version contains many new features and technologies:
- Instant Clone Support for Remote Desktop Session Hosts (RDSH) for ultra-fast provisioning (Windows 2016 supported)
- Instant Clone Enhancements (Multi-VLAN and vGPU Support)
- Digital Workspace Experience with BLAST and BEAT
- VMware Horizon Virtualization Pack for Skype (public Beta)
Instant Clone Support for RDS Hosts
What are instant clones?
Instant cloning for desktops was a new feature in Horizon 7. Instant clones use copy-on-write for memory and disk management. They are based on a running parent Virtual Machine (VM), derived from a master VM. When an instant clone is created from a running parent VM, any reads of unchanged information come from the already existing running parent VM. However, any changes made to the instant clone are written to a delta disk, not to the running parent VM. This strategy preservessecurity and isolation between the instant clones by ensuring that:
- Each instant clone is immediately accessible.
- Changes do not affect the shared data and memory of the running parent VM on which all other instant clones are based. Sharing the memory of a running parent VM at creation time enables instant clones to be created within a few seconds and instantly powered on. An instant clone requires no boot time when the cloning process is finished.
In Horizon 7.1, the RDSH is now supported on WS 2008 R2, WS 2012 R2 and WS 2016. When it comes to provisioning and updating of server images, Instant Clone Technology is a lot faster than other competing technologies like Provisioning Services (PVS). This is based on several tests and on a white paper conducted by Principle Technologies. Horizon infrastructure servers are now also supported on WS 2016.
A lot of customers asked for a stand-alone published app offering, and with the release of Horizon 7.1, they got it. This new offering is called Horizon Apps. Horizon Apps is available in Horizon Apps Standard and Horizon Apps Advanced.
- Horizon Apps Standard: App Publishing (RDSH apps and Session-based Desktops, User Environment Manager and vSphere and vCenter).
- Horizon Apps Advanced:App Publishing (RDSH apps and/or session-based desktops), vSphere/vCenter and all just in time provisioning technologies (Instant Clones, App Volumes, and User Environment Manager).
Instant Clone Enhancements (Multi-VLAN and vGPU Support)
When you create a new floating desktop pool, you can choose which VLAN it will use. In previous versions, you were limited to the parentVM network or to scripting. Now, thanks to the Graphical User Interface (GUI), you can use the same parentVM for different scenarios.
In Horizon 7.0, VMware announced instant clone desktop technologywithout advanced graphics capabilities. In this release, you can add NVIDIA GRID graphics to your instant-clone desktop pools. There is still a maximum limit of two monitors @ 2560 x 1600 pixels.
Digital Workspace Experience with BLAST and BEAT
BEAT stands for Blast Extreme Adaptive Transport. It is a new UDP-based transport as part of the Blast Extreme protocol. BEAT is designed to ensure great user experience across varying network conditions, especially those with low bandwidth, high latency and high packet loss.
BEAT has several improvements out of the box with Horizon 7.1:
- 50% improved bandwidth utilization out of the box.
- 6x faster file transfers for transcontinental connections (~200 ms) with only slight packet loss.
- Blast now supports over 125 Windows and Linux thin clients.
Whether your end users are working from the coffee shop using WiFi, from mobile networks or whether they are downloading a video from halfway across the globe; they will enjoy a great user experience.
VMware Horizon Virtualization Pack for Skype (public Beta)
Last quarter, VMware announced that they were working together with Microsoft to support a tech preview of Skype for Business with Horizon. With the release of Horizon 7.1, the public beta is now available for customers. The solution is designed to prevent hair-pinning and to allow all traffic to pass from client to client to minimize bandwidth utilization and packet loss. Currently, only Windows clients in persistent VDIs are supported. Other clients will follow shortly.
Source: VMware End-User Computing Blog.