VMware Release Horizon View 5.3

On Friday 22nd November, VMware released version 5.3 of its Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) product Horizon View. With this release, VMware also updated the View clients to version 2.2.

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Version 5.3 provides the following new features and support as detailed in the release notes:

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Desktop Operating System Support, interesting for companies who want to provide DaaS under the SPLA licensing terms from Microsoft.
  • Windows 8.1 Desktop Operating System Support
  • Use VMware Horizon Mirage to manage View desktops
  • Virtual SAN Datastore Support
  • Memory Recommendation messages
  • Virtual Dedicated Graphics Acceleration (vDGA) support
  • Linked-Clone Desktop Pool Storage Overcommit Feature Enhancements
  • View Persona Management Supportability Improvements
  • Ability to add the Administrators group to redirected folders
  • View Agent Direct-Connection Plug-in
  • View Composer Array Integration Support
  • Support for up to 350 connections in the Blast Secure Gateway

More information about the 2.2. versions of the View clients can be found here: VMware Horizon View Clients Documentation

Click here to download Horizon View 5.3.
Click here to download the Horizon View Clients 2.2.

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Free ESXi (vSphere) Hypervisor Limitations Removal

Taken from vmguru.nl’s Excellent Site

Post in Full:

Last week I ran into another discussion about the hypervisor under a XenApp deployment it had to be free or very cheap. So the customer was thinking about loading Hyper-V below it. Ok can be a viable option but the admins hoped it would be VMware ESX because they know that hypervisor and it has never let them down in the past six years. So I got the question what is possible, can we use the Free vSphere Hypervisor?  I than remembered from VMworld San Francisco 2013 the limitations of the Free vSphere Hypervisor have been lifted.

So now you can use the vSphere Hypervisor 5.5 with:

  • Unlimited number of cores per physical CPU
  • Unlimited number of physical CPUs per host
  • Maximum eight vCPUs per virtual machine
  • But most important the limitation of 32GB RAM per server/host has been removed from the free Hypervisor.

So now you can use it below a XenApp deployment or in a stack where you do not need DRS, HA and vMotion. If you do need a central management solution you can use the Essentials Kit and if you need DRS, HA, vMotion etc. you can use the vSphere 5.5 essentials kit it is for max. 3 servers with 2 physical CPUs per Server.

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In Europe the Essentials Kit will cost 690 Euro for 3 years and the Essentials Plus Kit will cost 5.554 euro for 3 years. If you want to have support on your VMware vSphere Hypervisor you can now purchase Per Incident Support for it.

Citrix Releases VDI-In-A-Box 5.4

Citrix has announced version 5.4 of its all-in-one VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) soultion VDI-in-a-Box.  this is by far the simplest way I have found to quickly setup and trial VDI and is very well aligned to the SMB/SME market

The major features introduced, leveraging the same technology of XenDesktop 7.1, are the support for Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V and VMware ESXi 5.5 (and related vSphere implementations) in addition to Windows 8.1 as virtual desktop guest OS. The Citrix blog post explains all you need to know.

Make Beautiful Visios

As an architect working across enterprise programmes I use Visio – a lot.  It has become one of the key tools used to communicate conceptual, logical and physical representations of solutions or visions or anything else I need to illustrate in a design capacity.  A consistent challenge is crafting the artifacts I produce to engage the audience and I certainly can’t underestimate the effectiveness of a pretty document – in fact I am sure there is some correlation between governance approvals of architecture and how good the design looks on the page!

Anyhoo, to help in this constant quest, I was made aware of http://networkdiagram101.com, a great site providing some simple tips to vastly improve the look and feel of visio content – use it, it’s great!

VMware Release ThinApp 5.0

VMware has released version 5 of its application virtualization product ThinApp.  With the release VMware announced that the product lifecycle has been extended to 5 years.

ThinApp is available as a standalone product and part of all Horizon bundles and the Horizon Suite. Since this is a major release, customers must also fulfill their subscription and receive new license keys along with the download of the bits at My VMware.

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Version 5 provides the following new options:

  • Support for 64-bit applications
  • Support for Windows 8.1
  • Optimized architecture leveraging NTDLL.DLL for improved application compatibility and performance
  • Support for integration of AppSense personalization settings between native and ThinApp versions of applications.
  • Ability to run virtualized Internet Explorer 10 (32- or 64-bit)
  • Improved ADM and ADMX policy template files for ThinDirect
  • Ability to virtualize Office 2013 (keep in mind though that Microsoft most probably doesn’t support this as they do not support virtualizing Office 2013 for App-V either)

Release: Xen 4.3.1

The Xen Project, the community which develops the Xen hypervisor under the GNU General Public License (GPLv2) and which is now transferred from Citrix to the Linux Foundation , today announced the release of version 4.3.1 of the Xen hypervisor. This so called Point release is the follow up of version 4.3 which was released in July this year.

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Besides fixing some vulnerabilities, this release also introduces around 80 bug fixes and improvements, like adjustments to XSAVE management and bug fixes for nested virtualization, other low level system state handling and libxl tool stack.