VMware Horizon 7.3 – exciting new features


VWmare recently announced Horizon 7.3, which is their newest version of the EUC product. Due to the amazing number of enhancements and new features included on this version, it feels more like 8.0 version than an incremental upgrade to me. You can review the entire announcement and every new feature here but in this blog post I want to highlight the ones that I find most interesting.

Application Shortcuts

Horizon customers implementing server based computing (RDSH) to publish applications instead of publish desktops or doing VDI can now integrate those applications straight into the Windows Start Menu.

This is a very important feature that provide users with that seamless experience where is not required that they know if the application is locally installed in their workstation or if the application is hosted back in the data center.

Horizon Application Shortcuts  Overview  • IT administrators create shortcuts to RDSH applications  Shortcuts are pinned to Windows client Start Menu  When users log into their Horizon session, they are  prompted to accept/deny shortcuts  Benefits  Creates native user experience for Horizon Apps  When used with Logon As Current User, users feel like  they are using native applications

Session Pre-launch

Being able to shrink logon times by pre-opening applications provides a better user experience and when used in conjunction with the Start Menu feature mentioned above will make users extremely happy and provide that locally installed feeling when they click on an application.

This feature is available for users accessing the Horizon environment from Windows or Mac clients

Session Pre Launch  Overview:  Configure a published application so that an application and remote desktop  launched before a user starts the session.  Configurable:  • Per application  . Timeout

Blast Extreme enhancements

There are multiple enhancements to Blast but one important milestone to point out is, IMHO, reducing the number of firewall ports that need to be opened for external users that required USB redirection.

USB redirection can now be configured to only require ports 443 and 8443. Other ports that were previously needed can be closed. In Horizon 7.3 this configuration is turned off by default but in the future releases will be turn on by default

Blast Extreme: Protocol Enhancements  • Protocol Enhancements  - Improved performance counters  - Improved session reconnections  — Improved TCP bandwidth estime  — Lower CPU consumption on clie  - Support for low bandwidth (128K  — USB redirection can be configurc  UDP port 443 & 8443

NVIDIA Pascal P40 Support.

I’m a huge GPU fan since I got introduced to this technology and especially after I experienced the big improvements it provides to the user experience.

Horizon has had support for the NVIDIA GRID environment for awhile now but it was limited Tesla cards (M60, M10, etc). NVIDIA announced the general availability of their GRID 4 and Pascal cards a couple months ago. I find that the P40 card has that great balance between performance and user density that we have been looking for. Horizon 7.3 will initially support the P40 card but the teams are already working on the support for P4 and P6

Tesla Lineup for GRID  The most powerful data center GPUs targeted at graphics virtualization  Tesla MIO  Tesla MG  GPI-J  CUDA Cores  Memory Size  H.264 1080p30  Users (CCU)  Form Factor  Power  Quad Mid-level Maxwell Single High-end Maxwell  2560 (640 per GPIJ)  32 GB GDDR5 (8 GB  per GPU)  28  Up to 64  PCIe 3.0 Dual Slot (rack  servers)  225W  1536  8 GB GDDR5  18  Up to 16  (blade servers)  IOOW (75W opt)  Tesla M60  Dual High-end Maxw  4096 (2048 per GPI  16 GB GDDR5 (8GB I  GPU)  36  Up to 32  PCIe 3.0 Dual Slot  servers)  240W / 300W (225W


After a few months of waiting, it is here the full support of VMware Horizon on RaspberriPi and the best part is available from two different management frameworks, ThinLinx and Stratodesk. While we know this option is not for every company, there are definitely use cases that can be served with this offering. If you are wondering what is the biggest draw back today, well for me the limitation to a single monitor is a big one, most enterprises are used to two monitors now days.

Linux Client for RaspberryPi — Blast Extreme  Overview  Bring Blast Extreme experiences to Raspt  Limited remote experiences  Certified by 2 vendors (ThinLinx and Strat  No PColP support  TCP only for this release.  Benefits  Astonishing graphic performance by fully I  decoder in a low cost Pi 3  RaspberryPi  Support up to 1920 x 1080 (FullHD) resoli

AppStack Attachment Limits

Lastly, this very interesting feature allows IT administrators to control licensing numbers by putting a limit on the concurrent number of users that can attach an specific AppStack. This way even if you have more users in the AD group for that one application, you can ensure your licensing team that only X numbers of users will be able to use it at any given time.

This might cause a bit of an issue with your help desk since an users that used the application yesterday might not see it today… if for some reason he got into the office a bit late due to traffic ;-), That said education for your end user support teams will be important if enabling this feature.

AppStack Attachment Limits  Limit number of times an AppStack can be attached concurrently  Helps manage compliance with software licensing for expensive apps  Filename:  .vmdk

And there you have it. What I think are the best features of the new Horizon 7.3. Thank you for reading.

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