Author: Shikha Mittal
Shikha Mittal is director of product management for enterprise desktop at VMware End-User Computing.
It’s official! VMware Horizon Cloud now supports Windows 10 VDI on Microsoft Azure.
When we launched Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure in late 2017, we offered RDS-based desktops and applications with graphics support. The interest we received was phenomenal and given VMware’s leadership in desktop virtualization, it wasn’t long before we received a large number of requests to add VDI to the simple yet powerful solution we had introduced.
We’ve heard you. With our expertise in VDI and great partnership with Microsoft, we were able to quickly add support for Windows 10 VDI.
Here are the cool new features:
Windows 10 VDI
In addition to session desktops, where multiple users share a virtual machine (VM) running a Windows Server operating system, we have now added support for Windows 10 VDI desktops, where each user gets a separate VM with the Windows 10 desktop operating system running in that VM. VDI is a great option when your end-users require an isolated desktop to make independent changes on their individual machine, or when sensitive data is being accessed. RDS is a great option when users do not require independent and full rights over their VM, data can be shared between users, and a less-resource intensive solution in terms of CPU & memory usage is important.
Dedicated and Floating Desktops
Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure supports both dedicated and floating desktops.
In a dedicated VDI desktop assignment, each virtual desktop gets mapped to a specific user. Each mapped user returns to the same desktop at every login for a persistent experience. For example, you need an assignment with one hundred desktops for a group of one hundred users. In this use case, dedicated desktop assignments ensure that the host name of the desktop VM for each user remains the same between sessions. Certain software packages might require this for licensing.
In a floating VDI desktop assignment, a user receives a different VM with a different machine name with each login. With floating desktop assignments, you can create desktops that shift workers can use and that can be sized based on the maximum number of concurrent users. For example, three hundred users can use an assignment of one hundred desktops if they work in shifts of one hundred users at a time. Floating desktops provide more flexible desktop management capabilities. They also avoid dedicating VM resources per user and as a result, typically cost less.
Note that to get persistent user data, settings, or profiles for session-based and floating desktops, you can set up User Environment Manager that is conveniently included in the Horizon Cloud offer. User Environment Manager offers personalization and dynamic policy configuration across any virtual desktop environment. Images created using the automated Import Desktop wizard have the User Environment Manager agent installed by default.
Load-based and Schedule-based Power Management Options
Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure previously supported load-based power management for a RDS farm of servers on Microsoft Azure. With this option, you could select appropriate thresholds at which the system automatically grew and shrunk the number of powered-on server instances based on session usage on the servers. We added a schedule-based power management option, where you can optionally configure schedules to adjust the minimum number of powered-on servers in a farm on a recurring weekly basis to further maximize cost savings and performance.
For floating VDI desktops, you can utilize the load-based power management option. Here you can set the thresholds at which the system automatically grows and shrinks the number of powered-on desktop instances according to usage.
In addition, we added a schedule-based power management option for both floating and dedicated desktops to help optimize savings and performance of the VDI desktop VMs. You can now optionally configure schedules to adjust the minimum number of desktop instances available during the specified time period on a recurring weekly basis. For floating desktops, this schedule adjusts the minimum number of powered-on desktops that will be available at that time. On the other hand, for dedicated desktops, this schedule adjusts the minimum number of powered-on unassigned desktop instances to take on end-user requests. The schedule does not affect the assigned desktops in use.
Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure now supports RADIUS-based two factor authentication to provide end-users with better security.
Help Desk for end-user Monitoring and Troubleshooting
Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure now supports the very handy Help Desk feature that allows you to easily and effectively monitor and troubleshoot an end-user’s use of virtual desktops and applications. You can now use the Horizon Cloud console to look up specific end-users and get information on their sessions, active desktops, remote applications, activity, and so on. Furthermore, for logged-in sessions you can get details such as CPU usage, memory usage, and latency for troubleshooting purposes. Within the Help Desktop feature, you can also take actions to troubleshoot issues by restarting or disconnecting a session, sending notifications to end-users and so on.
Microsoft Azure Government
Based on customer demand to support an isolated infrastructure for desktop workloads and data, Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure now supports Microsoft Azure Government cloud in Virginia, Arizona and Texas.
But that’s not all, we also have other enhancements such as support for Day 2 management for Internet-enabled desktops with Unified Access Gateway via the Horizon Cloud console and support for proxy-based authentication for organizations with restricted outbound Internet access.
Watch this video to see the latest additions –
Eager to find out more? Check out the following –