VMware Horizon 7.9 Released with New Features

Just a few days ago now, VMware released VMware Horizon version 7.9 to the masses with many new improvements to their premier Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solution. There are enhancements all the way across the landscape of functionality including Connection Server, Horizon Agents, Horizon Client, and various cloud components. In this post, we will take a look at VMware Horizon 7.9 Released with New Features to briefly go over the new features and functionality included with this newest release.

VMware Horizon 7.9 Released with New Features

The VMware Horizon 7.9 Release contains many great new improvements and enhancements to speak of. These include:

  • Horizon Connection Server (On-Premises)
  • Horizon Agents (Windows and Linux)
  • Horizon GPO bundle
  • Horizon 7 Cloud Connector
  • Horizon 7 on VMware on AWS

Let’s take a look at each of these in a bit more detail.

Horizon Connection Server (On-Premises)

Horizon Connection Server is always one of the first new feature enhancements that we tend to take a look at since this is where you typically interact with VMware Horizon. The big news with the past few releases of VMware Horizon has been the Horizon Console which is the new HTML 5 interface for VMware Horizon as opposed to the older flex-based Horizon Administrator.

VMware Horizon 7.9 Released with New Features

You can expect to see with each release of Horizon, VMware getting closer to feature parity with the older client, until like the vSphere Client, feature parity is achieved and the older client is deprecated. What are the new features with the Horizon Console? Straight from the VMware Horizon 7.9 Release notes:

  • Add, edit, or removeΒ an instant-clone domain administrator.
  • ViewΒ the number of published desktop sessions for farms or registered machines.
  • ConfigureΒ event reporting and monitor events.
  • Monitor published desktop and application sessions.
  • Configure smart card authentication.Β 
  • Perform enhanced role-based delegated administration including privileges and roles for custom roles in Horizon Console.
  • The Horizon Console user interface contains updated icons.
  • View the image, pending image, and task columns for an RDS host for a farm.
  • Configure the multi-session mode feature for published applications.
  • Configure global settings that affect client sessions and connections and set global security settings for client sessions and connections in Horizon Console.
  • Select whether and when to refresh the OS disks when creating an instant-clone desktop pool.
  • Determine whether to allow ESXi hosts to reclaim unused disk space on instant clones that are created in space-efficient disk format when creating an instant-clone desktop pool. The space reclamation feature reduces the total storage space required for instant clone desktops.
  • Publish and launch Universal Windows Platform (UWP) applications.
  • Change or remove the icon of a published application.

Hardware requirements for Horizon 7.9:

Hardware ComponentRequiredRecommended
ProcessorPentium IV 2.0GHz processor or higher4 CPUs
Network Adapter100Mpbs NIC1Gbps NICs
MemoryWindows Server 2008 R2 64-bit4GB RAM or higherAt least 10GB RAM for deployments of 50 or more remote desktops
MemoryWindows Server 2012 R2 64-bit4GB RAM or higher

Supported Operating Systems for Horizon 7.9 Connection Server:

Operating SystemVersionEdition
Windows Server 2008 R2 SP164-bitStandardEnterpriseDatacenter
Windows Server 2012 R264-bitStandardDatacenter
Windows Server 201664-bitStandardDatacenter
Windows Server 201964-bitStandardDatacenter

Horizon Administrator New Features in Horizon 7.9

Horizon Administrator can be used to configure options that are not available in the Horizon Console such as the “Always Log to file on error” option and “Never” to enable event log messages to generate and stored in the Syslog format.

Cloud Pod Architecture

Home Site Override tab is separated in the Users and Groups section in the Horizon Console. Additionally, the Search Sessions feature in the Horizon Console can be used to view desktop and application sessions across a pod federation.

Published Desktops and Applications

Publish and launch Universal Windows Platform (UWP) applications.

Virtual Desktops

With instant clones, you can select whether or not to and when to refresh the OS disks. Also, you can determine whether or not to allow ESXi hosts to reclaim unused disk space on instant clones. This reduces the amount of space required for instant clones.

Horizon Agents (Windows and Linux)

New Linux operating systems are supported for smart card redirection:

New performance enhancements have been introduced in the Linux agent for single-threaded architecture for user sessions.

The Windows Horizon Agent has new support for remoting protocols:

  • Microsoft Media Server (MMS) and Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP)
  • NVIDIA Tesla T4 GPUs are supported with Windows 10 VDI, Windows Server 2016 and 2019. Balst Extreme can offload H.264, H.265, and graphics to the T4 GPUs
  • Improvements in the Blast Log file rotation

Many Remote Experience improvements including redirecting biometric devices, enhancements to Skype for Business virtualization pack, six monitor support, Windows 10 notification redirection, and more.

Horizon GPO Bundle

New ADMX template file contains a new Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business group policy settings, new device filtering group policy settings, and new Horizon PCoIP and VMware Blast template contains new policy settings.

Horizon 7 Cloud Connector

  • Subscription licenses as part of teh Workspace One Enterprise bundle.
  • Cloud Monitoring Services features as part of Horizon Cloud Service

Horizon 7 Deployed on VMware Cloud on AWS

  • You can now have manual desktop pools supported for either Windows or Linux
  • Support of SDDC1.7
  • Support for using AWS Directory Service for Microsoft Active Directory
  • Events database on Amazon Relational Database Service

Wrapping Up

With VMware Horizon 7.9 Released with New Features including even more features and functionality included in the Horizon Console, VMware is continuing to take Horizon to new heights. The Virtual Desktop Infrastructure VDI technology is getting more and more powerful in the Horizon solution. You can see new technologies continuing to take shape such as the NVIDIA GPU integration, VMware Cloud on AWS, and more device redirection. Stay tuned for more Horizon 7.9 walk throughs.

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Brandon Lee

Brandon Lee is the Senior Writer, Engineer and owner at and has over two decades of experience in Information Technology. Having worked for numerous Fortune 500 companies as well as in various industries, Brandon has extensive experience in various IT segments and is a strong advocate for open source technologies. Brandon holds many industry certifications, loves the outdoors and spending time with family.

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