Horizon View

VMware Horizon 8 Announced New Features

With this year certainly being the “Year of VDI” like none other largely due to the global pandemic, organizations have had to reorganize their entire workforce to a mostly remote work layout. Organizations have had to look at solutions they use to deliver what end users need for business productivity. VMware Horizon has been a leader in the industry for SSDC and digital workspaces. VMware continues to push the envelope of innovation with VMware Horizon. Today, big news came from VMware. VMware Horizon 8 announced new features including expanded modern and hybrid cloud capabilities. Let’s take a closer look at the details of this new release of EUC technology from VMware and see how organizations will benefit.

VMware Horizon 8 New Features

VMware Horizon 8 continues to help unlock hybrid and multi-cloud use cases for organizations today who are having to be as flexible and inventive as possible when it comes to the remote workforce. The hybrid and multi-cloud use cases may include work from home initiatives, business-continuity, real-time bursting, disaster recovery, and high-availability.

These use cases and others are supported by the new capabilities and enhancements that VMware Horizon 8 brings to the table.

Built for Multi-cloud and Hybrid Cloud Deployments

VMware Horizon 8 is now truly built for cloud environments. It now supports hybrid and multi-cloud architectures. Organizations today are no longer simply bound to a single physical location. They are making use of hybrid topologies involving public cloud environments along with on-premises data centers housing resources.

With the current remote work layout that is the new normal, organizations are looking to extend these hybrid architectures out even further due to current and future requirements to do so. With VMware Horizon 8, organizations can operate across many different well-known clouds such as VMware Cloud on AWS and Microsoft Azure. Also supported now are Google Cloud and VMware Cloud on Dell EMC and the preview as it exists as Azure VMware Solution.

VMware has done a lot of work in the areas of entitlement and the management layers across Horizon pods. There is a new construct in VMware Horizon 8 called the Universal Broker. This new component provides what VMware refers to as global entitlement that intelligently provisions users to a personal desktop or application in any connected pod or cloud.

This may be based on a number of factors that provide a better experience for the end user. This may include availability or proximity to the user.

Image and Application Management

Image and application management is one of the more complex areas of EUC. However, with VMware Horizon 8, image and application management has been simplified with services that span across different pods and clouds. Your image can be created once and no matter which cloud or pod, the image can be distributed and used.

Performance Monitoring and Security

With VMware Horizon 8, VMware has included real-time performance monitoring and end-to-end security. With this being said, there is not a better time for providing even more secure EUC with employees working from home and cybersecurity threats running rampant. This will help to ensure that end users are as secure as possible.

New Instant Clone Features

New with VMware Horizon 8, there are new features to provide even more powerful instant clone functionality. These include capabilities that allow organizations to provide stateless, non-persistent desktops in seconds, further bolstering one-to-many provisioning and updates that require no downtime.

No longer do the instant clones require a parent VM which allows further reducing the footprint of instant clone provisioning time and resources. This is known as Instant Clones Smart Provisioning.

VMware Horizon 8 Smart Provisioning improves instant clone technology (image courtesy of VMware)

Elastic DRS

With new Elastic DRS (Distributed Resource Scheduler), Horizon admins have the ability to dynamically expand pools and quickly burst up/down depending on the demands that need to be met.

New App Volumes Features

Part of the appeal of VMware Horizon is the ability with App Volumes to package applications one time and then be able to use the application everywhere. With VMware Horizon 8, app packaging has been extended and streamlined. New innovations now streamline the inventory and lifecycle management of applications.

You can perform simple one-to-many roll outs, rollbacks, and other tasks that provide organizations with even greater flexibility in how applications are deployed across the VDI infrastructure. App Volumes now also support Horizon Cloud on Azure deployments.

More Efficient Blast Extreme Protocol

With the release of VMware Horizon 8, VMware is introducing an even more advanced and efficient Blast Extreme protocol. With this release, the new protocol delivers even better user experience with support for high quality video, 3D graphics workloads, new HEVC H.265 codecs and GPUs, as well as support for both for 4K and 8K monitors.

Improved Unified Communications and Collaboration

Employees need to have the ability to communicate as efficiently and effectively as possible, no matter where they are located. With VMware Horizon 8, VMware is offering organizations even better user experience and improved productivity. New optimization packs are available for Zoom and Webex. Additionally, there is now enhanced audio and video experience and support for Microsoft Teams.

High-performance graphic support

VMware Horizon 8 offers some really great new high-performance graphics support. VMware has partnered and collaborated with the likes of NVIDIA, Intel, and AMD. NVIDIA GRID and Quadro technologies allow scalable rich graphics that provide optimizations for office apps and multimedia alike.

Intrinsic Security

VMware Horizon 8 builds on the already great ecosystem of security technologies and products that VMware has under their umbrella. Horizon takes advantage of the intrinsic security solutions including Workspace ONE Access, VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud, NSX Advanced Load Balancer (Avi Networks) and Unified Access Gateway (UAG).

Also, next-generation endpoint security comes from the recent VMware acquisition of Carbon Black. All of the intrinsic security solutions provided by VMware can help to ensure a zero-trust architecture with VM Horizon 8.

VMware Horizon 8 Release Date

According to VMware, when is all of this new VMware Horizon goodness going to be available? The new VMware Horizon 8 release is expected to be GA in Q3 of this year.

Wrapping Up

It looks like this is going to be another solid VMware Horizon release for VMware. Organizations are certainly going to continue looking at extending their remote work capabilities.

Any improvements and new features with remote workspace technology is going to receive ready adoption, especially with the “new normal” that has taken over globally due to the pandemic.

VMware Horizon 8 is a fully matured VDI solution that has transcended beyond a simple on-premises solution. It is now very cloud aware and contains support for many different public cloud environments and solutions.

Again, VMware Horizon 8 will not be out until sometime in October 2021. Until then, we will have to wait to get our hands on the release to put it through the paces.

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Brandon Lee

Brandon Lee is the Senior Writer, Engineer and owner at Virtualizationhowto.com 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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