Jun 202014
 

It’s a major release this time, Horizon 6.0 is out.  You can get to the downloads here.  As always, here’s the What’s New from the release notes:

This release of View delivers a number of important new features and enhancements.

Hosted Apps and Desktops

  • Delivers Hosted Apps and desktops (remote applications and desktops) through expanded integration with Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS) on Windows Server operating systems.
  • Provides a robust way to access one or more remote applications seamlessly from any Horizon Client 3.0 or later using PCoIP.
  • Provides the ability to remote shared session desktops from RDS hosts using PCoIP.

Cloud Pod Architecture

  • Lets you deploy View in multiple datacenters that you can manage as a single deployment.
  • Provides global entitlements to desktops in multiple datacenters.
  • Provices the ability to scale up to 20K desktops across two sites and four View pods.

View integration with VMware Virtual SAN technology

  • Aggregates local server-attached storage to satisfy performance and capacity requirements of virtual desktops.
  • View recognizes the Virtual SAN storage type and automates the creation of Virtual SAN storage policies based on the type of desktops being deployed.
  • If you intend to use Virtual SAN, download vSphere 5.5 U1, which is required to support the Virtual SAN feature.

Additional Features

  • View Connection Server, security server, and View Composer are supported on Windows Server 2012 R2 operating systems.
  • Ability to send View logs to a Syslog server such as VMware vCenter Log Insight.
  • Support for RDS remote applications and desktops with the View Agent Direct-Connection Plug-in.
  • Enhanced smart card authentication for View Administrator.
  • Integration of remote applications with Workspace. Users can launch View applications from the Workspace user portal.
  • Real-Time Audio-Video installs a new kernel-mode webcam driver on View desktops that provides better compatibility with browser-based video apps and other 3rd-party conferencing software.
  • The Remote Experience Agent is now integrated with View Agent. Previously, you had to install View Agent and the Remote Experience Agent to use features such as HTML Access, Unity Touch, Real-Time Audio-Video, and Windows 7 Multimedia Redirection. Now you obtain these features by installing View Agent only.
  • Virtual machine space reclamation is supported for Windows 8 and 8.1 linked clone machines in a vSphere 5.5 or later environment.
  • View Persona Management is supported on Windows 8.1 desktops. It is also supported on Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 desktops that are based on physical or virtual machines.
  • The Blast Secure Gateway (BSG) now supports up to 800 connections to remote desktops from clients using HTML Access. This connection limit applies to a BSG on one View Connection Server instance or security server.
Jun 202014
 

A major release with some great new features.  Also read this article on the removal of Horizon Files (with Airwatch as an alternative).  Go get the download or check the What’s New from the Release Notes:

This release of VMware Workspace Portal 2.0 delivers the following new features.

    • Support for VMware Horizon 6 with View Hosted Applications

To launch View Hosted apps in Horizon 6, Horizon Client version 3.0 or later must be installed.

  • Workspace is simplified to provide exclusively identity and app management features
    • Horizon Files feature is removed
    • Horizon Switch device management is removed
  • Support for multiple View pod instances from the same Active Directory
  • ThinApp 5.0 64-bit support is now native in the Windows Agent (works out of the box)
  • ThinApp 5.0.1 support
  • Improved audit log reporting using Elasticsearch
  • Enhanced reporting of users’ activity and application utilization
  • More extensive custom branding controls
  • Improved entitlement and directory sync performance
  • Support for multiple DNS servers in Workspace vApp
  • Updated to the OPENSSL library version openssl-1.0.1h where necessary to address CVE-2014-0224, CVE-2014-0198, CVE-2010-5298, and CVE-2014-3470

Internationalization

VMware Workspace Portal 2.0 is available in the following languages:

  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Japanese
  • Simplified Chinese
Jun 102014
 

A great new release with many new features.  You can find the download here.  As always, here’s the What’s new section from the release notes:

What’s New in Log Insight 2.0

  • Scale-Out with High Availability
    • 5x-10x throughput improvement in Cluster mode
    • Single UI to query all the data
  • Proactive Analytics
    • Machine learning enabled summarization of event types & schema recognition
    • Smart fields to aid in extraction
  • Super-Powered Dashboards
    • Easily add new data filters on the fly
    • Interact between dashboard widgets
  • RESTful API for log ingestion
  • Improved self-monitoring tools
  • Windows collection agent
    • Forwards Windows event logs
    • Monitors & forwards flat log files
    • Centralized reporting & management
  • E-mail alerts to notify about license expiration
Feb 262014
 

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A neighbor of mine recently installed automated light switches like the one shown here, in all of his children’s bed rooms.  His kids had been constantly leaving the lights on when they went outside to play.  This way, if they were not using the room, he was not paying for the electricity to light a unused room.  The return on investment was quick given the cost of electricity vs the cost of the switches and time to install them.

Fast forward to a discussion I was having with a customer yesterday.  The customer wanted to “test the waters” in the public cloud because they had some changes coming to their datacenter.  They were looking to offload many of their applications to the public cloud so they could avoid having to purchase new server storage and networking hardware.  During the discussion, I mentioned Automation Center from VMware.  The customer asked, “If I looking to put things in the public cloud in the future, why do I need automation?”  A great question.  I shared with the customer my story about my neighbor above and asked him another question, “If your direction is to move things to the public cloud, you will begin purchasing your IT infrastructure as a utility.  How will you make sure your kids do not leave the lights on?”  There was a long pause as the gravity of the analogy set in.  I have seen customers today with current monthly public cloud bills that are 100 times+ my monthly electric bill.  This makes this requirement all the more critical.

Automation Center can build things in the public clouds in an automated fashion and still provide ownership and accountability for the things that users create.  You can mandate that all things created in the public cloud have an expiration date.  An application owner can see the end dates for everything they have requested.  An App Manager can see everything their department has requested and owns in the public cloud.  IT can see the owners and expiration of everything everyone from the company has created in the public cloud.  If we near the expiration, we can give the owners the option to request an extension (with proper approvals of course) and the expiration date will be moved out automatically.

What I try to help customers understand is not to think of Automation Center as the tool to take the request and create the VMs.  It’s a tool which manages the life of the things that users create from IT.  Whether that’s in the private cloud or the public or both.  With the cost of that public cloud adding up quickly, knowing that I’m only running the things I need to becomes all the more critical.  Now off to get some new light switches, damn kids left the lights on again.

Dec 102013
 

On the heels of the new vCOPs release comes a major update to vCAC.  You can find the download for this release here.  There are tons of new stuff in this release, specifically Anything-as-a-service, Unified Service Catalog, Puppet integration and enhanced vSphere support.  Here is the What’s New Section from the release notes:

  • Unified Service Catalog for Infrastructure, Desktop, and Application Services
    • In addition to its support for heterogeneous infrastructure, vCloud Automation Center now offers a single catalog for publishing and consuming application services. Users can browse the same catalog to request and provision single- or multi-node applications, just as they do for infrastructure and desktop services.
    • Catalog requests are now governed by a more flexible and powerful approval policy engine. Approval policies can be based on request criteria, support multiple levels of approvers (requiring one or all approvers at each level), and be enforced both before and after services are provisioned. Furthermore, administrators can set up policies that allow approvers to override specific request fields (for example, the lease duration).
  • Enhancements to Application Deployment and Updates (formerly “Application Director”)
    • Users can request applications from the Service Catalog and monitor their overall deployment status.
    • Application enhancements: Users can now roll back failed updates to restore the system. They can also significantly reduce the time to update an application by reusing update profiles that store frequently used update scripts and properties. This enables the promotion of changes across Deployment Environments to facilitate Release Automation, and scale-in of clustered applications to save unused resources.
    • External services: Users can reduce time to deliver workload by connecting to an external or existing service such as a load balancer, an existing database with pre-configured schema, SaaS applications such as Salesforce, an LDAP server, an SSO server and so on.
    • Policy-based provisioning: Administrators can enforce policies across different deployment environments by blacklisting application services or enforcing mandatory services. They can also facilitate policy-based provisioning by setting number of Total Instances (VMs) limits across all nodes in a deployment. Compliance View shows policy violations against currently active and effective policies on deployments and application updates.
  • Extensibility to any IT Service
    • In addition to out-of-the-box services, customers can now more easily extend vCloud Automation Center to publish any kind of IT service to the common service catalog. Whether it’s storage-as-a-service, backup-as-a-service, or something as simple as letting users add capacity to their e-mail account, the new Advanced Service Designer lets service architects design rich user forms and provisioning workflows in a matter of minutes.
    • Like out-of-the-box services, custom services leverage the same entitlement and approval policy engine, enabling organizations to enforce a consistent governance layer.
  • Integration with IT Business Management Standard Edition
    • Provides visibility into the cost and usage of on-premise virtual infrastructure and public cloud infrastructure, including benchmarking capabilities.
    • Supports “what-if” cost analysis to determine the best infrastructure type and placement options
    • Includes capacity, cost, and budget analysis capabilities for proactive planning
  • Improvements in Infrastructure as a Service
    • Support for VMware vCloud Hybrid Service: vCloud Automation Center now provides the ability to provision and perform basic administrative tasks on virtual machines deployed in vCloud Hybrid Services.
    • Support for OpenStack: In addition to vSphere, vCloud Director, Amazon Web Services, Hyper-V, Kernel-based Virtual Machine, Citrix XenServer, and various physical server management interfaces, vCloud Automation Center now provides support for provisioning and performing administrative actions on machines managed by OpenStack.
      • Supports RedHat OpenStack 3.0 (Grizzly)
      • Supports static IP and floating IP
      • Supports attach to VNC console
      • Support for Linux kickstart and WIMimage
    • Log in to vSphere machines from the service catalog: After a vSphere virtual machine is provisioned, a user can now access it via the VMware Remote Console.
    • Continued integration with vCNS: In previous versions, vCloud Automation Center provided support for placement in existing VXLANs, load balancers and security groups. This release adds support for the dynamic creation of isolated and routed networks and load balancers.
    • Support for vSAN as a datastore: vCloud Automation Center now supports storage clusters and allows the selection of a vSAN as a data store for a reservation.
  • Puppet Integration
    In this release, support for reuse of Puppet content to build application blueprints in Application Director allows application architects to accomplish the following goals:

    • Model multi-tier applications using Puppet modules.
    • Mix-and-match Puppet and non-Puppet content in application blueprints.
    • Import both Puppet Open Source and Puppet Enterprise Modules
    • Manage the application update life cycle while maintaining multi-node dependencies, property bindings, and diverse content types.
    • Leverage vCloud Automation Center Service Catalog to publish and request Puppet applications.
  • Enhanced vSphere support
    • vCloud Automation Center supports Storage DRS (SDRS): SDRS clusters and volumes are discovered as individual storage paths.
    • vCloud Automation Center supports storage clusters and recognizes a Storage DRS-enabled storage cluster as a datastore.
    • vCloud Automation Center automatically consumes the changes at the next data collection as datastores are added or removed from the storage cluster.
    • vCloud Automation Center supports Storage DRS automated mode.
    • vCloud Automation Center allows the selection of a cluster, standalone datastore, or a cluster member (datastore from a cluster) in the same reservation. All selections have the same priority and are accessed via round-robin.
  • Improved Administration Capabilities
    • Support for LDAP services: In addition to Microsoft Active Directory, vCloud Automation Center now provides support for LDAP-based directory services.
    • Improvements in multi-tenancy: vCloud Automation Center administrators can easily create multiple tenants with dedicated directory services, service catalog, and portal branding.
    • New verb-oriented RESTFUL APIs (BETA): New programmatic interfaces provide a more secure and easier way for external systems to interact with the vCloud Automation Center service catalog and cover operations such SSO authentication, submitting a service request, approving a request, listing provisioned items, and so on. These APIs are available for BETA testing and are expected to evolve in the next vCloud Automation Center release. Older vCloud Automation Center 5.x APIs are still available and have received minor updates for feature enhancements.