VMware View 5.3

By Hank Smith
Posted in Virtualization
On October 18, 2013

Along with the new products and acquisitions announced at VMworld Barcelona this past week, VMware announced new features to be included in Horizon View 5.3.

Two features I want to call out specifically are:

  • 3D Graphics
  • Support for Windows Server 2008 for virtual desktops

3D Graphics support: VMware is now supporting the NVIDIA Grid cards making VMware Horizon View a good use case for AutoCAD groups or any group of users that requires a pass-through or virtualized GPU. This makes sense as Citrix XenDesktop 7 is already doing this; they announced their partnership with NVIDIA at Synergy in April of 2013.

Support for Windows Server 2008 for virtual desktops: I found this one interesting. This shouldn’t be confused with a Remote Desktop Services (RDS) layer like XenApp. This is still a 1:1 ratio just offering the ability to access Windows Server 2008. I also find it interesting the press release refers just to Windows 2008. What about 2008 R2 or 2012? I am sure more information will come up once 5.3 is released.

Overall these are some nice features but nothing groundbreaking in my opinion. Features I feel would be beneficial to customers are the following:

Policy engine. I can’t figure out why VMware hasn’t invested the time into creating a policy engine. There are 10 or so universal settings/policies that can be changed, but compared to the competition they are lacking in functionality.

Virtual appliance. It would be great if VMware released a security appliance. As of now, if you want to encapsulate PCOIP/RDP View traffic, you would implement a VMware security server which is based on Windows 2008 R2. Utilizing a virtual appliance based on Linux would be a much better play. In fact, if the whole VMware Horizon View product was based on a virtual appliance or vApp, that would be ideal. Horizon Workspace is a great example of a vApp that is easy to deploy and doesn’t require a Windows OS.

I am sure like any other product it will evolve with new features and enhancements. It will be interesting to see what comes of View based on the Desktone acquisition; time will tell.

Hank Smith

Hank Smith

Hank is an expert in the design, development, and delivery of cost-effective, high-performance technology solutions. As manager of Gotham’s Virtualization practice, Hank builds motivated, productive teams for Gotham’s large-scale networking and infrastructure engagements, develops implementation standards and methodologies around virtualization technologies, and manages overall design and implementation of multiple infrastructure projects.