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.