Horizon Agent

What’s New in VMware Horizon 7.2 and Horizon Client 4.5

We have just announced the general availability of VMware Horizon 7.2 and Horizon Client 4.5. This is a significant release for our flagship product, with improvements across the board—from scalability and user experience to deep technical innovations and improved policy controls. Let us dive straight in and highlight the key technical advances this release delivers.

Horizon 7.2

What&#rsquo;s New Highlights

Horizon Help Desk Tool
  • Provides user-session details for the Horizon 7 environment.
  • Single console for troubleshooting and solving user issues.
Workspace ONE mode
  • Forces using Workspace ONE when the client supports it.
  • Optionally blocks clients that do not support it.
Reuse AD account for instant-clone pool
  • Create a new computer account only if it does not exist.
Graphics settings from snapshot
  • SVGA settings / vGPU profile from master snapshot.
ADM template removal
  • Only ADMX in 7.2.
Increased scale
  • Pod , Cloud Pod Architecture, and Connection Server.
Storage improvements
  • Storage DRS cluster, storage policy-based management, encryption, local storage.

Horizon Help Desk Tool

The Horizon Help Desk Tool provides a tailored troubleshooting interface for the help desk that is installed by default on the Connection Servers. To access the Horizon Help Desk Tool, navigate to https:///helpdesk, where CS_FQDN is the fully qualified domain name of the Connection Server, or click the Help Desk button in the Horizon Administrator console.

The Horizon Help Desk Tool reduces workload for administrators and provides quick troubleshooting and metrics for the help desk.

The tool allows help desk staff to easily perform the following tasks on the user machine:

  • Restart, Logoff, Reset, and Disconnect
  • Remote Assistance
  • Send Message

You can obtain the following metrics for the client and virtual machine:

  • Client
    • Username
    • Client IP, Name, and OS
    • Protocol, TX Bandwidth, and Frame Rate
  • VM
    • Computer Name
    • Agent Version
    • Session State and State Duration, Logon Time and Duration, and Session Duration
    • CPU, Memory, Latency, and Logon Segments
    • Connection Server
    • Pool
    • vCenter

To get logon segments in the help-desk feature, you need to enable timingProfiler writes to the event database on each Connection Server:

vdmadmin -I -timingProfiler -enable

For detailed information on the Horizon Help Desk Tool, see the VMware blog post Help&#rsquo;s on the Way with the New VMware Horizon Help Desk Tool.

Watch this quick demo of the Horizon Help Desk Tool to see it in action:

Workspace ONE Mode

Workspace ONE mode secures access to Horizon 7 by allowing applications and desktops to launch only from Workspace ONE. This setting enforces access policies per application or per desktop. You enable Workspace ONE mode on the Connection Servers. When a user connects to a Workspace ONE mode-enabled server in Horizon Client, they are redirected to the Workspace ONE portal to launch desktops or applications, and the Horizon Client will no longer show other items that are available to launch. You also have the option to disable clients that do not support Workspace ONE mode.

See Workspace ONE mode in action in this short demo:

Reuse AD Account for Instant-Clone Pool

You can now rebuild a virtual machine in an instant clone and keep all machine assignments by reusing the computer account.

Graphics Settings from Snapshot

Instant-clone desktop pools inherit graphics settings from the vCenter Server parent-VM snapshot:

  • Memory
  • Number of monitors (with a new maximum of four)
  • Resolution

Just as with the SVGA settings, the vGPU profile for an instant-clone desktop pool is automatically selected when you select the snapshot of the vCenter Server parent VM.

All Active Directory Group Policy Templates Are Available as ADMX

All policy settings have been migrated to ADMX, and ADM is now deprecated and no longer included with Horizon 7. With all settings now in the ADMX templates, managing Horizon 7 is more streamlined and simpler than ever because now all templates can be placed in a central store, and no redundant copies need to be made into Sysvol.


Horizon 7.2 increases scalability for Cloud Pod Architecture deployments to now support up to 120,000 sessions across 12 View pods and five sites. Additionally, Horizon 7 can now support 4,000 desktops with a single VMware vCenter Server for linked-clone, full-clone and instant-clone deployments.

Local Storage Support for Instant Clones

You now have the option to use local storage as a low-cost storage tier for instant clones. However, for high-availability events, this requires careful pool capacity planning and adds complexity to vSphere host maintenance, which you would not have with vSAN.

Ability to Select Storage DRS Clusters for Full Clones

It is no longer required to select all storage devices belonging to a Storage DRS Cluster; you can now directly select the cluster for easier administration.

vSAN and Storage Policy-Based Management Improvements

Horizon 7.2 adds support for vSAN encryption and provides updated storage policy-based management for finer granularity.

Horizon Agent 7.2 for RDSH

What&#rsquo;s New Highlights

Smart Policies for applications
  • Extend support from desktop to remote applications.
Session pre-launch
  • Launch application on broker login.
  • Can be enabled per application.

Smart Policies for Applications

Smart Policies give administrators granular control of a user&#rsquo;s desktop experience. You can dynamically control a variety of Horizon 7 features based on user, device, and location. Horizon 7.2 now introduces Smart Policies for RDSH applications. Smart Policies for applications, together with tags, can control the behavior of published applications.

Following are client properties mapped to User Environment Manager properties:

Volatile Registry Key User Environment Manager Property Value
viewClient_Broker_GatewayLocation Client location Internal/External
viewClient_Launch_Matched_Tags Launch tag(s) Tags (comma)
viewClient_Launch_ID Pool name Pool ID

Edit the Connection Server settings to add a tag for a desktop pool. The tag can be any string value, for example, Internal or External.

Then, from User Environment Manager, create a Smart Policy and reference the tag name.

Or if you want this policy to apply only to specific applications, you can make the condition more specific, for example, only for applications that have Secure in their pool name:

But remember that the pool name that launched the session is evaluated at user-session launch time, so you cannot differentiate between applications on the same farm. If you want to differentiate, separate the applications with nonmatching settings into different farms and use OR to add all the applications to the conditions.

Session Pre-Launch

Administrators can configure a published application so that an application and remote desktop session are launched immediately after a user has authenticated to the Connection Server. When the user starts the session from Horizon Client, the session loads almost instantly. The pre-launch setting enables faster start times for frequently used applications. From the Horizon 7 Administrator console, you can configure pre-launch, as follows:

It is recommended to enable this option only for applications that the user will almost certainly use immediately after launching, to minimize unnecessary load on the farm. To further reduce impact, you can set a timeout for unused pre-launched applications, as follows:

To minimize impact even further, you can set a reasonable maximum amount of users, as determined by testing on the RDSH servers, and configure session load-balancing based on CPU and memory load, leaving enough headroom for boot storms.

For more information, see Configuring Load Balancing for RDS Hosts in View Administration.

Horizon Agent 7.2

What&#rsquo;s New Highlights

Recursive Unlock
  • Single unlock of the client device also unlocks the virtual desktop or published desktop.
USB over virtual channel
  • USB-redirection port consolidation.
HTML5 content redirection (beta)
  • Redirect HTML5 from agent to client.
Blast Extreme SHA-256
  • Upgraded to use the latest security algorithms.
Horizon Agent DX11
  • Complete rewrite of the D3D9 renderer.
Skype for Business GA
  • General availability.

Recursive Unlock

The Recursive Unlock feature unlocks all remote sessions after the client machine has been unlocked. After the user logs in to the server, remote sessions such as published applications, RDSH desktops, and Windows desktops are unlocked. This feature removes unnecessary authentication steps for the user.

Requirements for this feature include:

  • The Windows client device must be domain-joined
  • The user logging in to the client must be the same user logged in to the remote session
  • Enable the client setting Log in as current user
  • Enable the Group Policy setting Unlock remote sessions when the client machine is unlocked in ComputerPoliciesVMware Horizon Client ConfigurationSecurity.

USB over Virtual Channel

You can enable USB redirection without opening the firewall port 32111. USB over virtual channel allows USB over a side channel.

Configure this registry setting as follows:

  • Key path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREVMware, Inc.VMware VDMAgentConfiguration
  • Key name: UsbVirtualChannelEnabled
  • Key value: true

HTML5 Redirection (Tech Preview)

The HTML5 redirection feature allows video content redirection for websites that do not use Adobe Flash Player. Benefits of this feature include reduced CPU usage and smoother video playback.

HTML5 redirection requires:

  • Windows 7 or Windows 10 Enterprise for the agent and client OS, with VMware Horizon 7 HTML5 redirection package (available by request)
  • Google Chrome 58 with extension, from Chrome Web Store
  • Setting URL lists in the registry, for example:






Note: Tech Preview features and capabilities arenot supported for production deployment. These features are available to test in a lab or UAT environment as a preview of potential upcoming innovations. You can provide feedback to improve these features throughVMware Communities.

Horizon Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business

Optimized audio and video calls are now possible with Skype for Business inside a virtual desktop without negatively affecting the virtual infrastructure and overloading the network. All media processing takes place on the client machine instead of in the virtual desktop during Skype audio and video calls. Using native Skype codecs, bandwidth usage is equivalent to native Skype for Business calls.

For detailed information on this feature, which is now generally available, see the VMware blog post VMware Horizon Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business (Beta) Is Now Available!.

Horizon Client 4.5

The Horizon Client has been updated, too, with availability of an XBox One Client in the Windows store, a new installer UI for Windows, dual-monitor support for HTML Access, SSO for RHEL/CentOS 7.x, and KDE and CDR support for Linux.

What&#rsquo;s New Highlights

For more information, see the Release Notes on the Horizon Clients Documentation page.

With all these great additions, it is easy to see why we are so excited about this release. We invite you to see it all yourself by visiting the Horizon 7.2 download page and the Horizon Clients download page.


The post What&#rsquo;s New in VMware Horizon 7.2 and Horizon Client 4.5 appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

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Top 10 Tips for a Successful Horizon VDI

By Ryan Klumph

Here are my top ten tips and tricks for a smoother deployment of VMware Horizon® View™ Standard Edition. These suggestions are informed after spending several years as a Technical Support Engineer. This is not a complete list, so please refer to the official Horizon View Documentation when planning your deployment.

Right Sizing

I’m sure everyone has probably heard this one by now, but it cannot go without mention. Connection Servers for a production environment must be configured for at least 4 vCPU and 10 GB of RAM. An underpowered Connection Server can be the root of so many oddities—from connection issues, to database replication issues, to performance issues, and beyond. Give Connection Servers the juice they need early on, to save yourself from headaches down the road!

&#rsquo;If you install View Connection Server with less than 10 GB of memory, Viewprovides memory recommendations by generating warning messages after the installation is complete. An event triggered every 12 hours states that the View Connection Server instance is configured with a small amount of physical memory.&#rdquo; - Horizon View Documentation


I’ve previously written about how to easily install a signed certificate. Long story short—if you haveKnowledge Base (KB) 2068666on hand prior to attempting your certificate installs, you’ll be downright winning. VMware recommends a Certificate Authority (CA) signed cert for Connection Servers, Security Servers, and Composer Instances, as well as your View vCenter Server. Check out Scenarios for Setting Up SSL Certificates for View.


All Horizon View environments should have, at the very least, twoConnection Servers. This allows the ADAM Database to replicate to a second server. This way, if BROKER1 goes down, a simple DNS adjustment to BROKER2, for example, can allow all your users to connect without pulling the fire alarm. Environments that cater to internal and external users should have a minimum of four Connection Servers and two Security Servers. With this setup, two Connection Servers are reserved for internal users to provide high availability, and the other two Connection Servers are reserved for external users, each paired with Security Servers (Access Point aside).BONUS TIP: Disable Secure Tunneling for the internal Connection Servers. In most environments, it is not necessary.

Backup and Restore

View administrators should be familiar with the backup and restore procedure. Once again, having the right KB on hand will equip you to quickly restore data if needed. Be sure to bookmark Performing an End to End Backup and Restore for View. I also wrote about this process here.

VMware Flings

There is a surprising number of VMware Flings for Horizon. As they can be great tools for managing and automating tasks for View Admins, they certainly deserve mention.Some of my favorite Flings are the OS Optimization Tool, the Horizon Toolbox, and the View Event Notifier. Take a look around and you’ll likely find some that will benefit you.

PCoIP Optimization

VMware Horizon Blast Extreme is the new kid on the block and is absolutely worth checking out, though many environments still use Teradici’s PCoIP protocol. Teradici has a Network Design Checklist that all View admins should provide to their network admins. Some of the highlights include enabling QoS, segmenting PCoIP Traffic, and, of course, ensuring proper port configuration. If your goal is to use VMware&#rsquo;s ultra-tuned Blast Extreme Protocol in Horizon 7, be sure to read the new white paper here.

Black Screen Disconnect

Speaking of PCoIP, this particular configuration deserves a call out. PCoIP uses UDP packets as its real-time protocol, but initial authentication from Client to Connection Server is done using TCP packets. This means port 4172 UDP and TCP must be open. A misconfiguration on any network device in between the client and the Connection Server could cause the connection to show a simple black screen, then disconnect. Check out the Horizon View Ports KB as well as the recently refreshed port diagram.

VMware vCenter Dependency

Once it has been configured alongside a VMware vSphere® environment, Horizon View could have some serious side effects if architectural changes occurred in VMware vCenter®. Licensing aside, this is one of the reasons you will often find customers having a vCenter dedicated just for Horizon View. It better allows for a&#rsquo;set it and forget it&#rdquo; Similarly, Horizon View can be particular about how it handles architectural changes. See Changing the IP of a Connection Server and Changing the name of a Connection Server.If a situation arises where vCenter must be renamed or re-IP’d, you will need to consider and plan for rebuilding Horizon View. Be sure to take this into consideration when planning your View Infrastructure, or when taking a POC to production. This also means managing desktops from vCenter isn’t recommended. All management operations should come from Horizon Administrator—including resets, refreshes, relocation (aka rebalance), and so forth.

Stale Desktops

Sometimes it&#rsquo;s necessary to manually remove Linked Clones that are stale, or otherwise appearstuck and don’t seem to get removed from Horizon Administrator. At times, you’ll see the desktop listed in the View Pool’s inventory, but it’s nowhere to be found in vCenter.When a Linked Clone gets created, it has an entry in a few places: the ADAM Database on the Connection Servers, the Composer Database, and the vCenter Database. It’s when the VM entry gets partially removed—that is, removed from one or two of the three databases—that you can run into this type of behavior. I’ve covered this scenario in this post before, but there is also an official KB and new method of clearing the databases using the ViewDBChkTool (for Horizon View 5.3+ environments).

Horizon Agent

The last tip pertains to the View Agent (Horizon Agent) on your desktop or clone’s Parent Image. Always install the View Agent last on your image, unless specified by another software’s installation guide. This is especially important to remember when updating a Parent Image down the road. When planning Windows updates, software updates, and other patches to your Golden Image before taking that final snapshot, you will want to uninstall the View Agent, reboot the VM, and reinstall the View Agent.If you install software on top of the View Agent, the userinit string can get modified so that it halts proper communication of the Agent to the Connection Server.

This KB talks about verifying if your registry value has been modified or not. In addition to the symptoms listed in the KB, you can sometimes spot this issue by the Agent Status still reportingAvailablefor a desktop that is in fact being used by an end user.

I’m sure every Horizon View administrator has their own top ten list, so you can put this one in the tool belt along with the rest. Thanks for reading!

The post Top 10 Tips for a Successful Horizon VDI appeared first on VMware TAM Blog.

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