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Skype for Business

Long-Term Service Release of HDX RealTime Optimization Pack for Skype for Business

December’s 2.4 release of the HDX RealTime Optimization Pack for Skype for Business is our first Long-Term Service Release (LTSR) of this popular Enterprise and Platinum edition feature, co-developed by Citrix and Microsoft. Over 400,000 workers are using the Optimization …


  

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Citrix Ready Introduces Bundled Solution Program at Citrix Summit 2018

We are excited to launch the Bundled Solution Program today!

The Citrix Ready Bundled Solution Program features multiple Citrix Ready partners that have joined hands to address unique customer pain points and deliver fully integrated and secure digital workspace


  

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The Citrix Strategy for Windows 7 Virtual Desktop Users

With end-of-extended-support for Windows 7 still two years away, you may be wondering, “What is the Citrix strategy for users who will remain on Windows 7 virtual desktops until 2020? Will these users see any product improvements? Or


  

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How Stratodesk and Citrix Help Customers Unify & Standardize VDI Endpoints

As a Citrix Ready partner, Stratodesk has been pioneering the cause of helping Citrix’ customer base enhance the user experience with endpoint devices. Today, I am pleased to bring you a guest post by Joseph Anderson from Stratodesk. Read on


  

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Implementing the Citrix HDX Real-time Optimization Pack: Don’t Forget About QoS/DSCP

Implementing the Citrix HDX Real-time Optimization Pack: don’t forget about QoS/DSCP!

Skype for Business (SFB) has become quite popular and, more and more, companies all over the world have implemented or are in the process of implementing Microsoft’s unified communications …


  

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Better Secure Digital Workspace: Fujitsu Launches Cloud Desktops with Citrix!

Fujitsu, a thought leader in on-premises and off-premises human centric workplace solutions, has just launched a new cloud-based desktop service “VCC” with Citrix, raising the bench mark for hosted cloud desktops and protecting customers from other inadequate solutions that use …


  

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The Big News About Microsoft Teams

Over the past six weeks, Microsoft has revealed their plans for Teams and Skype for Business. Let’s review the big news about Teams, and what it will mean for Citrix customers.

Unified Communications is evolving into what Microsoft calls “Intelligent …


  

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XenMobile 10.7.5 – Your Favorite Feature Now Supports Skype for Business

Sometimes it’s the simple things. Available today, XenMobile 10.7.5 client release includes an updated version of Secure Mail that provides integration with Skype for Business for creating meetings, joining meetings, and letting others know you’re running late.

Over the past …


  

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The Only Virtualization Solution for Skype Meetings Just Got Even Better!

Over a year and a half after Citrix and Microsoft introduced our jointly developed solution for delivering Skype for Business in virtualized environments — whether on-premises or in the cloud — the HDX RealTime Optimization Pack remains the only virtualization …


  

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VMware Horizon Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business

Optimizing Skype for EUC Is the Only Way to Go

You can run Skype for Business inside Horizon 7 virtual desktops without negatively affecting the virtual infrastructure and overloading the network. During Skype audio and video calls, all media processing takes place on the Windows client machine, instead of in the virtual desktop,.

To learn more about the Horizon Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business, watch the following two videos (each 10 minutes long) that provide a technical overview of the technology and offer some insights to its performance-enhancing characteristics.

Technical Overview for the Horizon Virtualization Pack (Video Presentation)

The technical overview for the Horizon Virtualization pack video covers the following topics:

  • Challenges delivering Skype audio and video media
  • How it works
  • Key benefits and capabilities
  • Architecture
  • External accessibility
  • Installation steps
  • Supportability
  • Troubleshooting and configuration
  • Resources

Horizon with Skype for Business Testing (Video Results)

The Horizon with Skype for Business Testing video demonstrates VMware Horizon 7 with Skype for Business for audio and video call scenarios. The video provides a series of test cases that show the benefits of the Horizon Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business. The video offers both qualitative and quantitative test results that compare two Horizon 7 deployment scenarios that include and exclude the Virtualization Pack.

The difference does not seem significant at first, but the impact is more far-reaching when you consider performance when scaling beyond the resource consumption of two sessions. When sites try to scale EUC workloads based on Skype for Business, the importance of using the Virtualization Pack becomes paramount, as is evident from the details of this study.

The testing environment consisted of:

  • VMware Horizon 7.2
  • VMware Client 4.5
  • Skype for Business
    • Server: Office 365
    • Client: Office 2016 Pro Plus, 32-bit
  • Horizon 7 test lab
    • Located in Washington state
    • Two Windows 10 Enterprise 64-bit virtual desktops
  • Horizon 7 test clients
    • Located in North and South Florida
    • Two Windows 10 systems

The configuration scenarios for the point-to-point video-call testing included:

  • Test 1: The first test scenario was configured for a point-to-point video call using the VMware Real-Time Audio-Video (RTAV) feature included with Horizon 7. Although RTAV supports webcams and audio devices, it is not the most efficient means for delivering Skype due to the media hairpinning and transcoding method that this technology uses. However, RTAV does serve as sufficient fallback for times when the Virtualization Pack cannot be used.

Testing was staged with virtual desktops hosted in Washington, and the client endpoint devices across the U.S., 3,000 miles away in Florida. There was over 100 ms of network latency that separated the virtual desktops from the endpoints. This is a great example of why media hairpinning is very costly; the audio and video from the local endpoints was sent to the virtual desktops, exchanged among the Skype clients, transcoded as part of the remote delivery protocol, and then finally delivered to the endpoints coast-to-coast a second time.

  • Test 2: The second test scenario was configured for a point-to-point video call using the VMware Horizon Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business feature included with Horizon 7. The Virtualization Pack is the optimized, best approach for delivering Skype because the audio and video media is delivered directly to and from the client endpoint devices without transcoding, and is routed out-of-band to the remote delivery protocol.

Test 2 used the same hosting environment, client endpoint devices, and network conditions as the first test scenario. Because the Virtualization Pack was enabled for this configuration, the audio and video media exchanges were contained in the endpoints and never traversed across the country. A clearer, better user experience can be observed in the captured footage while substantially fewer EUC infrastructure resources were consumed when compared to the first test scenario.

Be sure to watch the video in its entirety for other data points and details, as well as another testing scenario using a single desktop session.

 

Summary

These two videos provide a technical overview of the Horizon Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business and demonstrate the performance-enhancing characteristics of the technology.

  • VMware Horizon Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business – Technical Overview
  • VMware Horizon and Skype for Business Demonstration

 

The post VMware Horizon Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

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