JMP Is Here! See It Live at VMworld

 Allgemein, Knowledge Base, Updates, VDI, VMware, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure, vSphere  Kommentare deaktiviert für JMP Is Here! See It Live at VMworld
Aug 232017
 

Earlier this year, we introduced our Just-in-Time Management Platform(JMP—we pronounce it “jump”) to blow apart the desktop status quo. It&#rsquo;s evolved into something truly special that will change the way you provision desktops.

Tuesday, 5 p.m., at VMworld U.S.is your first chance to see this game-changing technology. There&#rsquo;ll be beer, cake references and the unstoppable Harry Labana (@harrylabana), vice president of management services and strategy for VMware End-User Computing (EUC).

VMworld 2017 Breakout Session:

Modernize Management with JMP Technologies in VMware Horizon & Take a Look at Where We Are Headed”

Add ADV1608BU via VMworld U.S. schedule builder.

Too Complex. Too Slow. Too Many Breakpoints.

Most of you use a static desktop provisioning model that makes it difficult for you to:

  • Deliver workspaces quickly and efficiently to all users and endpoints.
  • Be agile to end-user requests.
  • Keep up with OS updates and patches (especially with Windows 10).
  • Manage application and OS dependencies.
  • Respond when something goes wrong.

Just-in-Time Delivery

JMP is our answer to those problems. If I were in marketing, I&#rsquo;d sell it to you as “Simple. Fast. Bulletproof.” But I&#rsquo;m not; I&#rsquo;m a product guy. So, instead I&#rsquo;ll tell you that I recognize that you&#rsquo;re currently working too hard, fighting with yesterday&#rsquo;s provisioning tools and struggling with infrastructure that&#rsquo;s beyond its sell-by date. And I want to help.

In a JMP-managed world, you define the desktop workspace that your users want, but leave the building of it to our automation engine. JMP offers a single integrated console that leverages VMware Instant Clone Technology, VMware App Volumes and VMware User Environment Manager to deliver tailored workspaces built from a common gold image.

User-Centric Automation

You identify your users (individuals and groups), tag their desired attributes (policies, apps, infrastructure, etc.) and press go. The JMP engine then automates the creation of bespoke desktops that exactly meet your users&#rsquo; needs. On the device they want.

It&#rsquo;s as simple as it gets.

It gives you more time, flexibility and, oddly, control.

Too Complex. Too Slow. Too Many Breakpoints. Solved.

Going back to how we started this blog, JMP&#rsquo;s dynamic engine gives makes it easy for you to:

  • Deliver workspaces quickly and efficiently to all users and endpoints.
  • Be agile to end-user requests.
  • Keep up with OS updates and patches.
  • Manage application and OS dependencies.
  • Respond when something goes wrong.

Moving from a static to an automated management model gives you numerous benefits. Not least amongst them is the fact that you only consume resources when your users call upon them. No more pre-provisioning. No more downtime for patching. Just-in-time delivery across your entire desktop estate.

Cloud Ready

With JMP automating the actual desktop building, simply changing the target environment for your users can move someone from an on-prem environment to a hybrid or cloud based one. You now have a solution that leverages the infrastructure you&#rsquo;ve built, to deliver the desktops your CTO told you to prepare for.

See for Yourself

We like to say that we&#rsquo;re making managing virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) a piece of cake. Everyone likes cake, right? Join Harry and I at VMworld, and get a sneak peek at the future of JMP—we&#rsquo;ll give you beer and maybe even cake. Possibly even a copy of Fusion 10. You should be there.

The post JMP Is Here! See It Live at VMworld appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

Help’s on the Way with the New VMware Horizon Help Desk Tool

 Allgemein, Knowledge Base, Updates, VDI, VMware, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure, vSphere  Kommentare deaktiviert für Help’s on the Way with the New VMware Horizon Help Desk Tool
Jun 202017
 

Today, I&#rsquo;m very excited to share with you one of the new features in the VMware Horizon 7.2 release: the Horizon Help Desk Tool.

I meet with many customers about their day-to-day management of Horizon, and I often get the same feedback. Organizations need a simple tool specifically for level one and two help desk/frontline support staff to provide basic, but frequent, help desk support for virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and virtual app (published app) users.

This could be a user saying their session feels slow because, unbeknownst to them, they have too many browser tabs consuming most of the memory—or a virtual desktop is hanging, and they just need help restarting the desktop.

These simple cases often get escalated to the Horizon administrators, becoming a distraction and impacting their productivity. Some customers create their own utilities or need third-party products to fill these use cases.

This Help Desk Tool is designed to fill that gap for Horizon customers. Out of the box, Horizon admins can delegate basic help desk-related functions to folks in the frontline.

Help Desk Tool Features & Functionality

Through the simple-to-use interface, help desk staff can quickly look up a user, find their sessions and drill down into specific session details, including:

  • On the client side: client name, client IP, username, protocol and bandwidth information.
  • On the server/virtual machine (VM) side: machine name, IP address, logon time, duration, session state, state duration, Horizon pod name, connection broker and vCenter name.

Help desk staff can quickly find client and VM information for users and take action.

And using the Horizon Help Desk Tool, help desk staff can take basic actions to help get the user up and running again, including:

  • Sending a message to the user,
  • Launching Microsoft Remote Assistance to actively help the user in session,
  • Disconnecting and
  • Resetting the VM.

You also will see resource consumption for CPU and memory, along with latency information. This information is continually collected, looking back to the last 15 minutes of the session. In most cases, this will yield a long enough set of information for users calling the help desk team.

CPU, memory, latency and logon data is continually collected to view in the Horizon Help Desk Tool.

Lastly, you also see a breakdown of the logon process. This will help identify what could potentially be causing a long logon experience for users.

Upgrade to Horizon 7.2

Help Desk Tool is a feature of Horizon Enterprise edition and Horizon Apps Advanced edition.
To experience the new Horizon Helpdesk Tool, download the evaluation copy of Horizon, or upgrade to Horizon 7.2.

  • Skype for Businesssolution page
  • Horizon 7.2 GAblog
  • Horizon 7download page
  • Horizon Clientdownload page

The post Help&#rsquo;s on the Way with the New VMware Horizon Help Desk Tool appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

Progressive Dutch Municipality Protects Citizen Data and Meets Compliance with VMware NSX

 Allgemein, Knowledge Base, Updates, VDI, VMware, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure, vSphere  Kommentare deaktiviert für Progressive Dutch Municipality Protects Citizen Data and Meets Compliance with VMware NSX
Mai 262017
 

Summary: Municipality of Zoetermeer implements Zero-Trust model with VMware NSX-enabled micro-segmentation for advanced security inside data centers. Zoetermeer follows the Dutch BIG (Baseline Information Security Dutch Municipalities) regulations

Zoetermeer is a modern, fast-growing municipality in the province of South Holland. It provides local services such as water supply, sewage and garbage disposal to around 125,000 residents. As a forward-thinking organization, the municipality of Zoetermeer recognizes that the increasing volume of cyber attacks against organizations today has shown that traditional, perimeter-centric security models are no longer effective.

The municipality responded by working with VMware partner ON2IT IT Services on a solution that wouldn&#rsquo;t treat everything inside the network as trusted. Zoetermeer deployed VMware NSX® network virtualization to facilitate a Zero Trust security model. This Zero Trust model is enabled by the unique micro-segmentation capabilities of VMware NSX. Zoetermeer is now compartmentalizing different segments of its network and applying automated, fine-grained security policies to individual applications.

&#rsquo;The municipality of Zoetermeer is committed to delivering digital services to our citizens, and also digital tools to enable the best experience for our employees,&#rdquo; said Mr. Van Gaalen, IT Manager, Municipality of Zoetermeer. &#rsquo;But security must remain paramount. Thanks to VMware, we can provide the right person – citizen or employee – with secure access to the right data, from anywhere.&#rdquo;

In addition to providing advanced security inside its data center, the solutions have enabled the municipality to meet rigorous regulatory compliance requirements. VMware NSX has been instrumental in enabling the municipality of Zoetermeer to conform to BIG (Baseline Information Security Dutch Municipalities). These BIG rules have been introduced by the information security service (IBD) of the Association of Dutch Municipalities (VNG) and consist of a set of security measures that ensure a good basic level of security for municipalities. To meet these guidelines, optimal and transparent IT processes and security rules are required.

Mr. Van Gaalen also noted, &#rsquo;VMware helps us meet the rigorous government requirements for security and data protection. With micro-segmentation, we can better manage security policies across our network, aligning them with individual applications and ultimately reducing risk. It was the clear next step in achieving a secure software-defined data center,&#rdquo; said

A longstanding VMware customer, Zoetermeer was the first Dutch municipality to use VMware Horizon desktop virtualization. As it continues on its journey of mobile digitization, the municipality will soon provide the majority of its employees with digital workspaces when its newly-built town hall opens. It will deploy VMware AirWatch® Mobile Device Management to securely manage its fleet of mobile devices and to support its growing mobile workforce.

The post Progressive Dutch Municipality Protects Citizen Data and Meets Compliance with VMware NSX appeared first on Network Virtualization.

[Case Study] Halton Healthcare Modernizes Data Centers & Expands with New Hospital

 Allgemein, Knowledge Base, Updates, VDI, VMware, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure, vSphere  Kommentare deaktiviert für [Case Study] Halton Healthcare Modernizes Data Centers & Expands with New Hospital
Mai 242017
 

Award-winning Halton Healthcare operates three community hospitals in the Region of Halton in southern Ontario, Canada. The organization is expanding to meet the needs of the growing area it serves.

Old IT systems could not adequately serve a patient population expected to double by 2031. Building a completely new hospital and expanding other facilities provided opportunities for a fresh start with truly integrated IT systems.

Halton Healthcare chose VMware Horizon, Vblock systems from EMC and technology expertise from VMware partner Teknicor for a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and disaster recovery solution. The organization now has the largest VDI implementation in Canadian healthcare, serving as a model for hospitals across Canada.

&#rsquo;These VMware systems are part of the central nervous system of our hospital sites. Without them, we wouldn&#rsquo;t be able to help enable clinicians to provide the care they do today.&#rdquo;
—Sandy Saggar, Chief Information Officer, Halton Healthcare

Read more about how Halton Healthcare standardized IT across hospital sites in our case study.

Read the case study.

 

Related:

  • American Red Cross Uses VDI for Faster Disaster Relief through VMware Workspace ONE
  • VMware Horizon VDI Powers WCH&#rsquo;s New Hospital of the Future
  • Flushing Bank Locks Down Data with VMware Horizon VDI

The post [Case Study] Halton Healthcare Modernizes Data Centers & Expands with New Hospital appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

VMware User Environment Manager 9.2 Technical Deep Dive

 Allgemein, Knowledge Base, Updates, VDI, VMware, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure, vSphere  Kommentare deaktiviert für VMware User Environment Manager 9.2 Technical Deep Dive
Mai 172017
 

We are excited about the newest release of VMware User Environment Manager – version 9.2. This release includes some great new features that enhance the product functionality and continue to offer administrators more flexibility in managing the user experience. We have put together a series of videos that will help you learn about User Environment Manager, get up to speed on the new features, and see demos of some of those features.

User Environment Manager 9.2 Technical Overview

Before you dive into the new features, this brief technical-overview video will introduce you to User Environment Manager, provide some details about how it works, and examine the architecture. If you are new to the product, or want a short refresher, this is a great place to begin.

User Environment Manager 9.2 – What&#rsquo;s New

Two videos explain the new features of User Environment Manager 9.2. The first video focuses on the privilege elevation feature and publisher-based rules for application blocking and privilege elevation.

The second video discusses the additional new features of automation with new environment variables, new config file templates for better personalization, and several additional topics.

Privilege Elevation

This video discusses and demonstrates the new privilege elevation feature of User Environment Manager 9.2. Privilege elevation is designed as a tool for IT administrators to mitigate risks in their privilege-management strategy. Applications that are already installed and require elevated privileges to run, as well as application installers, can have privileges elevated.

Publisher-Based Application Blocking and Privilege Elevation

User Environment Manager 9.2 added the ability to use a software publisher&#rsquo;s certificate to configure application blocking or privilege-elevation rules. This enables the IT administrator to allow all applications or elevate privileges for all applications from a software publisher. This video provides the details and a demo of how this works.

Scripting Variables

This video looks at and demonstrates the use of environment variables automatically created by User Environment Manager. These environment variables can be leveraged for automation scripting.

Summary

We hope you learn a lot from these videos covering new features in VMware User Environment Manager. User Environment Manager 9.2 is available for download today.

To comment on any of the videos, contact VMware End-User-Computing Technical Marketing ateuc_tech_content_feedback@vmware.com.

 

The post VMware User Environment Manager 9.2 Technical Deep Dive appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

Google’s New OS, Win10 VR Tech & Breaking VDI Product News

 Allgemein, Knowledge Base, Updates, VDI, VMware, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure, vSphere  Kommentare deaktiviert für Google’s New OS, Win10 VR Tech & Breaking VDI Product News
Mai 122017
 

Also in top tech news this week: smarter Chromebook management, Android in the enterprise, separating work/personal and more.

Peekaboo, I see … the new Google OS.

Top Tech News shared their first impressions following a sneak peek of Google&#rsquo;s new operating system (OS) &#rsquo;Fuchsia.&#rdquo; Writer Jeff Cozza called the new OS a &#rsquo;non-Linux-based system that seems to be designed with mobile devices in mind. Nevertheless, the OS could eventually replace both the company&#rsquo;s Android mobile OS and its Chrome OS.&#rdquo;

Want to get the top news in your inbox every Friday? Join the club by entering your email at the top of the page.

Speaking of Google.

&#rsquo;With Workspace ONE on Chromebooks, IT administrators benefit from additional security capabilities that enable the easy deployment, configuration, and security of web, applications, and Android applications.&#rdquo;
—Jeff McGrath, VMware End-User Computing (EUC)

At Dell EMC World 2017 earlier this week, VMware announced an expanded partnership with Google focused on helping accelerate Chromebook adoption in the enterprise. Leveraging VMware AirWatch-based unified endpoint management capabilities built into the Workspace ONE platform, Chromebook management with VMware now offers single sign-on (SSO) to any app plus simplified IT management. Many more capabilities come from the integration. Dive in here.

And speaking of Dell EMC World…

What a wonderful VDI world.

Dell and VMware dropped the innovation mic at Dell EMC World, including some awesome news for VDI fans. Our own Brigitte Skakkebaek reported the big news in her blog, Introducing Dell EMC VDI Complete Solutions. The major highlights of this integration includes:

  • All-in-one desktop and virtualization bundles powered by VMware Horizon.
  • Full validated and tested to lower risk and reduce complexity.
  • Everything you need to get started for $8/user/month.

&#rsquo;All of these factors—the bundle discount, monthly payment options and ability to confidently start small—contribute to a much lower up front cost to get started with VDI,&#rdquo; Brigitte wrote.

Dive into the VDI product news here.

Want to see all the VMware news from Dell EMC World? Check out this great highlights blog, including VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger&#rsquo;s keynote replay and a candid interview with Michael Dell.

Quote of the Week

“Mobilizing critical business processes is at the core of both of our organizations’ DNA and this collaboration will help us advance this shared vision for our customers and their end users alike,” said Sanjay Poonen, chief operating officer, customer operations, VMware.“We’re proud to come together with Oracle to make it easier for IT administrators to secure and manage these critical mobile apps and help their end users seamlessly access them from any endpoint.”

Read all the details about the Oracle and VMware announcement here.

Windows 10 gets all e-motion-al.

CNET wearable tech reporter Scott Stein broke down Microsoft&#rsquo;s news that Windows 10 VR motion controllers are hitting the market &#rsquo;this holiday.&#rdquo;

&#rsquo;The controllers — which we haven’t used — look a lot like the Oculus Touch controllers mixed with Vive controllers at first glance, with a thumb stick like the Touch, a touchpad like the Vive and a wand-like design with a tracking ring on the end.&#rdquo;

Read the full story here.

You gotta keep it separated.

In case you missed it, a new Android came to work last month. Thanks to new innovations to the enterprise capabilities and support from VMware AirWatch, end users are thrilled with the new divide between personal and work data on their devices. Bhavesh Kumar shares gifs and how-to&#rsquo;s for quick provisioning, secure authentication, simple access to work apps and more.

3BD/2BA with security and simplicity.

Home of the University of Texas at Austin, major businesses and great barbecue joints, Travis County, Texas is one of the fastest growing areas in the U.S. The entity that determines property taxes there, Travis County Central Appraisal District (TCAD), saw its workloads grow along with the population. Watch TCAD&#rsquo;s innovative digital transformation story in our latest customer video here.

Knowledge is power.

Check out these great upcoming events to get your learning on:

  • Taking GPU-Powered Desktops to the Cloud with VMware & NVIDIA, May 17 online
  • Citrix Synergy, May 23-25 in Orlando. Visit us at booth 309.
  • VMware SociaLabs, May 23 (San Diego), June 6 (Reston) & June 20 (Halifax)
  • Boston Summer VMUG UserCon, June 1
  • Unlocking Mobility with Derived Credentials & VMware AirWatch, June 23 online
  • VMworld 2017, Aug. 27–31 in Vegas

The post Google&#rsquo;s New OS, Win10 VR Tech & Breaking VDI Product News appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

Hot Swaps and Hot Chicken: How Zaxby’s Grows a Restaurant Chain with VDI

 Allgemein, Knowledge Base, Updates, VDI, VMware, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure, vSphere  Kommentare deaktiviert für Hot Swaps and Hot Chicken: How Zaxby’s Grows a Restaurant Chain with VDI
Apr 192017
 

Zaxby&#rsquo;s, a fast-casual restaurant chain with locations in 17 U.S. states, opened its 800th store in October 2016 and shows no sign of slowing down. The corporate franchising arm of the business, based in Athens, Georgia, uses virtual desktops and a business resumption plan powered by VMware Horizon.

Zaxby&#rsquo;s provides virtual desktops for key employees as part of an overall disaster recovery plan, said Ehsan Choudhury, senior director of IT operations and security for Zaxby&#rsquo;s Franchising. &#rsquo;If something were to happen to our data center on-site, we can effectively flip over to a hot site at a co-lo in a different state,&#rdquo; said Choudhury. &#rsquo;And we can send critical staff home with their laptops. They can VPN in to that co-lo and connect to virtual desktops—they can keep working as if nothing had changed.&#rdquo;

With Horizon, Zaxby’s employees can continue working on virtual desktops, no matter what happens.

The company tests the co-lo data and connections regularly. And it&#rsquo;s a good thing, because Choudhury says the company has had a few instances where, &#rsquo;if it hadn&#rsquo;t been for VMware virtualization, we would have been in pretty dire straits. We once had a critical server that was inadvertently damaged beyond recovery. Standing up a brand new physical server takes a while. But in less than an hour, we were able to deploy a virtual server with all our apps.&#rdquo;

This analyst report named Horizon a leader! Click here to download.

Choudhury notes that Zaxby&#rsquo;s also uses Horizon for testing. &#rsquo;That&#rsquo;s a huge factor in moving projects forward. We can take a snapshot, and if something goes wrong in testing we can roll back to that snapshot. Not so easy to do on a physical server if you have to re-deploy an image.&#rdquo;

[Related: VMware Horizon 7.1 Is GA! What’s New—Part 1]

Zaxby&#rsquo;s depends on business intelligence to make decisions about its restaurants every day. &#rsquo;We do everything based on information about data, like sales and transactions or traffic flow in stores,&#rdquo; said Choudhury. &#rsquo;And those decisions are made very quickly. So it&#rsquo;s important to be able to recover fast after a problem or an outage.&#rdquo;

Workers can also be more productive if they&#rsquo;re not confined to an office. &#rsquo;We don&#rsquo;t really tell people when they can work. They have goals to meet, and sometimes they want to work odd hours to get to those goals. None of that would be possible without virtual desktops,&#rdquo; said Choudhury.

[Related: VMware Horizon 7.1 Technical Deep Dive]

Security is another important factor for this data-driven company. Teleworkers use VPN to connect to virtual desktops hosted on-premises. Because these workers handle sensitive financial information, such as accounting and payroll, it&#rsquo;s important that no data leak out of the corporate infrastructure. With VDI, all the data is hosted at the corporate site and remains within the company&#rsquo;s security boundaries.

&#rsquo;Horizon and VMware are an integral part of our operations. We could not work effectively without them. It&#rsquo;s the single most significant platform that has made a lot of things possible.&#rdquo;
—Ehsan Choudhury, Senior Director of IT Operations & Security, Zaxby’s Franchising

The company plans to move computing from 40-percent to 90-percent virtualized by the end of 2017, possibly moving from standard laptops to thin clients for hardware savings. Choudhury also noted that the company has consolidated multiple servers over the years into a single physical box, saving cost, energy and footprint. &#rsquo;With VMware, our data center footprint is ridiculously small compared to seven or eight years ago. Also, if it hadn&#rsquo;t been for virtualization, I would probably need three or four more people on my team just to keep up with day-to-day operations. VMware is pretty awesome.&#rdquo;

If this post is making you hungry, Choudhury recommends the Kickin&#rsquo; Chicken, Tongue Torch sauce and fried pickles on the side.

Hear more Horizon stories:

  • American Red Cross Uses VDI for Faster Disaster Relief through VMware Workspace ONE
  • 77NRG Trusts VMware Over Competitors to Deliver Cloud-Hosted Desktops and Apps
  • Explore Sally Beauty&#rsquo;s Innovative Digital Workspace

The post Hot Swaps and Hot Chicken: How Zaxby&#rsquo;s Grows a Restaurant Chain with VDI appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

Announcing the New VMware User Environment Manager Deployment Considerations White Paper

 Allgemein, Knowledge Base, Updates, VDI, VMware, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure, vSphere  Kommentare deaktiviert für Announcing the New VMware User Environment Manager Deployment Considerations White Paper
Apr 012017
 

With significant contributions from Pim van de Vis, Product Engineer, End-User Computing, VMware

We are excited to announce the release of the VMware User Environment Manager Deployment Considerations white paper. This guide covers VMware User Environment Manager 9.1 and is intended for architects, consultants, IT professionals, and anyone involved in creating high-level, functional, and technical designs.

User Environment Manager is a key component of JMP—the next generation of desktop and application delivery—and provides end users with a personalized and dynamic Windows desktop, which adapts to their specific situation based on aspects such as role, device, and location.

This paper contains a functional overview of User Environment Manager and its features including:

  • Application configuration management
  • Personalization
  • User environment settings
  • Dynamic configuration

We have developed a diagram that highlights the components of a Windows system that can be centrally managed through the JMP application delivery platform.

This paper delves into topics such as planning your deployment and designing your infrastructure to support User Environment Manager high-availability, scalability, and disaster recovery. Did you know that User Environment Manager leverages the existing infrastructure, so you do not need to take extra measures to make a highly available solution? You can use Windows failover clustering for high availability of the User Environment Manager file shares. If your current file server infrastructure does not already support high availability, you can create a highly available infrastructure by leveraging Microsoft DFS.

In relation to disaster recovery, it is recommended to integrate the User Environment Manager Management Console into an already existing disaster recovery plan. Did you know that you can install the Management Console on as many computers as required? If a system failure occurs and you cannot access the Management Console, install it on another computer to continue managing user profiles, settings, and policies.

User Environment Manager is not a solution only for VMware Horizon 7. Did you know that it can be integrated with many products for published applications and virtual desktops, such as VMware Horizon 7, Microsoft RDSH desktops and applications, and Citrix XenApp and Citrix XenDesktop? It can also be used to manage physical desktops.

Other topics of interest in the white paper include:

  • Integrating with Microsoft RDSH and VDI
  • Integrating with application virtualization technologies
  • Access control – managing multiple environments

In addition, we have collated a list of helpful best practices based on enterprise-user experience. These best practices include initial setup and installation, management, troubleshooting, and folder redirection.

For details, download the VMware User Environment Manager Deployment Considerations paper.

The post Announcing the New VMware User Environment Manager Deployment Considerations White Paper appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

Profiling Applications with VMware User Environment Manager, Part 2: Applying and Troubleshooting Predefined Settings

 Allgemein, Knowledge Base, Updates, VDI, VMware, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure, vSphere  Kommentare deaktiviert für Profiling Applications with VMware User Environment Manager, Part 2: Applying and Troubleshooting Predefined Settings
Mrz 242017
 

In Part 1 of this blog series, you were introduced to the VMware User Environment Manager Application Profiler. In Part 2 we will profile a popular video playback application called VLC Media Player, capture specific application settings, apply these as predefined settings when an end user launches the application, and explore troubleshooting techniques as needed.

Introduction

Configuring a specific toolbar layout, setting a region-specific language, disabling automatic updates—these are just a few of many reasons IT might want to configure predefined application settings. Unfortunately, this is not always a simple task. Software vendors store configuration data in a variety of locations, and various packaging and deployment technologies have their own methods for customizing application settings.

VMware User Environment Manager provides an easy and consistent way to apply and enforce predefined settings for all your Windows applications. We will use the Application Profiler tool to capture these settings.

Environment

Installing Application Profiler and performing the initial profiling process is outside the scope of this blog post, and is well-documented in the VMware User Environment Manager Application Profiler Administration Guide. This blog post will focus on the advanced scenario of troubleshooting a profiled application.

The following describes the configuration used to profile VLC. For a comprehensive list of supported operating systems for Application Profiler, see the VMware User Environment Manager Application Profiler Administration Guide.

Application Packaging and Profiling Machine Configuration (Profiling VM)

The application packaging and profiling machine (also called the profiling VM) is configured with the following:

  • Windows 10 Anniversary Update (AU) VM.
  • VMware App Volumes Agent version 2.12.
  • VMware User Environment Manager Application Profiler version 9.1.
  • svc-profiler domain account has local administrative privileges.

 

The App Volumes Agent is an optional component, and is part of the VMware End-User-Computing JMP Solution. This agent is included so the same VM can be used to build an App Volumes AppStack for application deployment, and to profile the application for personalization with User Environment Manager. If you would like to learn more, or include App Volumes in your environment, refer to the App Volumes Reviewer&#rsquo;s Guide.

End-User Machine Configuration

The end-user machine in this example has the following configuration:

  • Windows 10 AU
  • VMware App Volumes Agent version 2.12.
  • VMware User Environment Manager FlexEngine version 9.1.
  • jspencer is a standard end user domain account.

Application Profiling

VLC Media Player version 2.2.4 was captured to an App Volumes AppStack using all default installation options. The AppStack was then used to deliver VLC to the profiling VM. During the User Environment Manager application profiling process, the View > Playlist setting was selected for the default view.

Note: Playlist is the item being selected. Docked Playlist is a default setting, independent of Playlist.

Upon completion of the profiling process, we see that the configuration change was written to the file system, in the %AppData%\vlc folder.

Selecting Config File with Predefined Settings from Application Profiler produces four files:

  • INI – User Environment Manager configuration file containing the import and export locations. This file defines the parameters for User Environment Manager to manage the application.
  • ICO – Icon used by User Environment Manager Management Console and the Self-Support tool.
  • FLAG – Flag file for FlexEngine, when DirectFlex is enabled (default).
  • ZIP – Contains the predefined user settings.

I prefer to modify the Default Save Path so saved files are automatically added to User Environment Manager.

While you may be tempted to open and edit the ZIP file directly from Windows Explorer, it is critical that the Edit Profile Archive button be used instead. User Environment Manager uses the standard ZIP file format to prevent the creation of proprietary file formats, but the writes to and reads from the ZIP files are optimized for performance. Using tools outside of User Environment Manager to edit these ZIP files makes them unreadable by FlexEngine.

By editing the profile archive, we can browse the contents and make changes as needed.

Notice that VLC uses an INI file to record the user settings. When View > Playlist was selected during application profiling, playlist-visible=true was recorded in the INI. However, there are a number of additional settings that were automatically recorded in the INI.

When configuring predefined application settings, user settings that are stored in an INI file may result in different behavior than user settings stored in registry keys. We will come back to predefined settings later in this post.

For now, we are going to take a step back and run the application profiling process again for VLC. This time, View > Playlist is selected, and Tools > Preferences > Menus Language is configured for French.

Upon completion of the profiling process, we see that the configuration changes were written to the file system, in the %AppData%\vlc folder, and to the registry, in HKCU\Software\VideoLAN.

When we edit the profile archive this time, we see both AppData and Registry folders.

While it is not a common practice for application vendors, this version of VLC Media Player stores the language setting in the registry, while a variety of other user settings are stored in an INI file.

As mentioned in Part 1 of this series on the Application Profiler it is important to &#rsquo;know thine app.&#rdquo;

Configuring and Applying Predefined Settings

To configure and apply the predefined settings, we use the User Environment Manager Management Console.

The VMware User Environment Manager Administration Guide provides a detailed description of the four types of predefined settings you can choose from. For our purposes, we will configure VLC Media Player predefined settings to Partially Enforced Settings. Partially Enforced Settings are applied after the user profile archive has been imported. This effectively merges the user personal settings with the partially enforced settings. In case of a conflict, the partially enforced settings win and overwrite the user personal settings.

To test our configuration, I will log in to a View instant-clone desktop in as jspencer. The same App Volumes AppStack that was used to deliver VLC to the application-packaging VM is used to dynamically deliver VLC to the VM when I log in. When I launch VLC for the first time, the menus are in French, and the interface is configured for Playlist view. Success!

While logged in as jspencer, I will disable the Playlist view, change the language to American English, and clear all of the check boxes on this preferences page.

Based on the way the Partially Enforced Settings option is designed to behave, we would expect the following behavior the next time VLC is opened by jspencer:

  • The menus will be in French and the Playlist view will be enabled. This is because both settings were configured during application profiling, and applied as partially enforced predefined settings.
  • The check boxes cleared on the preferences page will remain cleared. This is because these settings are not specified by the predefined settings, and are therefore user settings that will be stored in the user-profile archive.

After closing and re-opening the application, we see that all of my changes were discarded, including the check boxes on the preferences page. This is not what we expected!

But why did this happen?

We are seeing the result of an application storing its user settings in an INI file. To understand this, let us look at the workflow when a user logs in to a Windows desktop with User Environment Manager enabled.

  1. User logs in.
  2. User profile archive, including any custom user settings, is imported to Windows.
  3. Predefined application settings are imported to Windows.

User Environment Manager behaves differently during Step 3 depending on whether the application settings are stored in the registry or in an INI file.

User Environment Manager can parse individual registry settings. You might think of this as merging only the specified, predefined registry keys to the Windows registry. In our test case, only the language setting is forced on the end user by the predefined application settings registry import. Any other user settings that happen to get recorded in HKCU\Software\VideoLAN are preserved for the end user. This enables IT to enforce specific application settings, while granting the end user flexibility to customize and preserve any other settings.

When applications store configuration data in files (INI,XML, or others), User Environment Manager can only overwrite the entire file. In our test case, the Playlist view predefined setting is stored in an INI file. That file is part of the predefined applications settings that are applied after the user profile archive is imported. The user jspencer made several changes (cleared check boxes) to the preferences page, which were stored in that same INI file. Going back to the previous workflow, the problem becomes apparent.

  1. User login.
  2. User profile archive, including the INI file customized per the user settings, is imported to Windows.
  3. Predefined application settings, including a copy of the INI file created during the application profiling process, overwrites the INI file imported in Step 2.

Another Issue with Text Files

Even though I am logged in to the end-user VM as jspencer, browsing to the VLC application settings INI shows a value that includes the user name (svc-profiler) of the account that was used during the application profiling process.

The intended behavior is for this line to be populated with the user name of the currently logged-in user—jspencer in this case.

User Environment Manager supports using placeholders to accommodate variables in text files.

Editing the profile archive allows us to modify the text file manually. In this case, I have replaced jspencer with the system variable %username%. See the User Environment Manager Administration Guide for proper syntax and usage.

Now when jspencer runs the application, the user name is properly reflected in the INI.

Conclusion

The following is a brief summary of the application profiling concepts and practices covered in this blog post, which you can apply to your own applications.

  • Always use the Application Profiler or the User Environment Manager tools to edit a profile archive ZIP
  • Applications might store user settings in the registry, in files, or both. Taking the time to fully understand the way your application behaves (&#rsquo;know thine app&#rdquo;) will ensure successful application profiling.
  • When applications store user settings in an INI file, the intended behavior of partially enforced predefined settings might
  • When applications store user settings in a file, values from the profiling VM or profiling user account might be preserved in the predefined application settings. Placeholders enable the use of system variables to address this possibility.

 

The post Profiling Applications with VMware User Environment Manager, Part 2: Applying and Troubleshooting Predefined Settings appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

SysTrack Desktop Assessment, Part 2: Drill into Data with SysTrack Visualizer

 Allgemein, Knowledge Base, Updates, VDI, VMware, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure, vSphere  Kommentare deaktiviert für SysTrack Desktop Assessment, Part 2: Drill into Data with SysTrack Visualizer
Mrz 222017
 

In Part 1, I explained the basics of the free SysTrack Desktop Assessment tool, from VMware and Lakeside Software. Now, let&#rsquo;s dive into more details on the service and what can be done with the data collected during the assessment.

(If you missed part one, read it here first for an overview of the free SysTrack Desktop Assessment service.)

SysTrack Visualizer

From the tool&#rsquo;s dashboard, you can open the SysTrack Site Visualizer to drill deeper into the data collected with SysTrack. (Mozilla Firefox is recommended as it is compatible with Microsoft Silverlight, which is required to show the various dashboard and data sets.) The first thing you will see is the Site Visualizer dashboard show in the image below.

This provides you with details on the “Assessment Status” (top left), all asset systems and users (top right), the concurrent on users per week (mid left), the top software packages per user count (mid right), as well as the user resource footprint (bottom right). Hover over the graphs for more details.

The left “Observations” list also gives you more granular details.

Visualizer Main Screen

The main screen of the Visualizer helps you easily navigate the data with the basics explained in the next section.

  • Hover over the question mark on the top left to get detailed info on each section. (If you are like me—&#rsquo;who reads the manual anyway&#rdquo;—you can just follow the instructions below to get the basics and start working with the Visualizer.)
  • Select the area of your choice on the left to open the view (e.g. computer performance).
  • With the perspective pulldown, you can charge into different perspectives.
    1. Customize with the tiny settings icon on the right (3a) which lets you select the data shown.
    2. With the export function, you can export data sets and work with them outside the Visualizer, which helps you use the data even further.
  • On the right filter section, you can filter against different criteria and search in data sets.
  • On the top right, you can select different device groups you want to analyze.

The new GUI is straight forward to use. Now let&#rsquo;s get started.

Data Sets

The most details are collected in the “Observations” list, which is massively important to get to the last details on application or network.

Hovering over the observation list will reveal the explanation details. This provides a variety of information, which will help you to drill down into the last detail of the collected data and provide a deep understanding of computer concerns, application latency, system mobility and software packages (to mention only four of the more important ones). Drill into all the details you require to understand your target group for virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).

I will give you some examples on how to narrow down the candidates from VDI.

Computer Concerns

To understand which systems are good candidates for VDI, you can start with that data set and change the perspective of the data set. The basic view looks like the image below.

By manipulating the perspectives or filter against the status, you identify the low-hanging fruit right away. In my example, I changed the perspective to “Systems with No Mobility or Device Needs” and then ordered the status, which reveals all systems not in use and USB drives or local printers that are stationary. In a next step, you can then focus on the systems which have some requirements, like local printing or USB access, which can be accommodated via PCOIP protocol.

All data sets can be exported as mentioned at the beginning and further aggregated, for example with Excel, and combined with another exported data set via pivot tables in Excel.

Application Latency

You can also start with “Application Latency” to determine which systems are good candidates for VDI.

In my example, I manipulated the perspective to “Application Server Latency” and ordered the data with the highest latency descending. This reveals the systems with the highest latency to backend systems.

In the connection column, you can see the communication to particular IP addresses, which helps to determine if the backend system is either internet-facing, like a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) app, or internal-facing, like Exchange servers.

Software Packages

The whole point of VDI is delivering business applications to end users to be able to access them from any device. This section is essential to understand what your application landscape looks like, as well as the consumption of compute resources (CPU, memory, IPOS) to be able to size the user&#rsquo;s desktop for best user performance. Also, you&#rsquo;ll understand how many applications are running on your user estate, and this is often not easy, especially if the user can install software.

In some cases, a user will tell you that they need a particular application for their daily work, but in some cases, it is more a want than a need. (&#rsquo;My colleague has this, so I need it, as well.&#rdquo;)

To check on that, I changed my perspective to “Unused Software” to see the difference between installed and used software, with the column unused for 30, 60 and 90 days.

Here are some findings. I order by number of most installed apps, and I can see the “New Turnover System” is installed on 457 systems but was only used recently on 97. Assuming this is licensed software, this is a huge waste of licenses.

To drill down into the systems that used the software, double-click on the figure. It shows you the systems that used or did not use the software in each column, and can be exported.

Risk Analysis

As you may have noticed, with recent changes to the latest version, we now also have a risk analysis, which is great. The dashboard gives you a “30-day Risk Trend” divided into the below areas.

The observation section is comprised of 1) “Security Risk,” 2) “Systems with Risky Applications” and 3) “User Security.”

Security Risk

The “Security Risk” data set provides you with an indication of the security risk of systems based on different risk factors, like web browsing exposure and software update status. A high-level view of security risk by group is available from the dashboard. By changing the perspectives, you can drill into details on particular risks.

If you change the perspective to “Browsing,” it shows the internet browser component and the security risk, including web browsing exposure, non-standard browsers and Internet Explorer trusted sites.

Other interesting perspectives are “Access Control,” which reveals risks including expired passwords, virus scanner status, security eventsand more.

User Security Risk

This is my personal favorite. This shows you all the details around user security: passwords set to never expire, admin privileges, last password changes, as well as users that never logged on to any machine.


By changing the perspectives, you get more granular details: users with admin privileges, users that haven&#rsquo;t changed their password for 90 days or more or accounts that do not require passwords.

In my case, I change it to &#rsquo;Users with Passwords More Than 90 Days Old.&#rdquo;

That reveals that some users did not change their password for 5,601 days, and an admin user that did not change it for 4,188 days. This is a serious security threat!

The perspective &#rsquo;Accounts with no Logon during Last 21 Days&#rdquo; shows, in my example, that I have 1,001 accounts that did not log on between 17/10/2012–18/02/2013 after I exported them into Excel. So, I have a lot of cleanup in my Active Directory to do—luckily for me it is just demo data!

Get Started with SysTrack

The free 90-day desktop assessment from VMware and Lakeside Software offers great value with the SysTrack Visualizer and, in my opinion, is a mandatory tool if you move to VDI.

The data collected and the details reported give you all you need to make informed decisions on which users to target for VDI.It also puts you into a position to assess security risk in your environment and clean up your Active Directory objects that are not in use or no longer needed.

The post SysTrack Desktop Assessment, Part 2: Drill into Data with SysTrack Visualizer appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

Automating VMware Horizon 7 with VMware PowerCLI 6.5

 Allgemein, Knowledge Base, PowerShell, Updates, VDI, VMware, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure, vSphere  Kommentare deaktiviert für Automating VMware Horizon 7 with VMware PowerCLI 6.5
Jan 242017
 

With VMware PowerCLI 6.5 Release 1, the automation of VMware Horizon 7 matures and we get integrated PowerShell support for the View component of Horizon 7 built into VMware PowerCLI. We have a proper Horizon 7 module that is distributed and ships with the core VMware PowerCLI installation.

For information about all the new features of VMware PowerCLI 6.5 R1, see the New Release: PowerCLI 6.5 R1 blog post.

So, what do we get with the release of the new VMware PowerCLI Horizon 7 module? We actually get three things: the Horizon 7 module itself, access to the View API with online documentation, and a set of advanced functions released on GitHub.

VMware PowerCLI – Horizon 7 Module

Even though the Horizon 7 module contains only two cmdlets, they are extremely useful. These cmdlets allow you to connect and disconnect from the View API service. Importantly, this functionality provides a convenient way to access the full View API and the capabilities normally only available through the Horizon Administrator console.

Unlike previous VMware PowerCLI for Horizon 7 implementations, you can now connect and run VMware PowerCLI scripts for Horizon 7 from remote workstations or servers, such as an administrator&#rsquo;s desktop, using different credentials. You can also easily build federated scripts across VMware assets. For example, you can write a script to get a list of datastores from a vCenter Server inventory and use that information to select the best datastores on which to create a pool.

View API

To accompany the new VMware PowerCLI module, VMware is happy to announce the release of public View API Reference Documentation for Horizon 7 and access to the full public View API. The View API is a web service and is available from any Horizon Connection Server within a Horizon Pod. The View API is used by the Horizon Administrator console for configuration, administration, and monitoring, so we are now exposing programmatic access to all the functionality available in the console.

To make exploring the data objects and methods of interacting with them easier, VMware has created a new Developer Center online API Explorer, a unified interface for all API documentation across the VMware stack.

Advanced Functions

To get you started quickly, the Horizon 7 team has put together a set of functions that cover common operations. These functions allow you to easily interact with pools, farms, and desktops without having to write scripts from scratch. Be sure to visit the VMware PowerCLI Community Repository site on GitHub periodically to get new functions and consider contributing your own.

Installation

Install VMware PowerCLI

  1. Download the VMware PowerCLI 6.5 R1 installer and run the installation wizard.
  2. As part of the installation, you are prompted to change the ExecutionPolicy of PowerShell.
  3. Launch PowerShell (run as Administrator), and run the following command.
Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned

Install Advanced Functions

  1. Go to the GitHub repository page at https://github.com/vmware/PowerCLI-Example-Scripts.
  2. Click the green Clone or download button and then click Download ZIP.
  3. Extract the zip file and copy the advanced functions Hv.Helper folder to a modules directory.
  4. Check your PowerShell $env:PSModulePath variable to see which directories are in use:
    • User specific: %UserProfile%\Documents\WindowsPowerShell\Modules
    • System wide: C:\Program Files\WindowsPowerShell\Modules
  5. Unblock the advanced functions to allow them to be executed.
    • In a PowerShell prompt (as Administrator), run the following command, tailoring the path to where you copied the VMware.Hv.Helperfolder:
dir &#lsquo;C:\Program Files\WindowsPowerShell\Modules\VMware.HvHelper\&#rsquo; | Unblock-File

Locate documentation

  • Bookmark the View API Reference Documentation.
  • Bookmark the VMware PowerCLI Cmdlets Reference.

Getting Started

Launching PowerShell by using the VMware PowerCLI shortcut created during installation loads all the VMware modules, including the one for Horizon 7. If you use a normal PowerShell shortcut you have to load the modules as part of your script.

You can import all of the VMware modules or just the Horizon 7 module, though you need the Core module too if you plan on interacting with VMware vSphere. To load all the modules, use the following command:

Get-Module -ListAvailable VMware* | Import-Module

To load only the Horizon 7 module or the Horizon 7 module and the Core module, use one or both of the following commands:

Import-Module VMware.VimAutomation.HorizonViewImport-Module VMware.VimAutomation.Core

You can now connect to the Horizon Connection Server and the View API using your credentials:

Connect-HVServer -server horizon1.mydomain.com

In this example, horizon1.mydomain.com is one of the Horizon Connection Servers.

You are prompted for credentials, but you could alternatively include your credentials in the command.

Connect-HVServer -server horizon1.mydomain.com -user demoadmin -password mypassword -domain mydomain

A global variable called DefaultHVServers is created, which stores information about connections to the Horizon Connection Servers. You can access this variable with $Global:DefaultHVServers.

All the interesting stuff is really under ExtensionData. To make working with this property a bit easier we will assign it to a variable $Services1 and take a look.

$Services1=$Global:DefaultHVServers.ExtensionData$Services1

Looking at the View API reference documentation you will start to recognize some of these entries. The ExtensionData property (and now the $Services1 variable) holds access to the entire View API.

Examples

Let&#rsquo;s run a couple of commands and start to explore how we can use the VMware PowerCLI. Remember we have access to the full View API!

First, let&#rsquo;s use a simple View API command and get a list of all the Horizon Connection Servers in the pod. The commands in the following example use the View API service ConnectionServer and method ConnectionServer_List and assign the results to variable $hvServers1. For more information about this service, see the View API reference documentation.

$hvServers1 = $Services1.ConnectionServer.ConnectionServer_List()$hvServers1.General

Next, let&#rsquo;s use one of the advanced functions to get a list of desktops, depending on the state of the Horizon Agent. This listing is useful for understanding the state of the desktops, including whether they are in use, available for new user connections, or in an error state.

The following command returns a list of the desktops which have users logged in but the user is currently disconnected from the desktop:

$DisconnectedVMs = Get-HVMachineSummary -State DISCONNECTED$DisconnectedVMs | Out-GridView

For a complete list of possible states, check out the View API documentation on baseState.

It would be useful to get a list of problem VMs with agent states that include the following:

PROVISIONING_ERROR, ERROR, AGENT_UNREACHABLE, AGENT_ERR_STARTUP_IN_PROGRESS, AGENT_ERR_DISABLED, AGENT_ERR_INVALID_IP, AGENT_ERR_NEED_REBOOT, AGENT_ERR_PROTOCOL_FAILURE, AGENT_ERR_DOMAIN_FAILURE, AGENT_CONFIG_ERROR, UNKNOWN

You can modify the command used above to return a list of desktops with one of these states by replacing the state to check for. For example:

$ProblemVMs = Get-HVMachineSummary -State AGENT_UNREACHABLE

You can take this further and use a script to list desktops with the Horizon Agent in a number of different problem states. You could then carry out tasks to remediate the problems. The following sample script gets all the problem desktops by querying the View API using this advanced function. The script then uses a vSphere command to reboot the problem VMs.

In the script, replace the values for the variables to indicate your Horizon Connection Server, user name, and so on.

Also, consider adding a -WhatIf parameter to the Restart-VMGuest command. A -WhatIf parameter shows you the outcome without actually executing the command.

##################################################################### Get List of Desktops that have Horizon Agent in problem states.# Reboot the OS of each these.#####################################################################region variables#################################################################### Variables ####################################################################$cs = 'horizon1.mydomain.com' #Horizon Connection Server$csUser= 'demoadmin' #User account to connect to Connection Server$csPassword = 'mypassword' #Password for user to connect to Connection Server$csDomain = 'mydomain' #Domain for user to connect to Connection Server$vc = 'vcenter1.mydomain.com' #vCenter Server$vcUser = 'administrator@vsphere.local' #User account to connect to vCenter Server$vcPassword = 'mypassword' #Password for user to connect to vCenter Server$baseStates = @('PROVISIONING_ERROR', 'ERROR', 'AGENT_UNREACHABLE', 'AGENT_ERR_STARTUP_IN_PROGRESS', 'AGENT_ERR_DISABLED', 'AGENT_ERR_INVALID_IP', 'AGENT_ERR_NEED_REBOOT', 'AGENT_ERR_PROTOCOL_FAILURE', 'AGENT_ERR_DOMAIN_FAILURE', 'AGENT_CONFIG_ERROR', 'UNKNOWN')#endregion variables#region initialize#################################################################### Initialize ##################################################################### --- Import the PowerCLI Modules required ---Import-Module VMware.VimAutomation.HorizonViewImport-Module VMware.VimAutomation.Core# --- Connect to Horizon Connection Server API Service ---$hvServer1 = Connect-HVServer -Server $cs -User $csUser -Password $csPassword -Domain $csDomain# --- Get Services for interacting with the View API Service ---$Services1= $hvServer1.ExtensionData# --- Connect to the vCenter Server ---Connect-VIServer -Server $vc -User $vcUser -Password $vcPassword#endregion initialize#region main#################################################################### Main ####################################################################Write-Output ""if ($Services1) { foreach ($baseState in $baseStates) { # --- Get a list of VMs in this state --- $ProblemVMs = Get-HVMachineSummary -State $baseState foreach ($ProblemVM in $ProblemVMs) { $VM = Get-VM -Name $ProblemVM.Base.Name # --- Reboot each of the Problem VMs --- Restart-VMGuest -VM $VM # Add -WhatIf to see what would happen without actually carrying out the action. } } Write-Output "", "Disconnect from Connection Server." Disconnect-HVServer -Server $cs} else { Write-Output "", "Failed to login in to Connection Server." pause }# --- Disconnect from the vCenter Server ---Write-Output "", "Disconnect from vCenter Server."Disconnect-VIServer -Server $vc#endregion main

Summary

These have been fairly simple examples, but these and the installation instructions should be enough to get you going. These examples only scratched the surface of what is possible. Now that you are armed with the new PowerCLI module for Horizon, access to the View API, the documentation, and the advanced functions, you can start to explore new ways of automating your Horizon 7 environment.

Let us know how you get on, what use cases and problems you solve, and be sure to feed your scripts back into the community for others to benefit from.

The post Automating VMware Horizon 7 with VMware PowerCLI 6.5 appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

New Reviewer’s Guide for View in VMware Horizon 7 – A Series of Mini-Guides

 Allgemein, Knowledge Base, Updates, VDI, VMware, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure, vSphere  Kommentare deaktiviert für New Reviewer’s Guide for View in VMware Horizon 7 – A Series of Mini-Guides
Jan 202017
 

By Cindy Heyer Carroll, Technical Writer, End-User-Computing Technical Marketing, VMware

I am very happy to announce that we just posted the first four mini-guides in a series of seven to bring you the latest update of View, the main component of VMware Horizon 7! Unlike previous Reviewer&#rsquo;s Guides, you are getting the latest updates literally as soon as we complete each section. The result? Shorter pieces that are easier to digest.

The first four mini-guides of the series are now available:

  • Reviewer&#rsquo;s Guide for View in VMware Horizon 7: Overview introduces you to the View component of Horizon 7, including benefits, features, and architecture
  • Reviewer&#rsquo;s Guide for View in VMware Horizon 7: Installation and Configuration provides exercises covering the installation and initial configuration process of a basic deployment, which you can use to explore the key features described in additional mini-guides
  • Reviewer&#rsquo;s Guide for View in VMware Horizon 7: Instant Clones introduces you to the new instant clones feature, and provides exercises to set up and use instant clones
  • Quick-Start Guide: Publishing Applications with VMware Horizon 7 provides exercises that describe how to install and configure the key software components required for published applications

With the exception of the Overview and the Installation and Configuration, each mini-guide focuses on a particular use case, accompanied by exercises to explore relevant features. The mini-guides cover topics such as preparing virtual machines for desktop pools, using instant clones, setting up desktop pools (full- and linked-clones), exploring the benefits of Smart Policies, and provisioning users.

When you work through the exercises in the Reviewer&#rsquo;s Guide series, you end up with a basic working deployment, as well as experience using the View component of VMware Horizon 7 in the context of specific use cases. The deployment is based on a single VDI platform, simplifying desktop management and enhancing user experience.

Be sure to take a look at the guides that are now available, and watch for the next to be posted. When we finish, the following mini-guides will be included in the series:

  • Overview
  • Installation and Configuration
  • Preparing Virtual Machines for Desktop Pools (pending)
  • Instant Clones
  • Desktop Pools (pending)
  • Quick-Start Guide: Publishing Applications with VMware Horizon 7
  • Smart Policies (pending)
  • Provisioning Users (pending)

To comment on this paper, contact VMware End-User-Computing Technical Marketing at euc_tech_content_feedback@vmware.com.

The post New Reviewer&#rsquo;s Guide for View in VMware Horizon 7 – A Series of Mini-Guides appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

VMware User Environment Manager, Part 2: Complementing Mandatory Profiles with VMware User Environment Manager

 Allgemein, Knowledge Base, Updates, VDI, VMware, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure, vSphere  Kommentare deaktiviert für VMware User Environment Manager, Part 2: Complementing Mandatory Profiles with VMware User Environment Manager
Jan 162017
 

By Josh Spencer, Architect, End-User-Computing Technical Marketing, VMware

With significant contributions from

Stephane Asselin, Lead Senior End-User-Computing Architect, Customer Success Team, VMware
from a
Jim Yanik, Senior Manager, End-User-Computing Technical Marketing, VMware

Pim Van De Vis, Product Engineer, User Environment Manager, Research & Development, VMware

Overview

In Part 1 of this two-part blog-post series, we presented an overview of how to implement Microsoft mandatory profiles. In Part 2, we present specific examples of using VMware User Environment Manager to provide flexibility for end users, while controlling profile growth and keeping login times low.

Review of Mandatory Profiles

With mandatory profiles, user configuration changes to the desktop apply only for the duration of that Windows session. When the user logs out, changes are discarded. The following illustrates some of the advantages and disadvantages of mandatory profiles:

Advantages:

  • Consistent user experience, no matter what changes are made by the user.
  • Minimal troubleshooting of user profiles.
  • Possible shorter login and logout times.

Disadvantages:

  • None of the personalization changes made by users are saved.
  • Creating a usable and customized mandatory profile requires a high level of skill.
  • Scripting is often necessary to create shortcuts, drive mappings, and other customizations.

Complementing Mandatory Profiles with VMware User Environment Manager

For additional detail, as well as information about using VMware User Environment Manager with other types of profiles, see Installing and Configuring VMware User Environment Manager.

When usingUser Environment Manager withmandatoryprofiles, you can address the previously mentioned disadvantages by leveraging one or more of the following capabilities. VMware User Environment Manager replaces several third-party tools and manual processes with a simple and intuitive management interface.

1. Select the settings that users are allowed to personalize within their environment.

Important: Only settings explicitly defined in User Environment Manager are managed, or preserved, from session to session. Settings that you choose not to manage withUser Environment Manager are discarded upon logout. End users have the ability to customize some aspects of their profile, without compromising login speed and profile stability.

2. Configure specific settings for applications or Windows settings by using the predefined settings feature ofUser Environment Manager.

By using predefined settings, you do not need to customize amandatoryprofile. Amandatoryprofile that is based on the default user profile is sufficient.

IT can provide a customized user experience based on a user&#rsquo;s requirements, without complicated application repackaging or scripting. User Environment Manager conditions and condition sets enable granular control over the user experience. They can be used to apply initial settings, or enforce specific settings.

3. Customize the user environment by creating shortcuts, drive mappings, and so on.

A wide range of user environment settings can be applied in a dynamic fashion. From mapping a printer when a specific application is launched, to disabling clipboard redirection for remote VDI users, IT has full control over the user experience from a single management console.

In the next section, we combine examples from the previous steps to demonstrate a comprehensive profile management solution using mandatory profiles and User Environment Manager.

VMware User Environment Manager Use Case Examples

Next, you see how easy it is to configure User Environment Manager as a complement to mandatory profiles. Perhaps what impresses us most about User Environment Manager is how much power and capability are available in such an easy-to-install-and-use tool. We are not covering the User Environment Manager installation in this post, but instead highlighting specific features that address the limitations of mandatory profiles. If you want to install User Environment Manager so you can test the following, or test your own use cases, refer to these resources:

  • VMware User Environment Manager Deployed in 60 Minutes or Less
  • VMware User Environment video series on YouTube

Select the Settings That Users Are Allowed to Personalize Within Their Environments

As discussed earlier, a mandatory profile discards the changes made to a user&#rsquo;s profile. In this use case, we need to provide personalization for our Graphic Design department. The goal here is to preserve Internet Explorer settings such as a custom home page and IE Favorites.

When VMware User Environment Manager is initially installed, the Management console reflects that no components of the user environment are being managed. In Figure 1, we see the Personalization tab, with no config files defined. At this point, the mandatory profile is working exactly as expected.

Figure 1: VMware User Environment Manager – Manager Console with the Personalization Tab Active

Config files are created from templates called Common Setting, provided by VMware User Environment Manager, or manually provided by the administrator. Here we use a Windows Common Setting template to create a config file so Internet Explorer settings can be managed.

Figure 2: Config File Creation Wizard with &#rsquo;Use a Windows Common Setting&#rdquo; Selected

From a variety of included templates, we select Internet Explorer – Personal settings for this config file.

Figure 3: Config File Creation Wizard with &#rsquo;Internet Explorer – Personal settings&#rdquo; Selected

Now, choose where to store the config file. In this case, we created a subfolder under General, titled Windows Settings, to store this config file.

Figure 4: Config File Creation Wizard with [General]\Windows Settings to Store Internet Explorer Settings

When complete, the VMware User Environment Manager Management Console reflects the new Windows Settings folder and the IE config file. Internet Explorer settings are now managed by User Environment Manager!

Figure 5: User Environment Manager Management Console, Personalization Tab Selected with General, Windows Settings, and IE Showing

The User Environment Manager Management Console provides the ability to view or edit Import and Export settings of the config file.

While administration is done by way of the User Environment Manager Management Console, the configured settings are stored in an associated INI file, in this case, Internet Explorer Settings.ini.

Figure 6: Import/Export Tab with Internet Explorer Settings.INI

Mandatory profiles continue to be applied to users as they log in, and the default behavior of discarding changes to the profile persists, except for customizations to Internet Explorer settings.

VMware User Environment Manager writes managed profile configuration data to the User Environment Manager Profiles share (UEMprofiles in this case) either when an application is closed (using DirectFlex), or when a user logs out. Before any profiles are managed, this share is empty.

Figure 7: User Environment Manager Profiles Share, Folder Is Empty

Log in to a Windows device where the VMware User Environment Manager agent is installed to trigger the creation of a folder for that user. Note that the jspencer folder was created, along with folders for each user who logged in on a device enabled by User Environment Manager. The Archives folder within the new profile folder is empty because up to this point, no customizations to any profile components managed by User Environment Manager were made.

Figure 8: UEMprofiles with jspencer Folder and Archives Folder Showing

After logging in, Internet Explorer opens, the User Environment Manager – VMware Products wording is added as a favorite, and www.vmware.com is set as the home page.

Figure 9: Adding User Environment Manager – VMware Products as a Favorite and Setting www.vmware.com as Home Page

When the user logs out, the configuration files for IE are copied to the User Environment Manager file share and stored in the user archive as a ZIP file. VMware User Environment Manager creates ZIP files that are optimized both for size and speed of access.

Figure 10: Configuration Files for IE Are Stored in the User Archive as a ZIP File

By inspecting the ZIP file, we can see that only the changed files from the user profile were copied to the User Environment Manager share.

Figure 11: Open the ZIP File to See That Only the Changed Files Were Copied to the User Environment Manager Share

The next time the user logs in to Windows, the mandatory profile is applied. User Environment Manager then processes the Profile Archive for Internet Explorer. User customizations (Favorites and a custom home page in this example) are merged with the user profile.

Using the Predefined Settings Feature of User Environment Manager to Configure Specific Settings for Applications or Windows Settings

Maintaining and updating mandatory profiles can be quite an undertaking. With VMware User Environment Manager, administrators quickly and easily configure predefined settings for application and Windows settings. User Environment Manager includes several application templates for commonly used applications.

Figure 12: Application Templates for Commonly Used Applications

User Environment Manager also provides the option to create custom configurations to accommodate any application. With the help of the User Environment Manager Application Profiler, it is easy to record customized application settings, and apply these settings to one or many users throughout an organization. More information and installation steps for the Application Profiler can be found in the VMware User Environment Manager Application Profiler Administration Guide.

In the following example, we configure predefined settings for Paint.net, and apply those settings to Windows 10 virtual machines (VMs) under specific conditions. When an end user logs in to the VM, the mandatory profile is applied along with the custom Paint.net settings.

We start on a Windows VM with the User Environment Manager Application Profiler installed. Paint.net was installed using default installation settings.

To begin profiling, we launch the Application Profiler and start a new session.

Figure 13: Launching the Application Profiler

Specify the application executable to launch and monitor with the Application Profiler. In this case, we browse to the Paint.net executable.

Figure 14: Browsing to the Paint.net Executable

The User Environment Manager Application Profiler automatically launches Paint.net. At this point, the administrator can make changes such as disabling automatic updates, setting language preferences, and so on. In this case, automatic updates for Paint.net were disabled.

Figure 15: User Environment Manager Application Profiler Automatically Launches Paint.net, with Automatic Updates for Paint.net Disabled

After completing customizations, the application closes and profiling is complete. The administrator has the choice of saving a config file to manage application settings, a Profile Archive file containing predefined settings, or both. The Profile Archive can be edited using the Edit Profile Archive button within the Application Profiler interface.

Figure 16: Edit Profile Archive Button in the Application Profiler Interface

Note: Be aware that editing a Profile Archive ZIP file should be done only from the Application Profiler tool or from the User Environment Manager Management Console. Manually editing the ZIP files from Windows Explorer makes them unreadable to User Environment Manager.

Though the only change made to the Paint.net configuration was disabling automatic updates, all of the registry values in the registry key HKCU\SOFTWARE\paint.net were captured during the profiling process. The Profile Archive was modified so that the only default settings included are to set the language to English, and to disable automatic updates. All other registry values were manually removed.

Figure 17: Profile Archive Showing Two Default Settings: Language Set to English and Disable Automatic Updates

The Application Profiler output comprises predefined settings in the Profile Archive file (ZIP) and configuration files used to define User Environment Manager behavior (ICO, INI, INI.FLAG).

Figure 18: Predefined Settings in the Profile Archive and Configuration Files

These files are copied to the User Environment Manager Configuration share to make them available to the User Environment Manager Management Console.

By clicking the Refresh Tree icon in the User Environment Manager Management Console, the Application Settings folder structure displays. The Paint.net predefined settings are ready to be applied, and User Environment Manager now manages the user changes to the Paint.net configuration.

Figure 19: Click the Refresh Tree Icon to See the Application Settings Folder Structure

When you configure conditions for the predefined settings, you ensure they are applied only when the end user connects to a VM running Windows 10. Additional predefined settings were added with conditions to open Paint.net in Spanish when client devices are in a specific IP range.

Figure 20: Predefined Settings Were Added to Open Paint.net in Spanish

An end user connects to a Windows 10 VM using View in VMware Horizon 7 from the U.S. corporate office. The Windows 10 condition is met, so User Environment Manager applies the predefined settings for English language and disables automatic updates.

Figure 21: User Environment Manager Applies the Predefined Settings for English Language and Disables Automatic Updates

Later, a user connects to the same VM from the Mexico corporate office. The conditions for both sets of predefined settings are met: Windows 10 for English and IP Range for Spanish, but only the Spanish settings are applied.

Figure 22: Conditions for Both Sets of Predefined Settings Are Met, but Only the Spanish Settings Are Applied

Because the Spanish predefined setting is evaluated last, the English predefined settings are ignored. Regardless of the number of predefined settings that are set, or how many have conditions that are met, only the last one is applied when the application is launched.

Figure 23: Only the Last Predefined Setting Is Evaluated When the Application Is Launched

Customize the User Environment By Creating Shortcuts, Drive Mappings, and So On

Many methods exist to map drives, map printers, and add shortcuts in a Windows environment. VMware User Environment Manager brings all of these functions, and many more, into a single management interface. With dynamic user environment settings, these tasks can be tied to a specific event rather than processing everything at login and slowing it down. Drive mappings are a great example, as it is common to map a number of drives for a given user, and these would typically be processed with a login script.

In this example, we dynamically map a drive to a departmental media share when Paint.net is opened, and disconnect the drive when the application is closed.

From the Personalization tab, the User Environment Settings pane of the application managed by Paint.net lists some dynamic operations we can tie to an application launch. We select Add > Drive Mapping.

Figure 24: The User Environment Settings Pane Displays Some Dynamic Operations to Tie to an Application Launch

We require only a few pieces of data.

Figure 25: The Drive Mapping Settings Are Established

The next time Paint.net is opened, the network drive is dynamically mapped.

Figure 26: The Network Drive Is Dynamically Mapped

The FlexEngine.log file for the end user reflects the drive-mapping operation upon launch.

Figure 27: FlexEngine.log Shows the Drive-Mapping Operation Upon Launch

In addition, the unmap operation upon application exit is specified.

Figure 28: FlexEngine.log Also Shows the Unmap Operation upon Exit

Conclusion

As you can see, combining User Environment Manager with mandatory profiles has many advantages:

  • Short login and logout times.
  • Consistent user experience, no matter what changes are made by the user.
  • Minimal troubleshooting of user profiles.
  • Granular control over which personalization changes made by users are saved.
  • Simple and quick customization of applications and Windows settings, without having to edit the mandatory profile or write complex scripts.
  • Accommodation of any number of customization needs by leveraging conditions and dynamic configurations.

VMware User Environment Manager works with mandatory, roaming, and local profiles, and with virtual, physical, and cloud-based Windows devices. This blog post covers only some VMware User Environment Manager capabilities. We look forward to sharing information about more features such as triggered tasks, application blocking, and Horizon Smart Policies in a future blog-post series.

In the meantime, be sure to check out the VMware User Environment Manager video series to learn more.

Also visit the VMware User Environment Manager Community Forum. It contains some great documents and discussion threads, as well as a variety of templates you can download, created by VMware and customers. If you have created a template of your own, be sure to share it with the community!

The post VMware User Environment Manager, Part 2: Complementing Mandatory Profiles with VMware User Environment Manager appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

#GameChangers: LCMC Health Seizes the Opportunity for Faster Desktop Deployment & Application Delivery with VMware Horizon

 Allgemein, Knowledge Base, Updates, VDI, VMware, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure, vSphere  Kommentare deaktiviert für #GameChangers: LCMC Health Seizes the Opportunity for Faster Desktop Deployment & Application Delivery with VMware Horizon
Dez 062016
 

“The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger—but recognize the opportunity.&#rdquo;

― John F. Kennedy

Following Hurricane Katrina, LCMC Health, a not-for-profit healthcare system based in New Orleans, Louisiana, had some critical decisions to make. The hurricane had destroyed Charity Hospital, which was a major academic and trauma facility in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana decided to build LCMC Health, which would serve as a modern leading-edge facility for the community and replace the Charity Hospital.

While in the process of building the new University Medical Center (UMC) New Orleans, the IT staff at LCMC decided to take advantage of this opportunity to transform desktop and application delivery.

Watch how LCMC Health describes how they now deliver modern healthcare with VMware:

&#rsquo;With this new facility, we had a rare opportunity to start essentially from square one with our IT program. We wanted a leading-edge, highly virtualized infrastructure to deliver best-of-breed medical applications, including Epic,&#rdquo; said Tanya Townsend, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer for LCMC Health.

LCMC recognized that even after a devastating crisis like Hurricane Katrina, they had an opportunity to help deliver even better services for their patients. LCMC Health is perfect example of #GameChangers.

LCMC Health needed a solution for desktop and application delivery that lowered OpEx, while providing quick roll out of applications so staff could provide the best patient care possible. After comparing various virtual desktop infrastructure solutions on the market, LCMC chose to partner with VMware to support 5,000 devices at UMC New Orleans.

Using VMware Horizon VDIand VMware App Volumes, LCMC Health was able provide faster desktop deployment and application delivery to their doctors and nurses. A single sign-on portal makes patient information very easy to access from various devices, yet secure enough to meet the strict regulations LCMC has to comply with.

Related: Read why VMware was named a leader in the IDC MarketScape for Client Computing Software.

&#rsquo;VMware offered us the greatest balance of performance, cost, as well as management tools for our technical teams to be able to manage the entire environment. When we looked at some of the new technology like App Volumes and the overall integration that it has with the ecosystem of other applications and providers out there, it presented the best value overall.&#rdquo;

—Austin Park, Principal Consultant, LCMC Health

The business benefits LCMC Health found by utilizing the Horizon VDI platform were tremendous:

  • Staff login time to hospital computers were cut by 87.5%.
  • Staff is now able to spend 35 more minutes per shift with patients.
  • Cost savings associated with replacing PCs with virtual desktops delivered via Horizon.
  • Anywhere, anytime healthcare application software delivered with high availability.

Read more about LCMC Health&#rsquo;s story here.

LCMC Health was able to transform how they delivered their wide variety of enterprise and desktop applications, while increasing patient satisfaction—what we like to call true #GameChangers.

Click here to learn more about Safe Passage for replacing Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop with game-changing Horizon VDI and virtual apps.

More #GameChangers stories you might like:

  • EUC #GameChangers: Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office
  • Kroll Ontrack Turns Complaints to Compliments by Replacing Citrix XenApp with VMware Horizon
  • How BDP International Changed the Game by Moving from Citrix to VMware

The post #GameChangers: LCMC Health Seizes the Opportunity for Faster Desktop Deployment & Application Delivery with VMware Horizon appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

What You Should Know About Hyper-Converged Infrastructure

 Allgemein, Knowledge Base, Updates, VDI, VMware, VMware Partner, VMware Virtual Infrastructure, vSphere  Kommentare deaktiviert für What You Should Know About Hyper-Converged Infrastructure
Nov 292016
 

With the massive shift to hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI), we cannot deny that the traditional SAN and NAS markets are declining very quickly. According to Wikibon, traditional storage markets are declining close to 20% annually and they predict that traditional storage will go from being the dominant player today to a niche solution in less than

The post What You Should Know About Hyper-Converged Infrastructure appeared first on Virtual Blocks.