VMware Horizon View Review

It provides employees using many devices with portability but not for Linux desktops which should be included.


What is most valuable?

Features like LinkedClone, Desktop Pool with many delivery options and one single pane of glass to rule all desktop environments can simplify VDI management and reduce infrastructure costs.

How has it helped my organization?

In my low use-case, Horizon VDI is showing the agility to provide employees using many devices such as a tablet, PC and Mac, with portability but still stay within an active directory environment, with data and software which are in a "usable secure place".

What needs improvement?

I think that providing the solution for Linux desktops could be a real improvement as this would deliver desktops for operations and administrative operators without huge licensing costs (Desktops that have LibreOffice, Firefox and Linux client for client-server application). Another enhancement for this product could be a more simplified active directory GPO management through the Horizon Administrator console.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for one year, but only for demo purposes. We use this solution to try to demonstrate its real value.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

During the deployment take care with deploying the primary domain controller and the underlying vSphere environment.The VMs must be correctly resolved, NTP must be correctly reached and synchronized to, and PDC must be correctly configured. No issues will be encountered if you watch out for these simple constraints.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The product is mature, and stability is never compromised. In some cases, stability is gained by the underlying infrastructure stability. For this reason, pay attention to infrastructure metrics like storage IOPS and CPU utilization. In my case, the underlying infrastructure is covering up many possible issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I haven't scaled out my infrastructure, because my environment didn't reach the limit.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

I haven't used it in this environment.

Technical Support:

I haven't used it in this environment.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Yes, I used Microsoft Terminal server (from Windows Server 2003 and 2008). I suggest deploying this solution to a few remote desktops, but still keep a VDI solution because it is lacking in many features like management, mobility and multimedia experience. For this reason, I switched to Horizon.

How was the initial setup?

Deployment is not very easy, because there are many implications with the underlying infrastructure (which must be used only as a VDI infrastructure) and Active Directory GPO, which cannot be directly handled by View Administrator.

What about the implementation team?

I deployed this solution in house and alone.

What was our ROI?

Choosing VDI to save hardware costs is not the goal of Horizon, because the infrastructure and licensing break-even point can only be reached after the 1000th VDI. ROI must be measured in controlling the manpower costs. For this reason, often it is difficult to show the real advantage of the Horizon solution. In my case, because I'm using it for demo purposes I can't give more details about this.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Licensing costs are important and physical infrastructure could not be shared between classic server virtual datacenter and a Horizon environment. In my case the use of NFR costs (only for demo purpose) are near zero, (the infrastructure is made by using recycled hardware).

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, we also looked at Windows Terminal Server.

What other advice do I have?

In my opinion, this product should be the first environment that an enterprise company must consider. This product is a potential first player providing a top enterprise solution to deliver VDI in large and very large environments. For this reason, my rating of is 10/10 when considering a solution for enterprise environment and 8/10 in a mid-size deployment.

Pay attention to how many virtual desktops you should deliver and what is the real desktop utilization.A few desktops and too much customizations could cause an unjustified costs for three years.

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company is a VMware solution provider partner (sell a private cloud solution) and VMware service provider partner.
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