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VMware Horizon View OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

VMware Horizon View is the #3 ranked solution in our list of top Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) tools. It is most often compared to Microsoft Remote Desktop Services: VMware Horizon View vs Microsoft Remote Desktop Services

What is VMware Horizon View?

VMware Horizon View, previously known as VMware View, is a virtual desktop infrastructure solution that provides users with virtual and mobile desktop management, flexible access, an optimal end-user experience and cloud computing. Horizon View also provides increased control and security of the desktop environment.

End-users get to be more productive and enjoy the flexibility of accessing their desktop environments from many locations and devices, while IT remains in control of policies and security.

VMware Horizon View is also known as Horizon View.

VMware Horizon View Buyer's Guide

Download the VMware Horizon View Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: September 2021

VMware Horizon View Customers

Amway, Hertz International, Metro Health, North Carolina State University, Ottawa International Airport, Revlon, and Whirlpool.

VMware Horizon View Video

Archived VMware Horizon View Reviews (more than two years old)

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AT
Manager, IT with 51-200 employees
Real User
Offers good graphics facilities but the performance needs to be improved

Pros and Cons

  • "It has improved our business because now we can run applications and it's easier for our students to do their exams."
  • "In the next release, the performance, the speed, and the price need to be improved."

What is our primary use case?

This solution provides centralized management with a digital platform.

How has it helped my organization?

It has improved our business because now we can run applications and it's easier for our students to do their exams.

We learned something new and gained experience regarding single digital platforms including how they work, how it is made into a single platform, and technically how the hybrid conversion works.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the graphics facilities.

What needs improvement?

They have tried to create a solution that is similar to Nutanix Citrix. Nutanix Citrix is the leader with this type of solution, a digital single platform. VMware tried to do the same, it's close but in terms of performance and how they manage a single platform, Nutanix Citrix is much better.

In the next release, the performance, the speed, and the price need to be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for six months.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There are still many unknowns as we have only been working with this solution for a short time. We don't know the level of support and the servers are new to us, but in the six months that we have been running this solution, we have not run into any problems.

At this early stage, we can't determine whether VMware is able to address any issues or not.

How are customer service and technical support?

We are still new to this solution and have not run into any issues to be able to access the level of support or response time.

To date, I am doing the support with my team with our limited knowledge.

We haven't created any tickets with VMware technical support to resolve any issues.

So far we have been able to resolve the issues immediately.

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

Previously we were using Microsoft Terminal Server. 

Microsoft Terminal server did not meet our requirements and we didn't achieve our tasks or what we need in education. The new application now, it's reported to have strong backend, and to have a graphic backend to be able to support new applications, like Photoshop, printers, and video. It has graphics facilities.

Terminal Server does not have these facilities.

The VDI with this solution is now supported and it works for us. The challenge is to have a graphical backend and we get this with VMware, which solves the problem.

How was the initial setup?

The deployment model is on the hybrid cloud.

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

This solution is expensive.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Nutanix Citrix is the best solution in the world. I have attended a seminar and I like it.

Unfortunately, I am not able to purchase it due to finance. Our recruitment office decided to go with Dell, not Nutanix. If the decision was mine to make I would have gone with Nutanix Citrix, not VMware or Dell VMware.

What other advice do I have?

Area 1 Horizon is a product by VMware. It's centralized management with a digital platform.

I would rate this solution a five out of ten, but to be fair, there have been several improvements to this solution. We can work with this solution. We had issues before, but now they have been resolved. Students can do the lessons that are required and write the exams.
We requested the graphics facilities and now they are available and working fine.

Overall, I would say that we can give them a rating of seven out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Payman Maher
Storage Specialist at Informatics Services Corporation
Real User
Top 20
Good organization and integration, helps reduce maintenance costs

Pros and Cons

  • "Managing all operating systems in a single environment helped a lot in organizing and integrating it."
  • "The initial startup costs for this solution are relatively high."

What is our primary use case?

Use as a test center for medical students was the primary purpose of the launch. The number of users seen included was about two hundred. The model was kiosk-mode. Each time, after the end of the virtual machine exam, it was presented. It had to change on the user.

How has it helped my organization?

Organizing and integrating is perhaps the most important feature.

Reducing maintenance costs as well as reducing end-time service to end users can be another feature.

Infrastructure equipment and Zero Client. It also has great flexibility in infrastructure changes, both in software and in hardware. You can increase the resources needed by the user or software needed in a few seconds.

What is most valuable?

Managing all operating systems in a single environment helped a lot in organizing and integrating it. Also, there is no operating system on the user-side hardware.

There is no worry that it will crash and you will be able to recover it in seconds.

Using this solution in medium to large organizations can be justified. Since virtualization is widespread in many organizations today, launching this solution may not require much infrastructure change.

Offices that do not require much processing are a good place to use this solution.

What needs improvement?

Places such as universities are not suitable for this solution.

The initial startup costs for this solution are relatively high.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Because it's more focused on integration, it's much more flexible and easier to manage.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is Very Scalable

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support for this solution is very satisfying.

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

We tried solutions from Parallels, but it didn't seem right for the organization.

How was the initial setup?

Most organizations have gone to virtualization and VMware clustering. Most of the work is already done.

What about the implementation team?

Our in-house team handled the deployment.

What was our ROI?

We have seen ROI between two and three years.

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

The initial startup costs for this solution are relatively high.

Licensing and hardware outsourcing is expensive, but can be cost-effective in the three to five-year range.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about VMware Horizon View. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: September 2021.
542,267 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Dan Reynolds
Director of IT at BLDD ARCHITECTS INC
Real User
Top 10
The ability to reliably virtualize desktops and support them. Simple to say, but complicated nonetheless.

What is our primary use case?

We were spread across several offices and with the main production software tool and the weak WAN infrastructure, it was impossible to share data reliably. It seemed the only solution was to centralize the data and make it so the people using the data - the workers - could be anywhere. With past experiences in server virtualization, I investigated VMware View. It was the missing key that made this all work.

How has it helped my organization?

At this stage, a couple of iterations later, workers now only come to the office a couple of days a week. The company has been able to eliminate two offices entirely, and in addition, we have a much wider base of operations because employees can live practically anywhere in our "territory".

What is most valuable?

The ability to reliably virtualize desktops and support them. Simple to say, but complicated nonetheless. 

What needs improvement?

Almost all VMware products are "designed" for the enterprise and it sometimes takes some wise wrangling to make it financially viable. And VMware doesn't make that easy. I think the SMB market is largely untapped and maybe even ignored.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

VMware is incredibly stable. Even when you don't know what you're doing. And for the times you get stuck - that's why they offer support. VMware support is pretty good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

VMware products are almost infinitely scalable. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Tech support by and large is excellent. There is some swapping out between internal VMware groups sometimes, they are very compartmentalized but they generally can get you out of just about any hole you dig yourself into. 

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

No. I had used VMware in a "past" life and didn't even consider other solutions as viable.

How was the initial setup?

It's not shake the box easy but if you do your homework, do some rudimentary testing and do a lot of research it's possible, viable - you can even do it yourself.

What about the implementation team?

I did it all in house on my own.

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

It's not cheap but compared to constant hardware refreshes it doesn't take long to pay itself back. 

Don't be afraid to search out your own solution. It's not that hard to architect a viable virtual desktop environment. You don't have to implement each and every feature. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No, as stated above.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user370233
IT Consultant with 51-200 employees
Vendor
The most valuable features for us are the Horizon-linked clone desktops, App Volumes, and UEM.

What is most valuable?

Horizon-linked clone desktops App Volumes UEM

How has it helped my organization?

With Horizon view, it requires less administration from us and it provides much more flexibility for our users.

What needs improvement?

Integration of app volumes with Horizon View and integration of App Volumes with UEM would be nice additions.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for three years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

App volumes introduces longer login times, printer mapping issues (print spooler crashes), and short cut configuration timing issues.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We didn't encounter any issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We didn't…

What is most valuable?

  • Horizon-linked clone desktops
  • App Volumes
  • UEM

How has it helped my organization?

With Horizon view, it requires less administration from us and it provides much more flexibility for our users.

What needs improvement?

Integration of app volumes with Horizon View and integration of App Volumes with UEM would be nice additions.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for three years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

App volumes introduces longer login times, printer mapping issues (print spooler crashes), and short cut configuration timing issues.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We didn't encounter any issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We didn't encounter any issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Customer service is good.

Technical Support:

Horizon: good. App Volumes and UEM: bad. Their support does not have good knowledge of the product.

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

We previously used Citrix. VMware is a better integrated solution for virtual desktops.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward, but minimal. It takes time to configure all details. The default configuration should be better.

What about the implementation team?

We are a consultancy partner. We implement it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated Citrix XenDesktop.

What other advice do I have?

Always use VMware Horizon Enterprise Suite. It has deep integration with the hypervisor. It is total solution.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We're an enterprise partner.
it_user321318
Systems Administrator at a healthcare company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
It allows us to spin up desktops and set multiple images quickly, although it lacks enough standardized instructions and rules.

Valuable Features:

The ability to spin up desktops as quickly as possible. You just build one image and then set multiple images and be ready quickly.

Improvements to My Organization:

If you have a training session, you can spin up more very quickly, which helps in the training ability for end-users.

Room for Improvement:

I wish there were more standardized instructions and rules. There are too many gotchas.

Stability Issues:

We're moving to 6.1 from 5.x, so far it's been good. An older version was unstable, but that was before I got there.

Scalability Issues:

There's some little gotchas with moving some up, and you can only have so many VMs, so it does have limitations.

Initial Setup:

It’s a little advanced because more gotchas (certificates, different…

Valuable Features:

The ability to spin up desktops as quickly as possible. You just build one image and then set multiple images and be ready quickly.

Improvements to My Organization:

If you have a training session, you can spin up more very quickly, which helps in the training ability for end-users.

Room for Improvement:

I wish there were more standardized instructions and rules. There are too many gotchas.

Stability Issues:

We're moving to 6.1 from 5.x, so far it's been good. An older version was unstable, but that was before I got there.

Scalability Issues:

There's some little gotchas with moving some up, and you can only have so many VMs, so it does have limitations.

Initial Setup:

It’s a little advanced because more gotchas (certificates, different servers in different order).

Other Advice:

Make sure you know the product, and do a POC first.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user321525
Senior Systems Administrator at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Our students can now access our software remotely without VPN, though I'd like the option to use View Persona without paying more.

Valuable Features

  • The concurrent user license model, which allows our students to use it without being named users.
  • The security server that allows them to remotely access their virtual desktops without VPN access.
  • Non-persistent/link clones are important because students login/logoff, and virtual desktops are refreshed back to a state that’s pristine for the next student.
  • Very eco-friendly because there are no physical desktops to use electricity.
  • Zero Client as endpoints use only one watt (our buildings are platinum-level green and we need low electricity consumption to maintain that level).
  • Improvements to My Organization

    In the past, students had to physically go to labs to access software, but now they can access them from any device anywhere, and don’t have to login via VPN because of the security server part of Horizon.

    Room for Improvement

    View Persona, it’s been pushed to the wayside because they acquired UEM, and I’d prefer to use it, but have no budget for it. View Persona has less features than UEM, and it doesn’t seem updated, which makes a difference for standard edition users.

    Stability Issues

    It is stable, but it depends on the use case. For us, we use it to allow students to access their desktops anywhere, at anytime. We just use the standard version, not the full enterprise one. We would like to go enterprise, but don’t the have budget for it. But, the standard version has been stable and addressed by support and updates. No issues that would cause us to turn away.

    Scalability Issues

    Recently had issue with the 3D application performance with the release of 6.1, and added VGPU support. All we had to do was add hardware (Nvidia K1 cards).

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    It's responsive, but a few times we had issues with their tech knowledge and troubleshooting steps. We had to escalate the issue and then it was resolved.

    Initial Setup

    It was complex, and many facets on the networking side sit on top of vSphere, with multiple composer engines, and connection servers.

    Other Advice

    It loses points becuase I can’t take advantage of enterprise stuff. You should do a POC to make sure it fits the use case, three to four month period, and make sure you involve your networking team.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user320910
    IT Site Support IV at a healthcare company with 501-1,000 employees
    Vendor
    Deploying desktops without needing access to the hardware is very helpful, but different client versions can be problematic.

    What is most valuable?

    • Control
    • Consolidated way of doing updates
    • Security

    How has it helped my organization?

    We had to deal with re-imaging hard drives and managing PCs, so having images and desktops to deploy wherever people are without the hardware was really helpful.

    What needs improvement?

    I think that simplifying cross-platform use on different devices could be better. Different client versions sometimes don’t work quite as well.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It’s been great – we haven’t had too many issues at all.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Pretty good – we're a pretty small organization, and we have a few hundred desktops but it's been great for what we do.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    It’s been good – no complaints at all.

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

    Nope – we went from straight desktops to virtualization.

    How was the initial setup?

    It’s a little complex, we missed the initial deployment. They were trying to get the most out of the resources on the servers and it undercut what some users needed.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    When choosing VMware, we looked at the cost, and value. If they meet what we need, support is important as well. You should get a demo version and try it – see what it actually does before you buy it. I'd rather see it kick the tires than hear what other people have to say.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user320988
    IT Administrator at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    Once a user finishes with a training computer, we can rebuild it again without worrying about security or viruses.

    What is most valuable?

    It’s easy to maintain with the recompose feature. It makes my job easier, as I can update and break the computers, and then rebuild them immediately.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It's basically setting up our training computers much more easily than before – once a user finishes, we can rebuild them again, and we don’t have to worry about security or viruses.

    What needs improvement?

    For what we are using it for, it's been very good. I see a lot of needs, but because our environment is constricted for now it meets our needs. If we can go into a cloud environment, then I see a lot of things I would need.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    It's easy to deploy.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Very, very good. Reliable, so far I haven’t had any major issues or breakdowns.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I haven’t dealt with it since the product is so simple to use, and the deployment was not too complex. VMware support in general is very good.

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

    We were using Citrix, and Horizon had better features and was easier to adapt. Our Citrix environment was getting old. Also, tech support was a key to change.

    How was the initial setup?

    Very simple.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We only looked at VMware.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user320286
    Data Processing Manager 2 at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    It’s a more secure environment for desktops than a physical environment, although it lacks incorporation of VDI administration.

    What is most valuable?

    The ability to log in from anywhere is huge. Remote access is a third party product, but with them working together, it's is great.

    How has it helped my organization?

    I would say that it’s a more secure environment for desktops than a physical environment.

    What needs improvement?

    Right now, we use a third party product to do the VDI administration, which has been fairly good for us. We’re looking for one vendor to be able to manage all aspects of the stack to make it more efficient and stable.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Not so stable – there’s a lot of new issues that we have not experienced before on the physical desktop side that become challenges for us when trying to solve on the client side. This is really an infrastructure side product, so troubleshooting for us from the client side is more difficult, and we tend to need to escalate and get assistance from the infrastructure staff frequently.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We kind of halted everything simply because of several technical issues that needed to be resolved to make the old system more stable before we plan on rolling out more. We’re currently looking at going to a generation 2 VDI with vCenter 6 and Horizon View 6.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I've indirectly dealt with them. My staff have opened cases with VMware, and they’ve always been good to work with. However, sometimes our issues are in house, or caused by a third party, so it’s difficult to know how to divide and conquer, from where we sit at client support.

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

    The CIO had a vision and wanted to push toward the anytime anywhere capability for our customers.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I wasn’t involved, but I’m sure they looked at Citrix.

    What other advice do I have?

    We look at a products, the ability to respond quickly and completely are important. I would wait until the whole system matures a little more and comes together as far as where everything is under one vendor, so that it’s more stable and efficient. A few technical bugs need to be worked out, and we had some trouble with video display, and that could’ve been avoided.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user320616
    Process Control Network Manager at Georgia-Pacific LLC
    Vendor
    We now have full visibility across all our sites from one pane of glass, although I'd like I/O acceleration within VMware instead of having to use a third party.

    What is most valuable?

    Being able to centrally manage our environments from one pane of glass.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Before we virtualized it was stand alone systems, now I can see all ten sites we manage, and manage the systems. If we need to make changes, we can do it with a snapshot. It's much easier than before, plus we now have visibility into everything going on.

    What needs improvement?

    One thing is I'd like to be able to see I/O acceleration within VMware instead of having to use a third party, like VMTurbo.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We haven’t had any issues – its worked really well.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    With virtual environments, we are highly scalable. Before, when we had a physical…

    What is most valuable?

    Being able to centrally manage our environments from one pane of glass.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Before we virtualized it was stand alone systems, now I can see all ten sites we manage, and manage the systems. If we need to make changes, we can do it with a snapshot. It's much easier than before, plus we now have visibility into everything going on.

    What needs improvement?

    One thing is I'd like to be able to see I/O acceleration within VMware instead of having to use a third party, like VMTurbo.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We haven’t had any issues – its worked really well.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    With virtual environments, we are highly scalable. Before, when we had a physical environment adding a server was a whole process, now we have a base VM, and we just add it, provisioning servers is nothing. Now it takes two to three hours, instead of two to three weeks.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I haven’t had any issues. They're easy to get hold of, and they're able to help with all our issues.

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

    There was no other solution in place.

    How was the initial setup?

    It was fairly straightforward. It took getting used to the new technology but it wasn’t too difficult.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user320130
    Tech Lab Engineer Analyst at AARP
    Vendor
    It allows us to do a lot from the back end where we don’t have to impact the users at all, including spinning up a VM for solutions any end-user needs.

    What is most valuable?

    The administrative console – it allows us to do a lot from the back-end where we don’t have to impact the users at all.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We can spin up a virtual machine real quick for any solutions that any end-user needs. That’s what I really like.

    What needs improvement?

    Well, one of the features we would like to have (even though it was released last year), was NSX. We’re providing a web portal services so that we can spin out any servers that they need, so those things would help. The NSX is something that we are looking at right now.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It’s very stable. We have a very stable environment. We use a cloud provider to provision our desktop, just trying to get our servers to collaborate together takes a bit of a challenge. It’s an ongoing transition, so the knowledge transition takes a bit of time.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We’ve scaled up a lot. When we first started out, we’re fairly young using a virtual environment. We started with 130, and moved to over 500 now. It’s great and it’s not time consuming at all or difficult. It’s been rewarding to us.

    The only downfall in our organization is the budget constraints, as we’re a nonprofit organization, so using a third party cloud provider is not free, so we have to let our user community know about the costs associated with using the environment. It’s a direct cost.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    They’re great. They use the case number customer support, and the technician will contact you and you tell them your issues. They give you a knowledge based article, and then if you can’t resolve the issue they will get back with you. They also do a WebEx session with you in figuring our problems. They’re able to resolve it right away. When I have to call them, they’re very good at what they do, and especially talking to somebody on the phone, they’re very knowledgeable in diagnosing issues. They share information, they communicate well, and they give you a comfort zone to make sure you’re ok with everything.

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

    We were using an HP appliance, and we were trying to get away and use what VMware recommended. Our HP appliance was out of warranty and old, and we just needed o upgrade.

    How was the initial setup?

    The design was complex to understand. When we set it up on our environment, I went through the classes but doing it hands on was a little different. However, after that initial hurdle, it was very clear.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Dependability, stability, and ease of use are what we look for. We looked at Citrix and Microsoft, we went with VMware as we had been using VMWare for the last ten years in our tech lab, so it was easy to just have it across the board.

    Definitely. Peer reviews are one of the first things I take a look at before creating my vendor list.

    What other advice do I have?

    We would have to be completely VMware, i.e every product we have from VMware to have it working perfectly. However, it is great for us right now though.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    System Administrator at a university with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    We've been able to remove 70% of the desktops from our classrooms and onto VDI, but the VM management console should be improved.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature is virtual machine provisioning.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We used to have desktops in our class rooms, and now 30% of our classrooms are on VDI. It is very easy to manage centrally and complaints about PCs in classrooms are less than 5% now.

    What needs improvement?

    The pools and virtual machine management console should be improved, as there is no way to group PCs in different pools, etc.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've used it for one year.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    There have been a few problems.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    It's good.

    Technical Support:

    I had trouble with tech support one, as the person I was speaking to wasn't good.

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

    No previous solution was in place.

    How was the initial setup?

    It was a little complex when configuring Active Directory and other server roles.

    What about the implementation team?

    I implemented it myself.

    What was our ROI?

    It is very high, we are planning to introduce to all of our class rooms.

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

    Pricing is high as VMware costs are always high.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    No other options were evaluated.

    What other advice do I have?

    It is a good solution, it is stable.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    System Administrator at a cloud provider with 51-200 employees
    Vendor
    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.
    ITCS user
    Virtualization Counsultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
    Consultant
    Powerful way to customize our app and desktop for users.
    It is best way to provide our user with vmware horizon service because it minimum workload and give us powerful way to customize our app and desktop for users with minimum time to repair or prepare them.

    It is best way to provide our user with vmware horizon service because it minimum workload and give us powerful way to customize our app and desktop for users with minimum time to repair or prepare them.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user6405
    Engineer at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    VMware Horizon View Feature Pack 1 Test Drive
    VMware released the Feature Pack 1 for VMware Horizon View 5.2 a week or so after the standard release. The feature pack comes with the HTML5 Access (Blast Protocol) and Unity Touch. The new HTML5 client for VMware Horizon View 5.2 is something I was looking forward to trying out. Is it a pain to use a full client' No, but having the flexibility to roam around to different devices and not need to install an application is a nice mobility feature. Protocol WarsThe HTML5 client doesn’t use PCoIP, and instead uses VMware’s own Blast protocol. Using a different procol piques my interest because VMware does not own PCoIP, which is a Teradici product. Could VMware buy Teradici' They certainly could, but they haven’t in the past so it seems unlikely they ever will. The talking point response here…

    VMware released the Feature Pack 1 for VMware Horizon View 5.2 a week or so after the standard release. The feature pack comes with the HTML5 Access (Blast Protocol) and Unity Touch.

    The new HTML5 client for VMware Horizon View 5.2 is something I was looking forward to trying out. Is it a pain to use a full client' No, but having the flexibility to roam around to different devices and not need to install an application is a nice mobility feature.

    Protocol Wars

    The HTML5 client doesn’t use PCoIP, and instead uses VMware’s own Blast protocol. Using a different procol piques my interest because VMware does not own PCoIP, which is a Teradici product. Could VMware buy Teradici' They certainly could, but they haven’t in the past so it seems unlikely they ever will. The talking point response here seems to be that Teradici is a ‘hardware’ company and does not fit VMware’s portfolio which focuses on software. Maybe the goal is to keep using two protocols. Or maybe the long-term goal is to develop the Blast protocol to a point where PCoIP isn’t needed. That is 100% speculation on my part, obviously, and that would be far down the road.

    The agent for the Blast Protocol is an additional application install from the feature pack, and must be installed into the virtual desktop image on top of the View Agent. The software must also be installed to the connection server, and the pool(s) must be edited to enable the ‘HTML Access’ checkbox, etc. The whole process is simple, and doesn’t require a reboot.

    Gunnar Berger has created a video comparing the protocols on YouTube: VMware Horizon View – Blast protocol vs PCoIP. One thing that appears different in the release than in his video of the beta is that the shadowing “functionality” is actually removed. The behavior mimics PCoIP now in that if another client connects then it disconnects the original connection.

    Blast Positives

    Protocol wars aside, I do like the Blast implementation. The video performance is very good, although not as good as PCoIP; the build-to-lossless functionality is relatively noticeable, for example. Watching video shows the real performance differences. Normal usage is solid and responsive, and is fine for a task worker that doesn’t require multimedia.

    From testing the client on different platforms and browsers, I noticed that the client detects whether the connection is coming from a mobile or regular desktop OS and adjusts accordingly. This is very handy, as using Safari on an iPad gives the touchpad overlay option in addition to the other options the tablet interface provides. The below images compare the experience from an iPad with Safari, and MacOS with Google Chrome:

    Blast’s Room-for-Improvement

    This is the first release, so there are going to be rough edges that need some polish. Below are some of the issues in the current release (Feature Pack 1 with Horizon View 5.2):

    1. No Multimedia or Flash Redirection
    2. No ThinPrint Support
    3. No USB Support
    4. No Audio Support
    5. No WebCam Support
    6. Unsupported on Android

    I tried using HTML5 client from my Droid Bionic running Android ICS, even though the documentation does not list Android in the supported platforms. The web page notifies the user of such:

    Proceeding with the Android native browser fails outright, but the client does work in a degraded state with Chrome for Android. The only bug I noticed with Chrome for Android was that the client panel shows up in the middle of the screen, which results in a couple pixel tall line through the desktop when the panel is shrunk.

    Unity Touch

    Unity Touch is a nice feature addition for tablet users, although using Windows 7 on a tablet is not exactly a pleasurable experience. Unity Touch does make it a bit more enjoyable, though. A panel is added to the left side of the interface that gives easy access to programs, files, and running applications:

    Browsing Windows Explorer and the Start Menu aren’t really built for tablets, so moving these to a panel that is made for the tablet experience is perfect. This is a great start to making a full Windows OS (Win8 excluded) more accessible for a tablet.

    Thoughts

    The features added by the Horizon View 5.2 Feature Pack 1 are great additions to the product, and really add functionality that competing products do not have. The Blast protocol is still a new feature and has limitations of such, but using a desktop inside a web browser is perfect when on a device without the ability to install applications, and it provides easy, quick access at that. Unity Touch is a great usability/experience additional for tablet users that make Windows on a tablet a little more more enjoyable.

    It’s great to see VMware innovating in the VDI space.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user5676
    Engineer with 501-1,000 employees
    Vendor
    Allows for the creation of linked clone VM pools
    View allows for the creation of linked clone VM pools and allows for easy administration of those pools. The automated tasks allow administrators to provision, refresh pools during off hours to keep the pools clean. View administrator is an easy tool to configure the servers in the environmnet. The ability to assign thin apps to a VM or pools of VMs in vmware view is an easy way to deploy applications to users.

    View allows for the creation of linked clone VM pools and allows for easy administration of those pools. The automated tasks allow administrators to provision, refresh pools during off hours to keep the pools clean. View administrator is an easy tool to configure the servers in the environmnet. The ability to assign thin apps to a VM or pools of VMs in vmware view is an easy way to deploy applications to users.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user3573
    Infrastructure Expert at a transportation company with 51-200 employees
    Vendor
    Review of VMware View

    Valuable Features:

    • Central Management • VMware vShield Endpoint • PCOIP (PC Over IP) Protocol • Linked Clones & ThinApps • Local Mode • VMware Knowledge

    Room for Improvement:

    • Expensive / ROI • DR • 3D and graphics performance • Required some VMware skills

    Other Advice:

    Who can benefit from it? • Organizations who buy lots of desktops / laptops • Call Centers • Military • High Security Profile Organizations • Many more…

    Valuable Features:

    • Central Management • VMware vShield Endpoint • PCOIP (PC Over IP) Protocol • Linked Clones & ThinApps • Local Mode • VMware Knowledge

    Room for Improvement:

    • Expensive / ROI • DR • 3D and graphics performance • Required some VMware skills

    Other Advice:

    Who can benefit from it? • Organizations who buy lots of desktops / laptops • Call Centers • Military • High Security Profile Organizations • Many more…
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Tech Support Staff at a tech company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    VMware’s view is one of the best virtual desktop software's that I have used so far

    Valuable Features:

    View not only makes desktop management, storage, and provisioning easier, but also reduces the cost of management as well as automation of routine and storage duties performed by administrators.View easily allows for recovery of desktop systems in case of a disaster and enables end users to print universally using thin print, connect over the internet, and even create virtual desktop systems dynamically for them.

    Room for Improvement:

    I had a few challenges when using VMware's View that included support for desktops that are offline and services at the terminal as well as their management. Fortunately, the later versions of view have addressed these issues. This includes the view 3, 5.0 and 5.1 versions.

    Other Advice:

    View allows for remote desktop access on virtual infrastructure through a hardware device known as thin client and you can also keep your desktop offline and synchronize it again afterwards. View has many components that allow for these capabilities and includes Storage Accelerator, which ensures that virtualized shared storage capacities are optimized; USB connectivity that is upgraded improves support for USB devices, view manager, VMware vCentre Server, view client, VMware vSphere meant for desktops, view composer and a view administrator.
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.