What’s New in VMware Horizon 7.3

VMware Horizon 7 version 7.3 provides the following new features and enhancements. This information is grouped by installable component.

  • Horizon Connection Server
  • Horizon Agent for Linux
  • Horizon Agent
  • Horizon GPO Bundle
  • Horizon Client

Horizon Connection Server

  • Horizon Help Desk Tool
    • View application and process names and resource use within a virtual or published desktop to identify which applications and process are using up machine resources.
    • View event log information about the user’s activities.
    • View updated metrics such as Horizon Client version and the Blast protocol.
    • View additional session metrics such as the VM information, CPU, or memory usage.
    • You can assign predefined administrator roles to Horizon Help Desk Tool administrators to delegate the troubleshooting tasks between administrator users. You can also create custom roles and add privileges based on the predefined administrator roles.
    • You can verify the product license key for Horizon Help Desk Tool and apply a valid license.
  • Monitoring
    • If the event database shuts down, Horizon Administrator maintains an audit trail of the events that occur before and after the event database shutdown.
  • Instant Clones
    • You can create dedicated instant-clone desktop pools.
    • Windows Server operating systems are supported for instant clones in this release. For an updated list of supported Windows Server operating systems, see the VMware Knowledge Base (KB) article  2150295.
    • You can copy, paste, or enter the path for the AD tree in the AD container field when you create an instant-clone desktop pool.
    • If there are no internal VMs in all four internal folders created in vSphere Web Client, these folders are unprotected and you can delete these folders.
    • You can use the enhanced instant-clone maintenance utlity IcUnprotect.cmd to unprotect or delete template, replica, or parent VMs or folders from vSphere hosts.
    • Instant clones are compatible with Storage DRS (sDRS). Therefore, instant clones can reside in a datastore that is part of an sDRS cluster.
  • Cloud Pod Architecture
    • The total session limit is increased to 140,000.
    • The site limit is increased to 7.
    • You can configure Windows Start menu shortcuts for global entitlements. When an entitled user connects to a Connection Server instance in the pod federation, Horizon Client for Windows places these shortcuts in the Start menu on the user’s Windows client device.
  • Published Desktops and Application Pools
    • You can restrict access to entitled desktop pools, application pools, global entitlements, and global application entitlements from certain client computers.
    • You can configure Windows start menu shortcuts for entitled desktop and application pools. When an entitled user connects to a Connection Server instance, Horizon Client for Windows places these shortcuts in the Start menu on the user’s Windows client device.
  • Virtual Desktops and Desktop Pools
    • Blast Extreme provides network continuity during momentary network loss on Windows clients.
    • Performance counters displayed using PerfMon on Windows agents for Blast session, imaging, audio, CDR, USB, and virtual printing provide an accurate representation of the current state of the system that also updates at a constant rate.
  • Customer Experience Improvement Program
    • Details regarding the data collected through CEIP and the purposes for which it is used by VMware are set forth at the Trust Assurance Center.
  • Security
    • With the USB over Session Enhancement SDK feature, you do not need to open TCP port 32111 for USB traffic in a DMZ-based security server deployment. This feature is supported for both virtual desktops and published desktops on RDS hosts.
  • Database Support
    • The Always On Availability Groups feature for Microsoft SQL Server 2014 is supported in this release of Horizon 7.

Horizon Agent for Linux

Horizon Agent for Linux desktops now support the following features:

  • UDP based Blast Extreme connectivity
    User Datagram Protocol (UDP) is enabled by default in both the client and the agent.  Note that Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) connectivity will have a better performance than UDP on the Local Area Network (LAN). UDP will have better perforance than TCP over Wde Area Network (WAN). If you are on a LAN, disable the UDP  feature to switch to using TCP to get better connectivity performance.
  • KDE support
    K Desktop Environment (KDE) support is now also available on CentOS 7, RHEL 7, Ubuntu 14.04, Ubuntu 16.04, and SLED 11 SP4 platforms.
  • MATE support
    MATE desktop environment is supported on Ubuntu 14.04 and 16.04 virtual machines.
  • Hardware H.264 Encoder
    The hardware H.264 encoder is now available and used when the vGPU is configured with the NVIDIA graphics card that has the NVIDIA driver 384 series or later installed on it.
  • Additional platforms support
    RHEL 7.4 x64 and CentOS 7.4 x64 are now supported.

Horizon Agent

  • HTML5 Multimedia Redirection
    You can install the HTML5 Multimedia Redirection feature by selecting the HTML5 Multimedia Redirection custom setup option in the Horizon Agent installer. With HTML5 Multimedia Redirection, if an end user uses the Chrome browser, HTML5 multimedia content is sent from the remote desktop to the client system, reducing the load on the ESXi host. The client system plays the multimedia content and the user has a better audio and video experience.
  • SHA-256 support
    Horizon Agent has been updated to support the SHA-256 cryptographic hash algorithm. SHA-256 is also supported in Horizon Client 4.6 and Horizon 7 version 7.2 and later.
  • Improved USB redirection with User Environment Manager
    • The default User Environment Manager timeout value has been increased. This change ensures that the USB redirection smart policy takes effect even when the login process takes a long time. With Horizon Client 4.6, the User Environment Manager timeout value is configured only on the agent and is sent from the agent to the client.
    • You can now bypass User Environment Manager control of USB redirection by setting a registry key on the agent machine. This change ensures that smart card SSO works on Teradici zero clients. For more information, see VMware Knowledge Base (KB) article 2151440 Smart card SSO fails when you use User Environment Manager with a zero client.

Horizon GPO Bundle


  • VMware Horizon Printer Redirection ADMX template file
    This new ADMX template file (vdm_agent_printing.admx) contains policy settings for filtering redirected printers.
  • “Enable VMware HTML5 Multimedia Redirection” group policy setting
    Use this new VMware View Agent Configuration ADMX template file (vdm_agent.admx) group policy setting to enable the HTML5 Multimedia redirection feature.
  • “Enable URL list for VMware HTML5 Multimedia Redirection” group policy setting
    Use this new VMware View Agent Configuration ADMX template file (vdm_agent.admx) group policy setting to specify which websites redirect HTML5 multimedia content.
  • “Enforces Wallpaper Setting from GPO” group policy setting
    Use this new Persona Management ADMX template file (ViewPM.admx) group policy setting to apply the wallpaper specified in the AD group policy setting.

vRealize Operations for Published Applications 6.1

VMware vRealize Operations for Published Applications extends the functionality of VMware vRealize Operations Manager to monitor and manage Citrix XenApp 6.5 environments.

vRealize Operations for Published Applications collects data about your resources and presents that data in pre-configured dashboards for both real-time and predictive analysis.

Features in This Release

vRealize Operations for Published Applications 6.1 includes the following new features.

  • vRealize Operations Manager 6.0.2 support – vRealize Operations for Published Applications 6.1 is compatible with vRealize Operations Manager 6.0.2. It does not support earlier vCenter Operations Manager versions.
  • Monitoring and troubleshooting – vRealize Operations for Published Applications 6.1 monitors and generates reports for Citrix XenApp application, session, and license usage.
  • Citrix ICA virtual channel monitoring – vRealize Operations for Published Applications 6.1 monitors ICA virtual channels performance insight for faster session assessment and troubleshooting.
  • Out-of-the-box and custom summary reports – You can generate reports from pre-configured report templates or configure your own reports.
  • Internationalization – The vRealize Operations for Published Applications user interface and documentation are available in English, Japanese, French, German, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and Korean.

More info at vRealize Operations for Horizon

Atlantis USX 2.2 Released

Atlantis USX is a software solution that accelerates performance and consolidates storage, increasing effective storage capacity to support running server workloads such as business-critical applications. USX builds on proven Atlantis compression, caching, deduplication, and tiering capabilities to provide a dramatically reduced storage footprint and improved performance, including built-in high availability. USX satisfies the storage requirements demanded by server workloads, removing the constraints of traditional storage.

With the new release the following new features came available.

  • XenServer – USX now supports Citrix XenServer. XenServer can use any of the USX volume types. USX configuration, deployment, and management is the same for all platforms.
  • New volume types:
    • The Hyper-Converged volume type supports server or VDI workloads and consumes only
      local resources. Hyper-Converged volumes are associated with an Infrastructure volume that
      provides shared storage so that the Hyper-Converged volume can migrate before entering
      maintenance mode even though the Hyper-Converged volume uses only local resources.
    • The Simple All Flash volume type supports persistent VDI deployments and enables you to
      use flash for both performance and capacity.
  • Maintenance mode – A host can be placed into maintenance mode from the new Hypervisors Management screen in the USX GUI.
  • Volume power operations and reboots can be performed from the Manage Volumes screen.
  • LDAP authentication – Use the new LDAP Authentication screen to bind to an LDAP server so that members of a specified LDAP group can log into USX.
  • Tree hierarchies are implemented for the display of datacenters, clusters, and hypervisors.
  • SNMP configuration – A new document, Atlantis USX SNMP Configuration, provides a listing of the USX MIB and information about configuring USX to communicate with an SNMP trap host.

Atlantis USX 2.2 is now available in the download portal

Upgrading vCenter Server Appliance 5.0.x/5.1 to 5.5

To upgrade vCenter Server Appliance from 5.0.x/5.1 to 5.5:
  1. Deploy the new version of the vCenter Server Appliance. For more information, see Downloading and deploying the vCenter Server Appliance 5.x (2007619).

    Note: The new appliance has a default network configuration and the VMware VirtualCenter Server service is not configured and is disabled. There is a known issue were the vCenter Server Appliance will not change the hostname when deployed. For more information, see VMware vCenter Server Appliance 5.5 sets a wrong hostname after deployment (2065275)

  2. Connect to both the old and new appliances in separate browser windows. For example, use a URL similar to https://ip_address_of_vCenter_VM:5480.
  3. In the new appliance, start the vCenter Server Setup wizard and accept the end user license agreement.
  4. In the Configure Options panel, select Upgrade from previous version and then click Next.
  5. Copy the key from the Import this key section into the source appliance field.
  6. If you are upgrading vCenter Server Appliance 5.0.x to 5.5:
    1. In the old vCenter Server Appliance 5.0, click the Appliance Upgrade tab.
    2. Select source for the appliance role and click Setrole.
    3. Click Establish Trust.
    4. Paste the local appliance key into the Remote appliance key field.
    5. Click Import remote key.
    6. Copy the local appliance key.
    7. In the new vCenter Server Appliance 5.5, paste the local appliance key into the Remote appliance key field and click Next.
  7. If you are upgrading vCenter Server Appliance 5.1 to 5.5:
    1. In the old vCenter Server Appliance 5.1, paste the key from Step 5 into the Upgrade key field.
    2. Click Import key and Stop vCenter Server.
    3. Copy the Upgrade key.
    4. In the new appliance, paste the Upgrade key to the Paste the source appliance key into the field below field and click Next.
    5. If there are issues detected with your SSL certificates, select the Replace the SSL certificates option. You are prompted for SSO password for user administrator@vsphere.local.

  8. In the new vCenter Server Appliance, click Next.

    Note: The new appliance shuts down the old appliance and assumes the network identity (IP address, hostname, and network configuration) of the old appliance after the transfer has completed. This process can take some time and the virtual machines may appear unresponsive during the transfer. If the old appliance was configured to use dynamic addressing, the new appliance also uses dynamic addressing. When the import completes, the new vCenter Server Appliance starts.

  9. Review the list of hosts managed by the source appliance and ensure that all hosts to be managed by the new appliance are selected.
  10. Review the pre-upgrade check of the source appliance hosts and correct any errors before proceeding.
  11. Confirm that you have taken a backup or snapshot of the source appliance and the external database and click Next.
  12. (Optional) To follow the upgrade process, open an SSH session to the new vCenter Server Appliance and run this command:

    tail -f /var/log/vmware/vami/upgrade.log

    Note: This also helps in identifying where the process has stopped, if there are any issues with the upgrade.

  13. When the upgrade completes, click Close. vCenter Server Appliance is now upgraded and the new appliance reboots.