As I said yesterday, VMworld is always the time and place for VMware to announce new products and technologies. Today was not any different.

VMware announced the next version of their virtual desktop solution, VMware View 5 which will become available in the coming weeks.

VMware View 5 will deliver better PCoIP performance, more supported client devices and integrated persona management. Also, VMware’s Horizon App Manager application broker will get a mobile version with ThinApp and View integration.

Persona management VMware finally integrated the Virtual Profiles management tool which they acquired from RTO Software last year. Unfortunately, it doesn’t support XP to Windows 7 profile compatibility. Probably because of the RTO Virtual Profile problems VMware encountered with  Windows 7 compatibility.

But the integrated View Persona Management feature does provide a basic way to manage user data and settings, application data and Windows registry settings. By doing so, the user profile is now independent of the virtual desktop, so the end user can log into any View desktop and see his profile.

PCoIP enhancements With View 5, VMware has enhanced their PCoIP protocol to deliver better performance when delivering VMware View over a WAN connection. This should enhance graphics quality and speed up video performance.

According to VMware, the new PCoIP cuts bandwidth consumption up to 75%. If true this would make a huge difference in the performance of 3D graphics on a WAN and this will definitely challenge Citrix, who always claimed to have the superior protocol for WAN deployments.

Client support In addition to persona management and PCoIP fixes, VMware also added View 5 clients for iPad (iOS) and Android devices, so end users can access View 5 from more mobile platforms.

 

So, despite VMware has not incorporated dozens of new features into the product; those added features significantly improve VMware View as a whole. Most of the features included are valuable to improve the end user experience.

Here’s a list of the most important new features delivered by VMware View 5:

  • PCoIP WAN performance optimization Improvements on PCoIP protocol performance in low-bandwidth WAN environments. Users who connect to their desktops over an external WAN have enhanced desktop experience;
  • PCoIP Build-to-Lossless PCoIP now provides the ability to turn off Build-to-Lossless. This is the feature that puts PCoIP in parity with ICA when the discussion is around bandwidth consumption. Build-to-Lossless is ON by default and included in the PCoIP protocol within VMware View. I have prepared another post specifically to discuss this feature along with other important changes to the display protocol;
  • VMware Client Side Caching VMware View Client (Windows Only) now implements a client side image caching to store portions of the display that were previously transmitted. Image caching reduces the amount of data that is retransmitted and improve user experience. This cache can be managed and it’s size can be modified. I have prepared an article specifically to address this feature.
  • Support for 3D graphics on vSphere 5.0 This feature provides View desktops with vGPU graphics enablement available on vSphere 5.0 platforms (hardware version 8). View users can take advantage of desktop graphics enhancements provided by AERO (such as peek, shake, and Flip 3D) and the 3D capabilities of Windows Office 2010 (such as picture editing, slide transitions and animations, presentation-to-video conversion, video embedding, editing, and 3D rotations). Include here: Support for DirectX9 and OpenGL 2.1;
  • View Persona Management The View Persona Management feature manages user profiles in a secure and centralized environment. (User profiles include user data and settings, application data and settings, and Windows registry settings configured by user applications.) View Persona Management allows IT organizations to simplify and automate the capture and management of a user’s persona while providing a rich user experience. View Persona Management offers the following benefits:
  • Provides a user profile that is independent of the virtual desktop. When a user logs into any desktop, the same profile appears.
  • Lets you configure and manage personas entirely within View. You do not have to configure Windows roaming profiles.
  • Expands functionality and improves performance compared to Windows roaming profiles.
  • Minimizes login impact by downloading only the files that Windows requires, such as user registry files. Other files are copied to the local desktop when the user or an application opens them from the local profile folder.
  • Copies recent changes in the local profile to a remote profile repository at configurable intervals, typically once every few minutes.
  • Client certificate checking for Windows Clients You can configure remote Windows clients to require certificate verification. Users without valid certificates are denied access to View Connection Server. Alternatively, you can use a Warn But Allow mode that supports self-signed server certificates and lets users connect to View Connection Server with certificates that have expired or are not yet valid. You can also set a No Security mode that lets users connect without certificate checking;
  • Support for vSphere 5.0 and hardware v8 Remote View desktops can be hardware v8 virtual machines. Hardware v8 is not supported for desktops that run in local mode.

The press release information can be found here.