Features included in Horizon 7 support usability, security, centralized control, and scalability.

The following features provide a familiar experience for the end user:

  • On certain client devices, print from a virtual desktop to any local or networked printer that is defined on the client device. This virtual printer feature solves compatibility issues and does not require you to install additional print drivers in a virtual machine.
  • On most client devices, use the location-based printing feature to map to printers that are physically near the client system. Location-based printing does require that you install print drivers in the virtual machine.
  • Local printer redirection is designed for the following use cases:
    • Printers directly connected to USB or serial ports on the client
    • Specialized printers such as bar code printers and label printers connected to the client
    • Network printers on a remote network that are not addressable from the virtual session.
  • Use multiple monitors. With the PCoIP and Blast Extreme display protocols, multiple-monitor support means you can adjust the display resolution and rotation separately for each monitor.
  • Access USB devices and other peripherals that are connected to the local device that displays your virtual desktop.

    You can specify which types of USB devices end users are allowed to connect to. For composite devices that contain multiple types of devices, such as a video input device and a storage device, you can split the device so that one device (for example, the video input device) is allowed but the other device (for example, the storage device) is not.

  • Use Horizon Persona Management to retain user settings and data between sessions even after the desktop has been refreshed or recomposed. Persona Management has the ability to replicate user profiles to a remote profile store (CIFS share) at configurable intervals.

    You can also use a standalone version of Persona Management on physical computers and virtual machines that are not managed by Horizon 7.

Horizon 7 offers the following security features, among others:

  • Use two-factor authentication, such as RSA SecurID or RADIUS (Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service), or smart cards to log in.
  • Use pre-created Active Directory accounts when provisioning remote desktops and applications in environments that have read-only access policies for Active Directory.
  • Use SSL/TLS tunneling to ensure that all connections are completely encrypted.
  • Use VMware High Availability to ensure automatic failover.

Scalability features depend on the VMware virtualization platform to manage both desktops and servers:

  • Integrate with VMware vSphere to achieve cost-effective densities, high levels of availability, and advanced resource allocation control for your remote desktops and applications.
  • Use the Horizon 7 storage accelerator feature to support end-user logins at larger scales with the same storage resources. This storage accelerator uses features in the vSphere 5 platform to create a host memory cache of common block reads.
  • Configure Horizon Connection Server to broker connections between end users and the remote desktops and applications that they are authorized to access.
  • Use View Composer to quickly create desktop images that share virtual disks with a master image. Using linked clones in this way conserves disk space and simplifies the management of patches and updates to the operating system.
  • Use the Instant Clone feature, introduced in Horizon 7, to quickly create desktop images that share virtual disks and memory with a parent image. Instant Clones not only have the space efficiency of View Composer linked clones, they also eliminate the need to refresh, recompose, rebalance, thus further simplifying management of patches and updates to the operating system. Instant clones eliminate the desktop maintenance window altogether.

The following features provide centralized administration and management:

  • Use Microsoft Active Directory to manage access to remote desktops and applications and to manage policies.
  • Use Persona Management to simplify and streamline migration from physical to virtual desktops.
  • Use the Web-based administrative console to manage remote desktops and applications from any location.
  • Use Horizon Administrator to distribute and manage applications packaged with VMware ThinApp™.
  • Use a template, or master image, to quickly create and provision pools of desktops.
  • Send updates and patches to virtual desktops without affecting user settings, data, or preferences.
  • Integrate with VMware Identity Manager so that end users can access remote desktops through the user portal on the Web, as well as use VMware Identity Manager from a browser inside a remote desktop.
  • Integrate with Mirage™ and Horizon FLEX™ to manage locally installed virtual machine desktops and to deploy and update applications on dedicated full-clone remote desktops without overwriting user-installed applications.