To enhance the effectiveness of Horizon 7 in your organization, you can use several interfaces to integrate Horizon 7 with external applications or to create administration scripts that you can run from the command line or in batch mode.

Integrating with Other Components

Horizon 7 integrates with these VMware products.

VMware Cloud on AWS

VMware Cloud on AWS allows you to create vSphere data centers on Amazon Web Services. These vSphere data centers include vCenter Server for managing your data center, vSAN for storage, and VMware NSX for networking. You can connect an on-premise data center to your cloud SDDC, and managed both from a single vSphere Client interface. Using your connected AWS account, you can access AWS services such as EC2 and S3 from virtual machines in your SDDC. For more information, see the VMware Cloud on AWS documentation at https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-Cloud-on-AWS/index.html.

Starting with Horizon 7 version 7.5, you can deploy Horizon 7 full clones on VMware Cloud on AWS. For example, you can deploy a Horizon 7 environment that uses Cloud Pod Architecture across on-premises data centers and VMware Cloud on AWS instances. This enables Horizon 7 to easily run on a hybrid cloud environment and outsource the management of the SDDC infrastructure to VMware.

VMware Identity Manager

You can integrate VMware Identity Manager with Horizon 7 to provide the following benefits to IT managers and end users:

  • End users have on-demand access to remote desktops and applications through the same user portal on the Web that they use to access SaaS, Web, and Windows applications, with the same single sign-on convenience.

    With the True SSO feature, users who authenticate using smart cards or two-factor authentication can access their remote desktops and applications without supplying Active Directory credentials.

  • End users can access VMware Identity Manager on the Web from inside a remote desktop for applications they need.

  • If you also use HTML Access, end users can open a remote desktop inside a browser, without having to install any client application on the client system or device.

  • IT managers can use the browser-based administration console of VMware Identity Manager to monitor user and group entitlements to remote desktops.

VMware Mirage and Horizon FLEX

You can use Mirage and Horizon FLEX to deploy and update applications on dedicated full-clone remote desktops without overwriting user-installed applications or data.

Mirage provides a better offline virtual desktop solution than the Local Mode feature that was previously included with Horizon 7. Mirage includes the following security and management features for offline desktops:

  • Encrypts the locally installed virtual machine and prevents a user from modifying virtual machine settings that affect the integrity of the secure container.

  • Provides policies, including expiration, available in VMware Fusion™ Professional and VMware® Player Plus™, that are comparable to the polices provided with the previous Local Mode feature. Fusion Pro and Player Plus are included with Mirage.

  • Eliminates the need for users to check in or check out their desktops to receive updates.

  • Enables administrators to utilize the Mirage layering capability, backup features, and file portal.

VMware App Volumes

VMware App Volumes is an integrated and unified application delivery and user management system for Horizon 7 and other virtual environments. Applications and data managed by App Volumes are kept in specialized VMDKs or VHDs called AppStacks, which are attached to each Windows user session at login or reboot. This strategy ensures that the most current applications and data are delivered to the user. App Volumes also provides a different container for persistent user-installed applications and settings called a writable volume, which is also loaded at login or reboot time. User profile and policy settings can also be managed using the App Volumes platform.

VMware User Environment Manager

You can use the Smart Policies feature to create policies that control the behavior of the USB redirection, virtual printing, clipboard redirection, client drive redirection, and PCoIP display protocol features on specific remote desktops. User Environment Manager allows IT to control which settings users are allowed to personalize, and also maps environmental settings such as networks and location-specific printers. With Smart Policies, you can create policies that take effect only if certain conditions are met. For example, you can configure a policy that disables the client drive redirection feature if a user connects to a remote desktop from outside your corporate network.

VMware Unified Access Gateway

Unified Access Gateway functions as a secure gateway for users who want to access remote desktops and applications from outside the corporate firewall. Unified Access Gateway is an appliance that is installed in a demilitarized zone (DMZ). Use Unified Access Gateway to ensure that the only traffic entering the corporate data center is traffic on behalf of a strongly authenticated remote user. You can use Unified Access Gateway appliances instead of Horizon 7 security servers. For more information, see the Unified Access Gateway documentation.

Integrating with Popular Video Conferencing Software

You can use these audio and video conferencing software with Horizon 7.

Flash URL Redirection

Streaming Flash content directly from Adobe Media Server to client endpoints lowers the load on the data center ESXi host, removes the extra routing through the data center, and reduces the bandwidth required to simultaneously stream live video events to multiple client endpoints.

The Flash URL redirection feature uses a JavaScript that is embedded inside a Web page by the Web page administrator. Whenever a virtual desktop user clicks on the designated URL link from within a Web page, the JavaScript intercepts and redirects the ShockWave File (SWF) from the virtual desktop session to the client endpoint. The endpoint then opens a local VMware Flash Projector outside of the virtual desktop session and plays the media stream locally.

Note:

With Flash URL Redirection, the multicast or unicast stream is redirected to client devices that might be outside your organization's firewall. Your clients must have access to the Adobe Web server that hosts the ShockWave Flash (SWF) file that initiates the multicast or unicast streaming. If needed, configure your firewall to open the appropriate ports to allow client devices to access this server.

This feature is available only on some types of clients. To find out whether this feature is supported on a particular type of client, see the feature support matrix included in the "Using VMware Horizon Client" document for the specific type of desktop or mobile client device. Go to https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-Horizon-Client/index.html.

Microsoft Lync 2013

You can use a Microsoft Lync 2013 client on remote desktops to participate in Unified Communications (UC) VoIP (voice over IP) and video chat calls with Lync certified USB audio and video devices. A dedicated IP phone is no longer required.

This architecture requires the installation of a Microsoft Lync 2013 client on the remote desktop and a Microsoft Lync VDI plug-in on the Windows 7 or 8 client endpoint. Customers can use the Microsoft Lync 2013 client for presence, instant messaging, Web conferencing, and Microsoft Office functionality.

Whenever a Lync VoIP or video chat call occurs, the Lync VDI plug-in offloads all the media processing from the data center server to the client endpoint, and encodes all media into Lync-optimized audio and video codecs. This optimized architecture is highly scalable, results in lower network bandwidth used, and provides point-to-point media delivery with support for high-quality real-time VoIP and video. For more information, see the white paper about VMware Horizon 6 and Microsoft Lync 2013, at http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/techpaper/vmware-horizon-view-microsoft-lync-install-configure.pdf.

Note:

Recording audio is not yet supported. This integration is supported only with the PCoIP or Blast Extreme display protocol.

Skype for Business

An end user can make optimized audio and video calls with Skype for Business inside a virtual desktop without negatively affecting the virtual infrastructure and overloading the network. All media processing takes place on the client machine instead of in the virtual desktop during a Skype audio and video call.

The Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business software is installed by default as part of the Horizon Client for Windows (4.6 and later), Horizon Client for Linux (4.6 and later), and Horizon Client for Mac (4.7 and later) installers. A Horizon administrator must also install the VMware Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business feature on the virtual desktop during Horizon Agent installation. For more information, see the Setting Up Virtual Desktops in Horizon 7 document. To configure Skype for Business, see the Configuring Remote Desktop Features in Horizon 7 document.

Integrating Horizon 7 with Business Intelligence Software

You can configure Horizon Connection Server to record events to a Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle database.

  • End-user actions such as logging in and starting a desktop session.

  • Administrator actions such as adding entitlements and creating desktop pools.

  • Alerts that report system failures and errors.

  • Statistical sampling such as recording the maximum number of users over a 24-hour period.

You can use business intelligence reporting engines such as Crystal Reports, IBM Cognos, MicroStrategy 9, and Oracle Enterprise Performance Management System to access and analyze the event database.

For more information, see the Horizon 7 Integration document.

You can alternatively generate Horizon 7 events in Syslog format so that the event data can be accessible to analytics software. If you enable file-based logging of events, events are accumulated in a local log file. If you specify a file share, the log files are moved to that share. For more information, see the Horizon 7 Installation document.

Using Horizon PowerCLI Cmdlets to Create Administration Scripts

You can use Horizon PowerCLI cmdlets with VMware PowerCLI. Use Horizon PowerCLI cmdlets to perform various administration tasks on Horizon components.

For more information about Horizon PowerCLI cmdlets, read the VMware PowerCLI Cmdlets Reference.

For information on the API specifications to create advanced functions and scripts to use with Horizon PowerCLI, see the View API Reference at the VMware Developer Center.

For more information on sample scripts that you can use to create your own Horizon PowerCLI scripts, see the Horizon PowerCLI community on GitHub.

You can use the Horizon PowerCLI cmdlets to perform various administration tasks on Horizon 7 components.

  • Create and update desktop pools.

  • Configure multiple network labels to greatly expand the number of IP addresses assigned to virtual machines in a pool.

  • Add data center resources to a full virtual machine or linked-clone pool.

  • Perform rebalance, refresh, or recompose operations on linked-clone desktops.

  • Sample the usage of specific desktops or desktop pools over time.

  • Query the event database.

  • Query the state of services.

Modifying LDAP Configuration Data in Horizon 7

When you use Horizon Administrator to modify the configuration of Horizon 7, the appropriate LDAP data in the repository is updated. Horizon Connection Server stores its configuration information in an LDAP compatible repository. For example, if you add a desktop pool, Connection Server stores information about users, user groups, and entitlements in LDAP.

You can use VMware and Microsoft command-line tools to export and import LDAP configuration data in LDAP Data Interchange Format (LDIF) files from and into Horizon 7. These commands are for advanced administrators who want to use scripts to update configuration data without using Horizon Administrator or Horizon PowerCLI.

You can use LDIF files to perform a number of tasks.

  • Transfer configuration data between Connection Server instances.

  • Define a large number of Horizon 7 objects, such as desktop pools, and add these to your Connection Server instances without using Horizon Administrator or Horizon PowerCLI.

  • Back up a configuration so that you can restore the state of a Connection Server instance.

For more information, see the Horizon 7 Integration document.

Using the vdmadmin Command

You can use the vdmadmin command line interface to perform a variety of administration tasks on a Connection Server instance. You can use vdmadmin to perform administration tasks that are not possible from within the Horizon Administrator user interface or that need to run automatically from scripts.

For more information, see the Horizon 7 Administration document.