Archive for the ‘Client’ tag
VMware has also released the new View Clients in version 5.3 and 2.0.
Today I had a great journey into the past. I’ve installed Microsoft Windows XP from scratch in a virtual machine. But I only did it for one reason – to have a desktop running Windows XP for my first Mirage Client installation and centralization. The initial installation of Windows XP was done very quickly but I’ve also wanted to install all available patches for SP3 so it took quite a while. After a reboot I had a nice and fresh XP installation. A great start for the next step in my Mirage home lab series here on That’s my View. If you haven’t seen the other articles before please go through them first.
- VMware Mirage Series Part 1 – My Mirage home lab
- VMware Mirage Series Part 2 – Server installation and first console login
- VMware Mirage Series Part 3 – Console overview
Can you remember this?
I’m sure you can and maybe your company is still on Windows XP as about 40-45% of companies in the world. But as you know Windows XP support is ending in April 2014 which is a good reason to migrate your desktops soon because Microsoft but also 3rd party software vendors won’t support the old Windows platform anymore.
Windows Migration and Hardware Migration are two of the use cases of VMware Mirage. There is probably no easier way of migrating from one OS to the OS or from one hardware platform to another. If you want to learn more about the migration use case in general you can check this whitepaper or read more about a reference story VMware did with ADAC, Europes largest automobile insurance association.
Enough marketing, no let’s dive into the Mirage Client installation piece.
As already mentioned in another article Mirage is a Client/Server application which can centralize the data of an endpoint and rollout new operating systems and applications in form of layers. To be able to do that you need the Mirage Management Server and Mirage Server I’ve installed last time and the Mirage Client which runs on the endpoint. The installation of the client application is quite easy.
Get the installation package in 32-Bit or 64-Bit (there are two MSI files) and then start the installer. If you’ve the .NEt Framework 3.5 not installed on the Windows XP, the installer will immediately stop at the first dialog. Install the framework and you’ll be fine. After accepting the license agreement you’re asked for a Mirage Server location. Enter the FQDN or IP address of the server into the text box and select the checkbox for an SSL connection if you’ve configured your server with SSL before.
As I’ve not configured SSL I just clicked Next which brought me to last step of the wizard. Just click Install and the wizard will finish, starting the Mirage Client installation. That’s it! In the task bar you’ll find the Mirage icon. Now I’ll give you a quick overview of the client’s functionality.
As you can see there are only a few options in the Mirage Client task bar app. Mainly the fronted helps the user to see if the Mirage client is working or idling. The user can check this clicking on Show Status. The other options help to create log files and the user can snooze the complete client operations for 15 minutes, 2 hours or 4 hours. But this doesn’t mean that the client does affect the user that much so he needs to snooze it. The Mirage Client is designed to only work in the background not affecting the user experience. But let’s go back to the Status windows quickly. Her’s a screenshot.
The Mirage Client is connected to the server but the status is Pending Assignment what means that the Mirage Administrator needs to activate this client first using the Mirage Management Console. Going back into the Mirage Management Console you can see the pending devices.
Right clicking on Centralize Endpoint you can start the wizard which leads you through the activation and first centralization of the Mirage Client. It’s just a 4-step wizard which asks for a few configuration parameters.
- The upload policy
- The base layer to configure
- The default volume where the client is being stored
What does that mean? The upload policy can be configured in the Management Console but I left it with the defaults. The policy is a rule which enabled you to control what type of data is centralized and which not. i.e. you could control that MP3 or video files are not going to be synchronized into the datacenter. The next option is the base layer configuration. The base layer is the first layer of a CVD which includes the operating system and the core applications. In my home lab I first wanted to just centralize desktop without assigning a base layer as I haven’t installed my reference machine with Windows 7 yet. I’ll do that later! Last step is the storage volume to store the CVD on. My server has only one volumes so this was a no-brainer.
After finishing the wizard you can see the client being transferred from the pending devices to the assigned devices node.
In that screenshot you can also see that the upload is initializing at the moment. This means that the Mirage Client is now kicking in. On that side you can see this:
After a while, depending on your network speed the whole desktop is available in the data center as a CVD. Quite easy! In my example the Windows XP installation had a total size of 2.3 GB which is not that much but there was only the plain operating system installed in my desktop. One of the most important functions of Mirage is the network optimization and the file and block based de-duplication. That means that if you’ve centralized your first Windows desktop, next time a client is being centralized, the server checks which part of the data is already available on the Mirage Server volumes and then only synchronizes the delta. Think about migrating a whole branch with 50 desktops. The network traffic will be reduced loads.
But centralizing the endpoint is only the first step. In my next article I’m going to setup the reference machine with a Windows 7 operating system and then create the base layer with it. Assigning this base layer to my Windows XP desktop means migrating it from one OS to the other. Mirage offers a few wizards which will handle all steps of the migration.
I hope this article has given you a great overview of the Client Installation and first centralization. If you have any questions please just comment on this article and I’ll come back to you as soon as possible.
VMware has introduced the Preview of a View Client for Windows Store. The client will run in the tiles view of Windows RT and Windows 8. It comes with features like Touch Pointer, Zoom and Snap (Check the VMware Blog for the details) but the preview has also a few limitation: Only RDP connections in the preview and no PCoIP yet, no smart card authentication support.
The current VMware View Client in version 5.2 does run in Windows 8 desktop mode. VMware recommends that if you’re using a full Windows 8 client, not Windows RT, you should use the existing View client for maximum functionality.
Yesterday VMware has published the VMware View Client for Windows Store Tech Preview.
The client is usable on Windows 8 and Windows 8 RT operating systems and they can connect to VMware View Server 4.6.1 or later.
Please download the VMware View Client for Windows Store Installation Guide for further instruction.
To side load this application please visit Microsofts MSDN site with instructions: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/windowsstore/archive/2012/04/25/deploying-metro-style-apps-to-businesses.aspx
There has been a VMware View Client for iOS for a while but you had to run it on your iPad as the iPhone was not supported. This has changed recently! VMware has released a iPhone compatible client to the Apple AppStore and you can download it for free. The new iPhone client supports the 3GS, 4 and the brand new iPhone 5 as well as iPod Touch from generation 3 and up.
If you ever wanted to run Adobe Flash on your iPhone, this is your chance.
The new version of the iOS client is universal and does of course support the iPad. The presentation mode is also possible for the iPhone 4.
Apple has just released the new version of it’s MacOS operating systems called Mountain Lion and of course the VMware View Client for Mac 1.5 is already compatible with it. A new function in Mountain Lion verifies the identity of a software developer and checks if a packet is signed. This is called Gatekeeper. You can directly download the 1.5 client from this page: https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/info/slug/desktop_end_user_computing/vmware_view_clients/1_0.
Image source: http://blogs.vmware.com/.a/6a00d8341c328153ef016768be9dda970b-650wi
Together with VMware View 5.1, they also announced the new clients for this version. There are a lot of great enhancements here as well. Pay attention for the new ARM based Linux client.
What’s New in ALL View Clients
- Optimized for VMware View 5.1
- Up to 3X better video playback performance
- Improved mouse responsiveness in virtual machine
- RADIUS two factor authentication with VMware View 5.1
What’s New in ALL Mobile View Clients 1.5
- Save password option if administrator enables new VMware View 5.1 policy
- French, German, Spanish keyboard support with VMware View 5.1
- Direct Korean language input support with VMware View 5.1
- Touch in text fields brings up keyboard with VMware View 5.1
Windows – What’s New in View Client 5.1
- Local mode supports hardware version 8 virtual machines with VMware View 5.1
Linux – What’s New in View Client 1.5
- New ARM based Linux client for Thin Client partner integration
Mac – What’s New in View Client 1.5
- Initial support for Mac OS X Mountain Lion
- Greatly improved audio/video synchronization
- Resolve mouse tracking problems when switching to and from View client
iPad – What’s New in View Client 1.5
- Support for the new iPad
- Updated look and feel
- Extended software keyboard keys no longer cover Start menu and task bar with external keyboards
Android – What’s New in View Client 1.5
- Support for Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS)
- Mouse support with hover, right click and scroll wheel on ICS
- Updated look and feel and improvements for smaller screens
- New Settings dialog includes security mode settings
All downloads are available in English, German, French, Korean, Chinese, and Japanese.
It was brought to my attention that there is a VMware View Client Download website available where you can directly download all VMware View clients, including Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android and so on. You’ll not need to login with your VMware ID.
The new version of the VMware View Client is available for download. The new version comes with some great features.
- Optimized performance for VMware View 5
- Support for iOS5 including AirPlay
- Presentation Mode for use with external display and AirPlay
- Embedded RSA soft token simplifies login to desktop
- Background tasking to move between Windows and iOS apps
BTW: The new Android client is available too!
That was a surprise when I watched the VMware Lab Video from Brian Madden’s BriForum 2011 in London. My colleagues already showed a quick demo of the VMware View Client for Android tablets. It has exactly the same gesture recognition like the VMware View Client for iPads.