The last time VMware released a new major version of Horizon was back in 2016. In the four years since Horizon 7 was released, there have been significant additions to the core product, including HTML5-based management and support consoles, significant enhancements to the Blast protocol and the Instant Clone provisioning model, the introduction of an Extended Service Branch for long-term support, and new client redirection features to support access to local drives, Skype for Business, and multimedia redirection.
Today, VMware has released the next major release of VMware Horizon. Horizon 8, also known as Horizon 2006, brings several changes to the platform. Some of these changes are large changes that bring new functionality to the platform, and other changes are deprecating or removing obsolete features.
Some of the features that are being removed, and their replacements are:
|Linked Clones and Composer*||Instant Clones (available in all desktop SKUs)|
|Persistent Disks* and Persona Management||DEM Standard/Enterprise and AV User Writable Volumes|
|Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Server 2008 Support||Windows 10 and Server 2012R2 and Newer|
|JMP Server||Multicloud Assignments (Part of Horizon Subscription)|
|Horizon Administrator (FLEX/Flash Based)||Horizon Console (HTML5)|
|ThinPrint||VMware Integrated Printing|
|Security Server||Unified Access Gateway|
|vRealize Operations for Horizon||Cloud Monitoring Service and ControlUp Entitlement (Part of Horizon Subscription)|
*Note: Linked Clones, Composer, and Persistent Disks are deprecated. All other features listed have been removed from Horizon 2006.
Some of these changes have been in the works for a while. Instant Clones have been around since Horizon 7 was released in 2016, and they have seen significant improvements with every release. As part of Horizon 2006, Instant Clones will no longer be restricted to Horizon Enterprise and Horizon Apps Advanced. Unified Access Gateway has been the designated Security Server replacement for a while now.
One of the most visible changes that comes with Horizon 8 is a change in branding and versioning. Horizon is now moving to a naming scheme that involves the month and the year in the version that is in line with how many other brand their products. This will make it easier to keep track of when a version is released. The first release of Horizon 8 will be 2006.
Some of the other changes that are included with Horizon 2006 are:
- Expanded REST API that includes new primitives for managing entitlements and inventory items such as desktop pools and RDSH farms.
- A new Instant Clone provisioning model that frees up resources on hosts by removing the instant clone parent VM that is deployed on each host.
- Built-in digital watermarking tool to help protect intellectual property in virtual desktops
If you noticed the title, this is part 1 of a new series on Horizon. The first part of this series will focus doing a basic Horizon architecture and setup. After that, I hope to move into more advanced topics as time allows. These include those that were not covered in my last series (or were left unfinished), including App Volumes, DEM, and RDSH.