What's New in VMware Horizon 7 Version 7.9 and CART 5.1
The VMware release includes two new major features, as well as some few minor ones. Here's the rundown.
Today VMware announced the availability of Horizon 7.9 and CART 5.1. CART is the client software that's used to connect to a Horizon desktop or application. There were two new major features included in this release, as well as some few minor ones. VMware seems to be rolling out its Horizon release quarterly, so there tends to be only a few new features in each release. Making evolutionary changes in a complex software product, such as Horizon, makes it is easier to spot and correct issues earlier to enable the product to be more stable. In this article I'll discuss a few of the new features in Horizon 7.9 and CART 5.1.
The two new major features introduced in Horizon 7.9 are virtual machine (VM)-hosted applications and longer-lived instant clones.
Horizon has supported the ability to stream applications, rather than full desktops, for quite some time using RDSH from a Windows Server, but not from a Windows 10 desktop. VM-hosted applications allow the streaming of applications from a Windows 10 desktop. The ability to use Windows 10 for streaming allows the streaming of applications that don't run well in RDSH, need to use a different version of .NET, run Windows 10 Universal Windows Platforms (UWP) applications, or run applications that need drivers that aren't supported on RDSH. There are some limitation when using VM-hosted applications; multiple users can't use the applications on a VM at the same time, but a single user can run multiple Windows 10 applications at the same time; the same VM can be used to stream the desktops and applications, but not at the same time.
VMware has signaled that instant clones will eventually replace linked clones and in the company's effort to do this it has created instant clones that can exist forever (not recommended) or be refreshed after a specific amount of time has elapsed. Instant clones don't have a persistent disk, so other mechanisms will need to be implemented to access data after a refresh takes place.
Some of the more interesting minor features in Horizon 7.9 are more functionality in the Horizon Console, the ability to change the icon for hosted applications, changes to the icons in the Horizon Administrator and support for more version/editions of Windows 10.
VMware is moving away from its Flash-based Horizon Administrator and toward an HTML5-based Horizon Console for the management of Horizon. This has been a gradual process and Horizon 7.9 continues to incrementally add functionality to Horizon Console and it's slowly gaining feature parity with Horizon Administrator. Users will notice that the Horizon Console now has the ability to configure the events database, view events, manage licensing and work with global settings from the horizon console.
Horizon Administrator users can now change the icons for RDSH application. By using different icons, it will be easier for users to differentiate between versions of the same applications or from where the applications are being streamed.
The Horizon Administrator now has more operations that have icons; this includes machines and Desktop Pools in error state, and Datastore and Cluster and Resource Pool Icons. View administrators will be able to use the Horizon client to select the icons that are associated with RDSH applications.
Horizon 7.9 supports the NVIDIA T4 GPU, Windows 10 Education edition and Windows 10 1903.
CART supports many different devices and each device supports a different set of features. I found these the most interesting new features in the client. The HTML client can now be run on Samsung Tizen 4.0 and 5.0 TVS. There's now a 64-bit version on the Android client. The client for macOS has the ability to specify the displays on which it will run and supports VMware Integrated Printing. There's a new Linux client that uses noticeably less power due to better H.264 decoding, support for VMware Integrated Printing, HTML5 video redirection and the ability to specify the displays where it will run.
You can access the release notes for Horizon 7.9 and Cart 5.1 here.
Tom Fenton has a wealth of hands-on IT experience gained over the past 25 years in a variety of technologies, with the past 15 years focusing on virtualization and storage. He previously worked at VMware as a Senior Course Developer, Solutions Engineer, and in the Competitive Marketing group. He has also worked as a Senior Validation Engineer with The Taneja Group, where he headed the Validation Service Lab and was instrumental in starting up its vSphere Virtual Volumes practice. He's on Twitter @vDoppler.