Technical Introduction and Features

VMware Horizon 7 version 7.5 and later

Technical Introduction and Features


The Quick-Start Tutorial for View in VMware Horizon 7 provides a technical overview of the View component of VMware Horizon® 7. The View component offers a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and published applications through Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH). This is done through a single platform, which simplifies desktop administration and operations, and enhances user experience. In comparison to physical desktops, delivering Horizon 7 virtual desktops from centralized VMware vSphere® servers enhances the security of applications and data and improves IT responsiveness, while at the same time reducing costs. The user enjoys a consistent and responsive experience across devices and locations, while maintaining IT-approved levels of customization.

JMP - Next-Generation Desktop and Application Delivery Platform

JMP (pronounced jump), which stands for Just-in-Time Management Platform, represents capabilities in VMware Horizon 7 Enterprise Edition that deliver Just-in-Time Desktops and Apps in a flexible, fast, and personalized manner. JMP is composed of the following VMware technologies:

JMP allows components of a desktop or RDSH server to be decoupled and managed independently in a centralized manner, yet reconstituted on demand to deliver a personalized user workspace when needed. JMP is supported with both on-premises and cloud-based Horizon 7 deployments, providing a unified and consistent management platform regardless of your deployment topology. The JMP approach provides several key benefits, including simplified desktop and RDSH image management, faster delivery and maintenance of applications, and elimination of the need to manage “full persistent” desktops.


This tutorial is provided to help you evaluate Horizon 7. The first chapter provides an overview of View in Horizon 7 key features. Subsequent chapters contain exercises to guide you through the basic installation and initial configuration processes, and to explore key features and benefits.

Note: This tutorial is designed for evaluation purposes only. It uses the minimum required resources for a basic deployment and does not explore every feature. Do not use this evaluation environment as a template for a production environment. For information beyond the considerations of this tutorial, see VMware Horizon 7 Documentation.


This tutorial is intended for IT administrators, architects, engineers, and product evaluators who want to install Horizon 7 and deploy a VDI environment. Both current and new users can benefit from using this tutorial. You should be familiar with VMware vSphere and VMware vCenter Server®. Familiarity with other technologies is also helpful, including networking and storage in a virtual environment, Active Directory, identity management, directory services, and RSA SecurID.

Advantages of Horizon 7

VMware Horizon 7 is a centralized desktop virtualization solution that enables organizations to deliver virtualized desktop services and applications to end users from centralized VMware vSphere servers. The VMware Horizon 7 solution includes a number of components, of which View is the main one.

Horizon 7 has advantages for both end users and IT administrators. End users are no longer restricted to one specific machine, and can access their system and files across supported devices and locations. As an IT administrator, you can use Horizon 7 to simplify and automate the management of desktops and applications, and you can securely deliver desktops as a service to users from a central location. You can quickly create virtual desktops on demand based on location and profile.

A single administration console provides detailed levels of control, allowing you to customize the end-user experience, access, and personalization to support corporate policy. End users get a familiar, personalized environment that they can access from any number of devices anywhere throughout the enterprise or from remote locations. And as an administrator, you have centralized control, efficiency, and security by storing desktop data in the data center.

Packaging and Licensing

Horizon 7 is available in three editions—Standard, Advanced, and Enterprise—plus a Linux option. Each edition builds successively on the ones before, extending the capabilities with additional components and products. You can use the VMware Horizon 7 Edition Selector tool to help determine which edition is best for your enterprise.

VMware Horizon 7 Enterprise Edition is required for Just-in-Time Desktops and Apps. This edition includes User Environment Manager, for managing applications and Windows environment settings. User Environment Manager can manage applications installed in the base image of a virtual desktop machine or RDSH server, and it can manage applications provided by VMware App Volumes.

App Volumes delivers applications that are not in the master VM image. Application containers, called AppStacks, are assigned to a user, group, OU, or machine and mounted each time the user logs in to a desktop. With this strategy, user changes can persist between sessions.

App Volumes can also provide user-writable volumes, which allow users to install their own applications and have those applications follow the user as they connect to different virtual desktops.

For more information, see VMware Workspace ONE and VMware Horizon Packaging and Licensing and Comparison Table for Horizon 7 Editions.


The features of Horizon 7 include:

  • Skype for Business solution: Skype for Business is a unified communications platform that provides multiple forms of communication, such as instant messaging, VoIP (voice over IP), file transfer, web conferencing, voice mail, and email. You can provide an optimized Skype for Business solution to virtual desktops in your production environment to improve the user experience, secure collaboration, simplify management, and reduce costs. For more information, see Horizon Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business.
  • Horizon Help Desk Tool: The Horizon Help Desk Tool enables you to troubleshoot issues without specialists, including Linux desktop sessions. You can use this tool to search for users, find their sessions, initiate Microsoft Remote Assistance, and send user messages. If the issue requires it, you can use this tool to disconnect from a session, log out, and reset desktops to resolve the issue. The Horizon Help Desk Tool is available in the Horizon Console, and displays metrics for Skype for Business pairing status, application and desktop session states, and disk IOPS data. For more information, see Using Horizon Help Desk Tool in Horizon Console.
  • Instant Clone Technology: Instant Clone Technology, a key component of JMP (Just-in-Time Management Platform), provides the ability to rapidly create and provision virtual desktops based on a snapshot of a master image. You can create nonpersistent desktops that maintain user customization, user-installed applications, and more, from session to session. The desktop itself exists only until the user logs out, and then it is destroyed. New desktops are recreated from the latest master image. This eliminates many routine maintenance tasks, such as patching, and this in turn simplifies management. Instant clones are ideal for deploying pools of floating desktops. You can also use Instant Clone Technology in combination with VMware User Environment Manager and VMware App Volumes to rapidly create desktops that appear to be persistent. You can create pools where desktops are provisioned proactively, or create and provision desktops on demand for users to log in to. For more information, see VMware Horizon 7 Instant-Clone Desktops.
  • Cloud Pod Architecture: Cloud Pod Architecture (CPA) works with Horizon 7 to provide cross-data-center administration, flexible user-to-desktop mapping, high-availability desktops, and disaster recovery capabilities. For more information, see Administering Cloud Pod Architecture in Horizon 7.
  • Blast Extreme: Blast Extreme is a remote display protocol option, in addition to PCoIP and Microsoft RDP. Blast Extreme enables your users to connect to virtual desktops or RDSH applications through HTML Access or through VMware Horizon Client. Blast Extreme is based on the H.264 codec that supports the broadest range of client devices and can be set as the default for pools, farms, and entitlements. Blast Extreme automatically chooses UDP/TCP based on bandwidth, packet loss, delay, and jitter, which you can override with Blast GPO settings if need be. For more information, see Blast Extreme Display Protocol in Horizon 7.
  • Linux virtual desktop capabilities: VMware Horizon 7 for Linux includes key features such as USB redirection, Clipboard redirection, client-drive redirection (CDR), and HTML access with audio capabilities. Horizon 7 continues to support Linux-based virtual desktops, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), CentOS 64-bit operating systems, Ubuntu, SUSE, and NeoKylin, as well as additional capabilities such as copying and pasting text between Linux virtual desktops and the client machine. You can access the Horizon Help Desk Tool to troubleshoot Linux desktop sessions, available from the Horizon Console. For more information, see Setting Up VMware Horizon 7 for Linux Desktops.
  • Horizon 7 Published Applications: Both Horizon 7 and VMware Horizon Apps, can deliver virtualized Windows applications and shared desktop sessions from Windows Server instances using Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS). You can publish business-critical Windows apps alongside SaaS and mobile apps in a single digital workspace, easily accessed with single sign-on from any authenticated device or OS.
  • Security capabilities: Horizon 7 security features enable you to:
    • Use two-factor authentication, such as RSA SecurID, RADIUS, or smart cards to log in
    • Use Active Directory accounts when provisioning remote desktops and applications in environments that have read-only access policies for Active Directory
    • Use SSL tunneling to ensure that all connections are encrypted
    • Use VMware vSphere High Availability to ensure automatic failover in case of system failure
    • Prevent the server connection URL and Active Directory domains from being revealed in Horizon Client interfaces.
    • Use vSphere with Horizon 7 to encrypt full-clone virtual machines and manage the encryption using policies, independent of the guest OS of the virtual machines. For more information, see VMware vSphere.
  • True single sign-on: True SSO separates the process of authentication from that of access to desktops and applications. True SSO enables you to authenticate to VMware Identity Manager or VMware Workspace ONE®, and still access Horizon 7 desktops and applications without having to authenticate to Active Directory (AD). Users can also log in to VMware Identity Manager using non-AD methods, including biometrics, RSA SecurID, and RADIUS.
    • True SSO simplifies the login process to Windows desktops and published applications, especially when authenticating against third-party systems using non-AD methods. This results in a seamless process when accessing multiple desktops and published applications, which can make a significant difference to end users.
    • You can enable True SSO on a global level or on a pool level in Horizon 7.
  • Ease of management: Horizon 7 provides centralized virtual desktop management, which enables you to:
    • Use Active Directory to manage policies and access to remote desktops and applications
    • Use the Horizon Administrator console to manage remote desktops and applications
    • Use master images to quickly create and provision pools of desktops
    • Send updates and patches to virtual desktops without affecting user settings, data, or preferences
    • Specify which types of USB devices end users can connect to
    • Split a composite device that provides multiple functions, such as both video input and storage, and allow one function but not the other (such as allowing video input, but not storage)
    • Integrate with VMware Identity Manager so that end users can access remote desktops through the VMware Identity Manager user portal on the Internet
  • Familiar desktop experience: Horizon 7 continues to provide a familiar desktop experience for end users, including the ability to:
    • Print from a virtual desktop to any local or network printer that is defined on the client device, which solves compatibility issues without requiring additional print drivers on the virtual machine
    • Use location-based printing on most client devices to map to printers that are physically near the client system (which do require print drivers in the virtual machine)
    • Use multiple monitors, and adjust the display resolution and rotation separately for each monitor, with the PCoIP or Blast Extreme remoting protocols
    • Access USB devices and other peripherals connected to the local device that displays your virtual desktop
    • Work with rich 3D graphics