VMware Horizon Deployment Guide for Healthcare

1 Introduction and Purpose of this Document

This document describes testing configurations and best practices for integrating VMwareHorizon with a variety of healthcare software products.

1.1 Executive Overview

This document is intended for IT professionals responsible for deploying VMware Horizon in Healthcare environments. This document provides guidance for Horizon 7.13 and Horizon 7.10. Included in this document are details on and references to:

  • Best practices for VMware Horizon in healthcare, including RDSH and VDI workloads
  • Versions of Horizon and supporting components tested specifically for healthcare use cases and environments
  • Integration details for 3rd party healthcare software products

1.2 Intended Audience

The intent of this document is to help aid a technical practitioner / implementer of Horizon in healthcare environments. Typical audiences for this type of document include:

Typical audiences

Roles

Responsibilities

Horizon Administrator

Responsible for deployment, configuration and maintenance of the Horizon instances including supportive solutions like App Volumes, Dynamic Environment Manager, and Workspace ONE Access.

vSphere / Platform Administrator

Responsible for deployment, configuration, and maintenance of the vSphere platform environment including supportive technologies such as the hardware platform, storage, and networking.

Enterprise Architect

Responsible for the overall implementation design of any given IT solution.

IT Administrator

General IT Administrator or user responsible for a specific domain included in a Horizon deployment. Relevant administrators may be from other technical domains such as end user support, networking, storage, and security teams.

Application Director

Responsible for the delivery of applications throughout the healthcare facility. These include end-user productivity applications, EPR systems, and Electronic Medical Record systems which include all aspects of patient care.

Application Analyst

Responsible for the configuration and integration of applications across the continuum of care. Examples of these include EMR, PACs, cardiology, and speech recognition applications.

Table 1: Typical Audiences

For more information on VMware products and solutions for the healthcare space, see the Healthcare Industry Solutions page.

1.3 Healthcare Personas

Included in this document are references to different Healthcare personas or roles. A persona in healthcare delivery should be thought of in terms of where the care is taking place. As opposed to a specific role such as doctor or nurse, personas in Healthcare should be thought of in terms of context and location.

Consumption of applications differs between ambulatory and inpatient facilities, in addition to when a care provider is working directly with a patient or in a location such as a nursing station or physician’s office. Understanding the demands of these personas helps to define a successful application delivery strategy.

2 Use Cases for Healthcare Deployments

Use cases drive the design for any End User Computing (EUC) solution and dictate which technologies are deployed to meet user requirements. Use cases can be thought of as common user scenarios. For example, a finance or marketing user might be considered a “normal office worker” use case.

Designing an environment includes building out the functional definitions for the use cases and their requirements. We define typical use cases that are also adaptable to cover most scenarios. We also define services to deliver the requirements of those use cases.

2.1 Patient and Business Support

In healthcare, use cases can be grouped into two separate descriptions:

  • Clinical use cases - Clinical is defined as anything that can impact a patient while they are being cared for. Any service outage or degradation assumes the highest priority to restore any services that impact direct patient care.
  • Non-clinical use cases - Non-clinical is defined as roles that are not directly impacting patient care. They are in support of running the business (such as billing, analysts, IT) or supportive of clinical efforts, but do not directly impact patient care.

In most cases, electronic medical record (EMR) software that is deployed has a heavy influence on the other supporting applications for the EMR platform. Organizations must create an application delivery strategy by understanding user requirements and how applications are consumed at the point of care.

Most healthcare providers deliver EMR platform software in the form of published applications. This is since the EMR platform has integrated different modes of disparate business function into a single application platform. Different users will use the software differently based on the task or function they are performing at that given time. Delivering the EMR software as a published application gives the IT provider more flexibility in designing a single platform to deliver the EMR software.

Choosing the correct services to targeted use cases are critical to having a successful Horizon implementation. Many healthcare customers have multiple service offerings as a result.

Common use cases for Horizon in healthcare environments:

Common use cases

Use Case

Description

Registration / Reception

Registration for hospitals, clinics, and specialties. Patients interact with reception staff for arrivals, after visit summaries, and insurance coverage related activities.

Nurse Station

Central location for care team members to meet and discuss rounding and patient care needs. EMR access is typically through a shared workstation and can be presented as a single published application.

Patient Room

Patient room is often suited for a single application delivery such as Horizon Apps.

Operating Room

The Operating Room often contains multiple specialty machines for patient care applications, such as EMR, PACs, anesthesia, etc. These are not always integrated into a single station and may be represented by multiple wall mounted units or carts.

Medical imaging

Use for diagnostics of radiology or other medical images. Typically require specialty hardware for image review. Subject to review and certification by the FDA to ensure lossless images.

Pharmacy

Delivery of applications for the dispensing of medications, in addition to tracking inventory, packaging, and distribution.

Clinical Research

Research related to AI/ML, genomics, population health and other. Though the EMR is leveraged by researchers most time is spent extracting and working with the data from the EMR and integrating them into an Enterprise data warehouse.

Non-Clinical Staff

Typically require a broader set of applications, such as for IT operations, finance, human resources, etc.

Patient Kiosk

Used in reception, front desk areas. Patients can self-register, pay bills, and do other controlled activities related to their medical visit.

Telehealth

A patient and healthcare provider interacting remotely by means of telecommunications technology.

Table 2: Common Use Cases

3 Healthcare Specific Service Offerings

This section of the Healthcare Supplement for the Workspace ONE Reference Architecture Horizon 7 use case services addresses a wide range of user needs. The Business Process Application service described below can be created for static task workers, who require only a few Windows applications.

For specifics on using Horizon to deliver EMR client applications, refer to the guidance provided by the EMR system vendor. For example, some EMR systems client applications were developed prior to the introduction of modern CPU designs and may not be able to take advantage of multiple simultaneous threads to handle application processing. You may find that delivery of such applications is more performant in an RDSH / streamed delivery model instead of leveraging virtual desktops as a delivery option.

3.1 EMR System Client Application Delivery Service (Patient Care Station Service)

An endpoint is set up to automatically log in to Horizon and then launch a single application. The application is delivered via RDSH to the endpoint. Users will typically authenticate themselves to the application by using an identification card and a proximity reader which handles the automatic login to the application.

Typically, this is handled by leveraging the unauthenticated user handling features of Horizon and implementing the solution that best fits your organizations need.

EMR Client Application is delivered as a published application provided by farms of RDSH servers. The RDSH servers are instant clones to provide space and operational efficiency. Applications are installed into the master image of an RDSH host and are available through the VMware Workspace ONE Access catalog. Dynamic Environment Manager applies profile settings and folder redirection.

EMR System Client Appliication Delivery Service

Unique Requirements

Components

EMR System Client Application

Client application used by EMR systems for multiple use cases.

EMR System Plugins

3rd Party software plugins to integrate other systems or hardware peripherals into an EMR system.

USB-connected Peripherals

Peripheral devices like a proximity card reader, printer, scanner, and cameras that can be connected to a physical endpoint for handling a specific patient workflow, such as registration and discharge.

Serial-connected Peripheral

Peripheral devices like a credit card reader, E-signature pad, scanner and printer that can be connected to a physical endpoint for handling a specific patient workflow such as billing or document signing.

Table 3: EMR System Client Application Delivery Service

Figure 1: EMR System Client Application Delivery Service (Patient Care Station Service)

3.2 Digital Status Board Display Service

An endpoint is set up to automatically log in and launch an application that does not require any end-user interaction. It is typically a status display window showing a queue of patients waiting for their turn in the Emergency Room, for example. The application is delivered via RDSH to the endpoint, which handles the automatic login to the application.

Digital Status Board Display Service

Unique Requirements

Components

Digital Status Board Application

Client application used by EMR systems for displaying a patient or order queue.

Thin or Zero Client

Endpoint plugged into the display and hidden from sight.

Automatic Authentication

Does not require a keyboard or mouse because it automatically launches and authenticates to the relevant application.

Table 4: Digital Status Board Display Service

Typically, this is handled by leveraging the unauthenticated user handling features of Horizon and implementing the solution that best fits your organization’s need.

3.3 Telehealth

In 2020, with the new reality of a global pandemic, Telehealth became a critical service provided by healthcare providers. Patients still needed to be consulted and there was a need to reduce crowds and as much unnecessary contact with others. Telehealth is a perfect solution for this. The patient and the healthcare provider connect via a common video conferencing solution such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Cisco WebEx, or Microsoft Skype. Many EMR providers have built-in solutions. Both the patient and the healthcare provider are on real-time video and audio and can have a very similar experience as an in-person appointment. You should plan to use an optimization pack, RTAV, or URL content redirection for the best experience and system utilization. For example, the Microsoft Teams optimization pack for Horizon will use the local endpoint to help offload audio / video from the virtual machine. If there is not an optimization pack, VMware Real-Time Audio-Video (RTAV) or URL content redirection can be used to redirect audio and video from local to remote VDI sessions with much better performance and reduced bandwidth than USB redirection alone. RTAV, URL Content Redirection, and the other optimization solutions for Telehealth are detailed below.

3.4 Patient Care Station

An endpoint is set up to automatically log in to Horizon and then launch a single application. The application is delivered via RDSH to the endpoint. Users will typically authenticate themselves to the application by using an identification card and a proximity reader which handles the automatic login to the application.

 Patient Care Station

Unique Requirements

Components

EMR Client

Client application used by EMR systems for displaying a patient or order queue.

Thin or Zero Client

Endpoint plugged into the display and hidden from sight.

User-based Authentication

Requires a keyboard and mouse and possibly other peripherals. Authentication is typically handled inside the EMR application or through a 3rd party authentication service.

USB Peripherals

Attached barcode scanner is used to scan prescription drugs and other sundries administered for patient care.

Table 5: Patient Care Station

Figure 2: Patient Care Station

3.5 Dedicated Clinician Productivity Station

A workstation or endpoint is configured for use by multiple end users. Different users will have different sets of applications available to them, based on their role. Applications are delivered by a virtual desktop, or possibly as nested RDSH delivered applications from that virtual desktop. Nested-mode, aka double-hop, is a user connecting from the Horizon client to a VDI session, then from the VDI session launch a RDSH application.

You may consider amending the service, depending on the applications that are included in the virtual desktop in this service offering. For most clinical use cases, the primary EMR application dictates the rate of revision or updating of applications included in the desktop. For application configurations that do not change often, it is recommended that you deliver the applications as a part of the base image rather than using an application layering solution. Use of installed apps for application delivery ensures the fastest method and most straightforward method for application access. Please work with your application providers to make sure that the use of application layering products like App Volumes is suitable for use with each of the applications that you are provisioning for each user group with this service offering.

Note that some product features and 3rd party peripherals may not be fully supported with nested-mode configurations. See Features Supported in Nested Mode and VMware Horizon Guidelines for Nested Mode for details for details on nested-mode configurations. Also see section 4.7 of this document for details on peripheral certification.

Shared Clinical Workstation

Unique Requirements

Components

Multiple applications

Multiple applications are available to a clinician to perform multiple tasks specific to their role in the hospital. Applications could be delivered via VDI, they could be all RDSH, or there could be combination of VDI with nested RDSH.

Thin Client, Desktop or Laptop

Full-featured endpoint with sufficient ports for required peripherals.

User-based Authentication

Does require a keyboard and mouse and possibly other peripherals. Users will typically authenticate themselves by using an identification card and a proximity reader. Authentication is typically handled inside the EMR application or through a 3rd party authentication service, because it automatically launches and authenticates to the relevant application.

USB Peripherals

Attached dictation device is used to scan prescription drugs and other sundries administered for patient care.

Table 6: Shared Clinical Workstation

Figure 3: Dedicated Clinician Productivity Station

4 Deployment Notes for Horizon in Healthcare

VMware recommends that you test your platform design prior to final wide deployment. If you are migrating from an existing environment, we suggest that you profile your current deployment with a workplace assessment solution like Lakeside SysTrack to document the system configuration and usage patterns. That information is extremely valuable for building a relevant test plan.

Once you have a validated test plan, leveraging a test bench tool like VMware View Planner or Login VSI can help you test to see if your targeted results, based on your own performance goals, are achievable.

4.1 Horizon Extended Service Branch

In Q2 of 2018, VMware introduced Extended Service Branch (ESB), in addition to the Current Release branch. Extended Service Branch release receives three planned Maintenance Updates after the base release, and are actively supported for two years during which hot patches are available. Only critical defect or security fixes are included in this branch to provide the most stable platform release of Horizon available.

VMware recommends customers use the ESB branch for environments who rely on the most stable platform for a long-term duration. Using Horizon 7 assures customers that they are basing their Horizon implementation on the most stable release branch of Horizon. No new functionality updates are provided in the ESB branch, only patches and hotfixes to features and functions that existed at the base ESB release.

For more information on the ESB, see these resources:

For details on VMware releases and interoperability with other recommended releases, see the VMware Product Interoperability Matrix.

For details on VMware lifecycle support, see the VMware Lifecycle Support Matrix.

4.2 Validated Configuration Details for VMware Components

Based on research conducted at several hospital systems, we have included typical end-user workflows of healthcare customers using Horizon to our QE testing process. The intent is to assure that common endpoint configurations, peripheral devices, and user workflows are validated as a part of a continuous testing effort by VMware.

Note that we are unable to test with the EMR systems themselves as a part of this effort, due to restrictions placed on us by EMR system vendors. EMR system vendors are focusing on validating Horizon 7 as a suitable platform for EMR systems as a separate part of these efforts.

4.3 Horizon 7.13

The infrastructure configuration for Horizon 7.13, including recommended components, product versions, and testing configurations, are described in this section.

4.3.1 Infrastructure Configuration

VMware has validated and recommends customers use the following components and product versions:

test components

Component

Version(s) validated

Notes

VMware vSphere

7.0U1, 6.7U3

 

VMware vSAN

7.0U1, 6.7U3

 

VMware NSX

6.4.8

*Version specified is qualified as part of general Horizon testing. Not part of Healthcare-specific focused tests currently.

Table 7: Test Components

4.3.2 Horizon Configuration

For this testing, we used the following Horizon configurations:

test configurations

Components

Version(s) validated

Notes

VMware Horizon 7

7.13

 

Unified Access Gateway

UAG 2009

 

App Volumes

2009 with 2.18 or 2009 Agent

*Version specified is qualified as part of general Horizon testing. Not part of Healthcare-specific focused tests currently.

Dynamic Environment Manager

DEM 2009*

* Please note that Dynamic Environment Manager was formerly named User Environment Manager prior to version 9.9

Workspace ONE Access

2010

 

Horizon Clients

5.5

 

Table 8: Test Configurations

4.4 Horizon 7.10

The infrastructure configuration for Horizon 7.10, including recommended components, product versions, and testing configurations, are described in this section.

4.4.1 Infrastructure Configuration

VMware has validated and recommends customers use the following components and product versions:

test components

Component

Version(s) validated

Notes

VMware vSphere

6.7, 6.5 Update 2

VMware Horizon supports ESB with the latest vSphere update release for existing features only.

VMware vSAN

6.7, 6.6

 

VMware NSX

6.4.5

*Version specified is qualified as part of general Horizon testing. Not part of Healthcare-specific focused tests currently.

Table 9: Test Components

4.4.2 Horizon Configuration

For this testing, we used the following Horizon configurations:

test configurations

Components

Version(s) validated

Notes

VMware Horizon 7

7.10

 

Unified Access Gateway

3.7

 

App Volumes

2.18*

* Version specified is qualified as part of general Horizon testing. Not part of Healthcare-specific focused tests currently.

Dynamic Environment Manager

9.9, 9.8*

* Please note that Dynamic Environment Manager was formerly named User Environment Manager prior to version 9.9

VMware Workspace ONE Access

1903

 

Horizon Clients

5.0

 

Table 10: Test Configurations

4.5 Test Environment Configuration used by VMware

For this testing, we used the following Horizon environment configurations. These are the standard minimum recommendations for Horizon configurations.

VMware recommends that you test your platform design prior to final wide deployment. If you are migrating from an existing environment, we suggest that you profile your current deployment with a workplace assessment solution like Lakeside SysTrack to document the system configuration and usage patterns. That information is extremely valuable for building a relevant test plan.

Once you have a validated test plan, leveraging a test bench tool like VMware View Planner or Login VSI can help you test to see if your targeted results, based on your own performance goals, are achievable.

Test Configurations

Components

vCPU

RAM

OS

Connection Server

4

10 GB

Windows 2012 R2

RDSH Server (VM Maximum Configuration)

32

128 GB

Windows 2012 R2

View Client

2

3 GB

Windows 10 64bit

Table 11: Test Configurations

4.5.1 Test Environment Configuration for Microsoft Windows used by VMware

For this testing, we used the following components:

test configurations

Components

Version(s) validated

Notes

Windows Server

2016, 2012 R2

 

Windows 10

1803* or later

* Note that Imprivata OneSign does not yet support later Windows 10 version than 1803. Please refer to Imprivata support for latest details.

Table 12: Test Configurations

4.5.2 Test Environment Configuration used by VMware

For this testing, we used the following Horizon environment configurations. These are the standard minimum recommendations for Horizon configurations.

VMware recommends that you test your platform design prior to wide final deployment. If you are migrating from an existing environment, we suggest that you profile your current deployment with a workplace assessment solution like Lakeside SysTrack to document the system configuration and usage patterns. That information is extremely valuable for building a relevant test plan.

Once you have a validated test plan, leveraging a test bench tool like VMware View Planner or Login VSI can help you test to see if your targeted results, based on your own performance goals, are achievable.

Test Configurations

Components

vCPU

RAM

OS

Connection Server

4

10 GB

Windows 2016

RDSH Server (VM Maximum Configuration)

32

128 GB

Windows 2016

View Client

2

3 GB

Windows 10 64bit

Table 13: Test Configurations

4.5.3 Test Environment Configuration for Microsoft Windows used by VMware

For this testing, we used the following components:

test configurations

Components

Version(s) validated

Notes

Windows Server

2019, 2016, 2012 R2

 

Windows 10

1803 or later

 

Table 14: Test Configurations

4.6 Methodology of Testing for VMware Components

To ensure VMware Horizon 7 meets the needs of healthcare customers, we have identified testing focused on validating key use cases, third-party software, devices, and deployment types particularly relevant to those customers. Here we lay out the methodology, configuration, and key results of that testing.

Our healthcare-focused testing has four key areas:

  • Device Compatibility
  • Third-Party Software
  • RDSH Stress Testing

4.6.1 Device Compatibility

For this testing, we focused on validating that key devices used in healthcare deployments are supported with Horizon 7. For these tests, we used Thin Client endpoints with peripheral devices reliant on USB redirection, Scanner redirection, and Serial redirection, to access Horizon. As a best practice, we recommend customers do an inventory of all devices and peripherals that are used, and cross-check against the validated peripherals list.

4.6.2 Third-Party Software

Healthcare customers commonly make use of single sign-on software and speech recognition software provided by third-party vendors. We included Imprivata OneSign SSO software and Nuance Dragon Medical One speech recognition software in our testing in order to ensure compatibility with Horizon. This software was included in healthcare end-user workflows and some RDSH stress testing. Software vendors maintain their own support and compatibility policies and those should be referred to when planning a Horizon deployment that includes third-party software.

4.6.3 RDSH Stress Testing

To augment our existing stress, scale, and performance testing, we have focused particularly on the use of Horizon Apps for accessing EMR systems. Specific tests focus on ensuring reliable access and performance to Horizon published apps on an RDSH Server at varying levels of scale. Please work with each of your application providers to understand and incorporate their sizing guidance into your Horizon environment.

Based on the configurations that were tested (outlined below), we were able to demonstrate a maximum number of recommended concurrent users per configuration.

To certify that Horizon could handle the basic tasks at scale, the QE team tested by executing common tasks (such as app login, disconnect, reconnect, logoff) at scale over a course of time on different configurations.

  • Duration: 3 days
  • RDSH OS: Windows 2012 R2
  • Full Horizon Agent installation (all features)
  • Logon: 150 users at a rate of 1 login per 3 sec
  • Disconnect: 150 users at a rate of 1 login per 1 sec
  • Reconnect: 150 users at a rate of 1 user logon per 3 sec
  • Logoff: 150 users at a rate of 1 user logoff per 1 sec

The following features in Horizon were included in the testing:

  • VMware Virtual Print
  • Client Drive Redirection
  • USB redirection (only tested with 10 concurrent sessions due to test harness limitation)
  • Scanner Redirection
  • Serial Redirection
  • Clipboard Mapping
  • Smartcard Integration

All of the tests were performed using a Dell PowerEdge R815: Dual Socket x 16 core, 256 GB server.

See the table below for details.

4.6.3.1 Basic RDSH Configuration Tested

For this testing, we used the following configurations:

Test Configuration

vCPU (Per RDSH VM)

Memory (Per RDSH VM)

Maximum Concurrent User Sessions (per RDSH VM)

6

30 GB

20

16

32 GB

60

32

128 GB

150

Table 15: Test Configuration

4.7 Certified Endpoints for use with Horizon

Thin Client endpoints that are certified for use with Horizon are documented at the VMware Compatibility Guide. For a list of thin clients available by VMware partners, see the VMware Solution Exchange page on Horizon Endpoints.

If you intend to composite USB peripherals, validate with your client endpoint vendor that any endpoint device you use in a Horizon deployment supports that USB composite device splitting. You should also validate your thin client supports the redirection technology you require such as Serial redirection and RTAV.

Note that VMware does not recommend the use of Tera / Tera2-based Zero clients for use in healthcare environments.

4.8 Certified Peripherals for use with Horizon

Peripherals such as scanners, signature pads, and credit card readers are commonly used in Horizon deployments for Healthcare environments. VMware has certified several peripherals for use with Horizon 7. Please review the list of peripherals that were tested by VMware at the VMware Solutions Exchange Marketplace for details.

The list of peripherals above also includes composite devices which multiple components that can be split as explained in Configuring Device Splitting Policy Settings for Composite USB Devices. More detail on handling composite devices can be found in USB Device Redirection in VMware Horizon with View: White Paper and Video and KB 2016748.

Note: If any given peripheral device is not included in the list of tested peripherals, it does not mean that the device is non-functional with Horizon 7.

If you manufacture peripherals and would like to have a peripheral added to the certified peripheral list, contact us using the email on the VMware Horizon Partner Peripherals Program.

4.9 Epic Hyperspace

Horizon 7 version 7.5, 7.10, and 7.13 are currently on target platform for running Epic Hyperspace. VMware works with Epic with each ESB release to ensure the product meets Epic's Target Platform specifications. Epic will provide detailed information to their customers around sizing and specifications for running Epic. Customers should request a Hardware Configuration Guide or Capacity Assessment. These documents are specific to each customer’s deployment and a version of Epic. These guides can be used by our Professional Services team, an implementation provider, or a hardware vendor to appropriately design a Horizon architecture for the customer.

Active Epic customers can sign up for a user web account on Galaxy to receive access to the relevant integration documents.

Customers should be aware of other resources available on Epic Galaxy including:

Epic’s Target Platform represents current platforms that Epic has high confidence is based on functional, performance, and scalability testing as well as real-world observation across the Epic community. Epic can provide robust guidance on how to deploy Epic successfully on these platforms. These are the recommended platforms for most situations.

4.10 Imprivata OneSign

For this testing, we used the following configurations:

Imprivata OneSign

Component

Version validated

Notes

Imprivata OneSign

6.3

 

Table 16: Imprivata OneSign

Imprivata OneSign® is a single sign-on (SSO) solution that enables care providers to spend less time with technology and more time with patients. Imprivata integrates with VMware Horizon 7 to provide fast and secure access to virtual desktops and remotely delivered applications.

Details on the supported components of VMware Horizon can be found in the Imprivata OneSign Supported Components document.

4.11 Nuance

For this testing, we used the following configurations:

Nuance

Component

Version validated

Notes

Nuance Dragon Medical One

4.0 SR5 HF1, 5.0

 

Table 17: Nuance

Dragon Medical One (DMO) is a product from Nuance that is supported on Horizon Apps. Nuance develops other software solutions such as Dragon Network Medical Edition, and Dragon Medical 360. VMware continues to work with Nuance to ensure that

4.12 Software Integration: Teradici PCoIP

In View 4.5, VMware licensed to use PCoIP as the primary remote display protocol for VMware View (Horizon). With the release of Horizon 7, VMware introduced our own remote display protocol called Blast Extreme, which was built as a more modern approach to remote desktop display protocols.

The PCoIP display protocol can be used for published applications and for remote desktops that use virtual machines, physical machines that contain Teradici host cards, or shared session desktops on an RDS host.

VMware still supports the use of PCoIP in Horizon 7, although for most use cases, we recommend that Blast Extreme be used.

Refer to the PCoIP Session Planning document from Teradici for details on how to tune PCoIP for your use cases.

4.13 Other Software Applications Certified for use with Horizon

Learn about other 3rd party software applications that have been certified for use with VMware Horizon at the VMware Solution Exchange – Digital Workspace – Horizon page.

5 Best Practices for Horizon Deployments

This section describes best practices when integrating VMware Horizon with healthcare software products.

5.1 Use the Digital Workspace Designer to Plan Your Horizon Deployment

The VMware Digital Workspace Designer is your companion and aid for planning and sizing a VMware Workspace ONE deployment, maintaining current VMware best practices, and assisting you with key design decisions. The tool is aimed at establishing an initial high-level design for any planned deployment.

For more information, see Digital Workspace Designer Customer Demo.

To access the Digital Workspace Designer, see the VMware Tech Tools page.

5.2 Review Best Practices for Published Applications Through Horizon 7

Horizon Apps leverages Microsoft RDSH servers to deliver published applications or desktops. Data, applications, and desktops are centrally managed and secured. Users access their published applications and desktops from a single digital workspace, through single sign-on from any authenticated device or OS.

Published applications and desktops provide the opportunity to reduce hardware, software, and operating costs, and simplify installation, upgrades, and troubleshooting.

This video series provides excellent guidance for RDSH in Healthcare applications from VMware team members focused on Healthcare:

See the Best Practices for Published Applications and Desktops in VMware Horizon Apps and VMware Horizon 7 for more detail on topics like:

  • vSphere Storage and Networking Best Practices
  • ESXi Host Sizing Best Practices
  • Remote Desktop Session Host Best Practices
  • Antivirus Configuration Best Practices

5.3 Create an Optimized Windows Image for a VMware Horizon Virtual Machine

The considerations you must take into account when creating a Windows system image are much different if you plan to deploy virtual desktops rather than physical desktops:

  • Physical desktops – Resource usage on a physical machine impacts only the user who is using that machine. The operating system on a physical machine determines whether or not resources are available. One-time actions impact the user only the first time they are performed because the machine is never refreshed. For example, a user typically gets a new user profile the first time they log on, and they continue to use that same profile with all subsequent logons.
  • Virtual desktops – In contrast, in a virtual environment, the guest operating system behaves as if it has exclusive access to the CPU cores, but in reality, the cores are shared between 2 to 8 virtual machines. When using nonpersistent VMs or user profiles, the actions that are intended to run only once could run every time a user logs on.

With virtual desktops, therefore, one-time system actions must be configured in the base image, and one-time user actions must be configured in the default (or mandatory) user profile. In addition, to reach a higher consolidation ratio, increasing the number of VMs hosted on a single VMware vSphere host, VMware recommends turning off features that are not needed. For step-by-step instructions on accomplishing all these tasks, see Creating an Optimized Windows Image for a VMware Horizon Virtual Desktop.

5.4 Nested Mode

As mentioned earlier, you can leverage nested mode to first connect to a desktop then inside of the desktop launch published Horizon applications. If you use nested mode, there are some items to consider:

  • Always use the same protocol on each hop
  • Always use the same redirection technology on each hop

See the following KB article for more details on nested mode in Horizon:

5.5 Deliver Office 365 Applications with Horizon 7

Microsoft Office 365 is a common application that is deployed in a VMware Horizon 7 environment. Be sure to see Best Practices for Delivering Microsoft Office 365 in VMware Horizon 7, which includes tips and best practices that can improve performance and application manageability.

5.6 Choose a Remote Desktop Protocol That Delivers a Rich User Experience

With Horizon 7, you have a choice of what protocols you use. In View 4.5, VMware partnered with Teradici to use PCoIP (PC over IP) to handle remote experience. We introduced the Blast Extreme display protocol with VMware Horizon 7, the latest generation of VMware desktop virtualization and remote application-delivery software.

For an overview of the different display protocols Horizon 7 supports, see Choosing a Display Protocol in the VMware Horizon 7 Architecture Planning document in the Horizon 7 documentation.

For details about Blast Extreme, see Blast Extreme Display Protocol in VMware Horizon 7, which covers all versions of Horizon since 7.0. This guide provides a technical description of Blast Extreme, including how to deploy it, configuration best practices, and benefits and limitations, for administrators who are considering using the Blast Extreme display protocol in their organization today.

For details about PCoIP, see the 3rd Party Integration: PCoIP Planning document and the PCoIP article in the VMware Horizon 7 Architecture Planning document in the Horizon 7 documentation.

5.7 Printing

For details on printing options available in Horizon, see the following resources:

6 Authors and Contributors

The following people contributed to the writing and updating of this document.

6.1 Authors

          Rick Terlep – Senior Architect, EUC Technical Marketing

          Mike Lonze – Senior Manager, Healthcare Technologies

          Jon Holloway – Architect, EUC System Test and Engineering Services

          Chris Halstead – Staff Architect. EUC Technical Marketing

6.2 Contributors

          Cris Lau – Product Line Manager

          Jim Yanik – Senior Manager, EUC Technical Marketing

          Kiran Rao – Senior Director of Product Management

          Ash Godbole – Staff Program Manager

6.3 Reviewers

          Steve Fortuna – Staff Solutions Engineer, EUC

          Jeremy Wheeler – Consulting Architect at VMware

          Aaron Frederick – Senior Manager, EUC System Test and Engineering

6.4 Editors

          Caroline Arakelian – Senior Technical Marketing Manager at VMware

          Cindy Heyer Carroll – Senior Technical Marketing Manager at VMware

 

 

 

 

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