Sep 09 2016

VMware Horizon Mirage 5.8.1. released

Yesterday, VMware released VMware Horizon Mirage 5.8.1. VMware Horizon Mirage 5.8.1 is a maintenance release, aimed to increase scalability for large deployments and deliver bug fixes and enhancements for Image Management scenarios.

New Features:

  • Improved scalability for Image Management scenarios: Mirage now supports up to 50,000 endpoints when using Image Management only policy. This enables large enterprises to use a single instance of Mirage for Windows 10 migration or other Image Management scenarios.
  • Endpoint Provisioning for Windows XP: Mirage now supports Endpoint Provisioning and Bare Metal Provisioning for Windows XP based endpoints, including POSReady2009 OS.

General Enhancements:

  • CVD compliance score can now be set to reflect changes in user installed applications, providing better visibility of unmanaged software running on endpoints.
  • Export system settings tool now supports exporting to a UNC path.

Mirage web Console Enhancements:

  • CVD compliance score column has been added to the CVD inventory grid.

Significant fixes:

  • Mirage Management Servers cannot connect to MongoDB replica after having more than 7 active Mirage Servers & Management Servers (1679551).
  • MongoDB sometimes return an incorrect rows in the table, potentially failing Mirage operations (1636921).

Minor fixes:

  • Fixed timeouts in System settings Import\Export tool when running on large environments. In addition Mirage now blocks temporary volume used during export.
  • $WINDOWS.~BT folder should not be backed up by default (1711546)
  • PowerCLI for Mirage should be dually signed, per Microsoft new guidelines (1682535)
  • Spanish translation not loaded for ‘Please wait’ text in OS Migration (168251)
  • MongoDB version has been upgraded to v3.2.8
  • OpenSSL version has been upgraded to 1.0.2h
  • JRE version has been upgraded to 1.80_102-fcsb3
  • Apache Tomcat version has been upgraded to 8.0.36


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Aug 02 2016

Airwatch Express – Easy Mobile Device Management at 2,5 USD per month

Today, VMware introduced Airwatch Express, a new version alongside the current available Mobile Device Management Suites.

The Airwatch Express edition will be a lower priced solution with obviously less functionality then the existing Airwatch Suites.

Current Airwatch Offerings



Why a new version?

Mobile Device Management as we know it today is

  • too hard to setup
  • resources-intensive to maintain
  • too expensive

What is Airwatch express?

  • Cloud based ==> easy setup
  • Easy MDM ==> turnkey simple with basic questions
  • Affordable ==> 2,50 $ per device per month

Airwatch Express Pricing?










  • Devices
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Windows
    • MAC
  • Zero touch configuration
    • Asset Inventory
    • Manage and deploy apps
    • Configure WiFi
    • Configure Email
  • Integration
    • integration with existing Directory Services like Active Directory
  • Foolproof Security
    • Device Encryption
    • Data loss prevention
    • Remote lock and wipe
  • Easy to use cloud
    • Easy setup
    • System integration
    • On-demand Support



Airwatch Blog

Airwatch Express Features

Airwatch Express Pricing


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Jul 06 2016

VMware Horizon View – Multi VLAN Network


When implementing VMware Horizon View Pools with a large number of desktops (large = exceeding the limit of a single /23 or /24 bit subnet), there are basically 3 options to properly arrange network connectivity for the virtual desktops within a VMware Horizon View environment:

  1. Option 1: Create a single large subnet in which all of the virtual desktops can be added.
  2. Option 2: Create multiple smaller subnets. Preferable, each subnet is a /23 or /24 bit subnet.
  3. Option 3: Create a single large subnet in which all of the virtual desktops can be added and limit the broadcast domain by making use of private VLANs.

Advantages and disadvantages

The advantages/disadvantages of each option is described below

Single large subnet
  • Only a single VMware Port group is needed on the VMware Distributed Virtual Switch
  • Creation/updating VMware Horizon View pools can be done through the VMware Horizon View GUI
  • Large broadcast domain
Multiple smaller subnets – Multi VLAN
  • No large broadcast domain
  • Multiple port groups needed on the VMware Distributed Virtual Switch
  • Creation/updating VMware Horizon View pools requires the use of command line interfaces
Single large subnet + private VLANs
  • Only a single VMware Port group is needed on the VMware Distributed Virtual Switch
  • Creation/updating VMware Horizon View pools can be done through the VMware Horizon View GUI
  • No large broadcast domain
  • Additional security because VDIs can not communicate with each other
  • Additional configuration of Private vlans

This Article

In this article, option 2 will be explained, with /23 subnets.

Multi-VLAN Networks

In a /23 subnet their are 512 IP addresses, but only 510 are usable. Therefore the number of required VDI VLANs per datacenter is maximum equal to: (Total number of desktops) / 510.

For example if you want to run 1250 desktops per datacenter you will need 1250/512 = 2,45 ==> 3 VLANs per datacenter

Maximum amount of VDIs
DC01 100 192.168.100.x/23 510
DC01 101 192.168.101.x/23 510
DC01 102 192.168.102.x/23 510

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Jun 03 2016

VMware Horizon View – Network Considerations

Teradici’s PCoIP display protocol provides real-time delivery with high fidelity desktop experience for VMware Horizon View virtual desktops. To ensure a responsive desktop, the PCoIP protocol must be deployed across a properly architected virtual desktop network infrastructure that meets bandwidth, QoS, latency, jitter, and packet loss requirements.

Virtual Desktop Bandwidth Calculator

Teradici has released a Virtual Desktop Bandwidth Calculator. The calculator exemplify Network Requirements and allow administrators to specify Network Bandwidth, PCoIP Session Variables, latency, jittering and much more. Teradici uses a spreadsheet to calculate and in that spreadsheet a table is integrated with user scenario’s and settings. The calculator can be downloaded from Teradici’s TechSupport web site at Alternatively the calculator can be downloaded here

PCoIP Protocol Virtual Desktop Network Design Checklist

Terradici has also released a PCoIP Protocol Network design checklist which includes sections related to network requirements, network capacity planning, PCoIP session variables, … The document can be downloaded from Terradici’s Techsupport web site at the checklist can be downloaded here

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May 20 2016

VMware AppVolumes – VMware’s Strategy for version 2.x and 3.x


About 3 months ago VMware released AppVolumes 3.0. The 3.0 version is the first AppVolumes release which comes as a virtual appliance with it’s own embedded database and combines app volumes features with UEM features.

I like the fact that VMware is moving towards appliance based models and the combination of AppVolumes features with UEM features is also a logical and smart move.



All good news so far, but when I started testing with AppVolumes 3.0, I was actually really disappointed:

  • The AppVolumes documentation is missing a lot of information
  • It is not possible to migrate appstacks from AppVolumes 2.x to 3.0. So you have to create all your appstacks again from scratch
  • One of the major new features, the combination AppVolumes and UEM features (it is called customisations in AppVolumes 3.0) is in tech preview.
  • VMware announced different editions of AppVolumes. However there is no possibility to set a license file/key, so how does Appvolumes distinguish between its different versions.
  • AppVolumes 3.0 uses Ubuntu version 14.04 as the Linux distribution.
    • Why is the appliance Ubuntu based? I am not against Ubuntu, but all other VMware appliances are SLES-based. When automating environments, it is more difficult as scripts used for SLES are different then scripts used for SLES
    • Ubuntu 14.04 is not a supported version for vRealize Operatons. This causes issues with vReailize Operations Endpoint agent as the agent is not officially supported for Ubuntu 14.04 and is therefore unstable.
  • Assigning a writable volume requires also assigning an appstack. I do not see why this should be necessary.
  • It is not documented, what the possibilities are for multiple AppVolume Servers (for scale-out an/or high availability)
  • It is not documented, what the possibilities are for using an external database
  • In my experience AppVolumes 3.0 was unstable
  • The AppVolumes 3.0 Agent crashed a few times during my tests
  • The AppVolumes 3.0 Agent startup is extremely slow
  • I did not find a way how to delete an old Appstack
  • Attaching an Appstack is extremely slow
  • I experienced longer logon times In version 3.0 then in version 2.10
  • ….

If you read twitter messages from people working with and deploying (not selling) Appvolumes 3.0, you will see that I am not the only one that has problems with AppVolumes version 3.0

So, I decided to ask Harry Labana (VP Products, End User Computing at VMware) when a new version of Appvolumes was foreseen







To my surprise within 5 minutes, I received a private message via twitter from Harry Labana where he offered to talk live on the subject. This shows the commitment that VMware has towards their customers and also shows that they actually listen to us.









So, a conference call was setup with Harry Labana and Yuvraj Mehta (Product Manager AppVolumes at VMware) where they took the time to explain me the strategy of VMware Appvolumes going forward. I was however asked not to share the information, so I am not in a position to share all the details. If you want to know more details, I suggest you take contact with Harry Labana.

ON 16 JUN 2016 owever, AppVolumes 2.11 was officially announced with support for Instant Clones. When you read through the article there is a small section at the bottom that explains a bit more about VMware’s strategy going forward with AppVolumes.


My understanding of the above mentioned section is:

  • Version 3.x
    • aimed towards Horizon Air deployments
    • do not use for on-premises deployments
    • AppVolumes 3.x  will continue to be developed
  • Version 2.x
    • aimed towards on-premises deployments
    • AppVolumes 2.x will continue to be developed.
  • Version y.y
    • future to-be developed version, bringing Appvolumes 2.x and 3.x together
    • aimed towards both Horizon Air and on-premises deployments


My personal conclusion of all this information and from my previous experiences with the AppVolumes deployments I did:

  • Do not upgrade/start with version 3.x. Stay with version 2.x for on-premises deployments
  • Do not use version 2.x in multi-domain environments ==> wait for an Appvolumes version that will address this
  • Do not use version 2,x in multi AD-site environments ==> wait for an Appvolumes version that will address this
  • Do not try to package Office 2016 in version 2.x ==> wait for an Appvolumes version that will address this
  • Do not use writable volumes in combination with Windows 10 ==> wait for an Appvolumes version that will address this
  • Do not use AppVolumes when there is a very stringent requirement on fast logon times ==> wait for an Appvolumes version that will address logon time issues
  • Set the expectations right at the customers you work with. Be patient, the product has a lot of potential.

VMware will get there with AppVolumes, we just have to be a little bit more patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day either.

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Mar 18 2016

VMware vRealize Business – Watch Out When Upgrading from 7.0.0 to 7.0.1

At Nubera, we are in the process of designing and implementing a solution at a Service Provider with vRealize Automation and vRealize Business Standard. The versions we are using are vRealize Automation version 7.0.0 and vRealize Business Standard version 7.0.0.

After all the vRealize Automation work was done (design, installation, configuration, blueprint creations, workflow development), we started with the vRealize Business setup. One of the first steps to do after deploying the vRealize Business appliance is to register it with vRealize Automation. After registering vRealize Business with vRealize Automation we experienced however an error when we tried to provision a new blueprint. The provisioning failed with the error “Request failed while fetching item metadata: Error communication with Pricing Service“.

Three days ago however vRealize Business Standard 7.0.1 was released (now rebranded to vRealize Business for Cloud) and we noticed in the release notes that one of the known issues was exactly the error we experienced. There was however a very easy workaround described:

  • Unregister vRealize Business for Cloud with vRealize Automation.
  • Generate the self-generated certificate for vRealize Business for Cloud.
  • Re-register vRealize Business for Cloud with vRealize Automation.
  • Wait for 10 minutes for all services start.
  • Start provisioning vRealize Automation.

So we tried the workaround on our vRealize Business Standard 7.0.0 setup, but unfortunately, the error was not resolved.

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Feb 01 2016

VMware Horizon View – USB Smart Card Reader Redirection

USB Smart Card Readers can be redirected from the end-users device to a VMware Horizon View Virtual Desktop, however this is blocked by default.

To allow USB Smart Card reader redirection s it is necessary to set a few settings in the VMware Horizon View Group Policy applied to the Horizon View Desktops. The settings are depicted in the below screenshot:
On top of the above settings TCP port 32111 needs to be opened:
Applicable in this Design
VMware Horizon View Security Server * View Desktop 32111 TCP USB Redirection YES
VMware Horizon View Client * View Desktop 32111 TCP USB redirection if direct connections are used instead of tunnel connections NO
VMware Horizon View Connection Server * View Desktop 32111 TCP USB redirection if tunnel connections via the View Connection Server are used NO

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Jan 29 2016

VMware vRealize Operations Manager – Scaling up a 2-node HA enabled vROps cluster

This blog post describes the steps to follow to scale up a 2-node HA enabled VMware vROps cluster:

Start Situation:

  • SMALL1 and SMALL2 are deployed and are configured in HA mode
  • SMALL1 is the Master node
  • SMALL2 is the Master Replica node

Process to scale-up 2 HA enabled nodes

  • Deploy 2 additional nodes (MEDIUM1 and MEDIUM2)
  • Add MEDIUM1 and MEDIUM2 to the HA cluster as additional data nodes.
  • Take the master replica node (SMALL2) offline
  • Remove the master replica node (SMALL2) from the HA cluster
  • Select one of the newly added nodes (MEDIUM1) as the new master replica
  • Take the master node (SMALL1) offline
  • Remove the master node (SMALL1) from the cluster
  • vROps will promote node MEDIUM1 as its master node
  • Select the second new node (MEDIUM2) as the new replica node.


  • During this process the cluster will restart several times, so dataloss is to be expected.
  • This migration process is not officially documented by VMware, but is currently the only way to scale-up a VMware vROps environment. VMware advises a well-thought sizing before deploying any VMware vROps nodes.
  • Having a cluster with mixed node sizes is not recommended and should only occur during a scale-up process
  • In order to make an accurate sizing estimation of your environment, VMware designed a spreadsheet to calculate the vROps environment size. The link to download the spreadsheet can be found in VMware KB 2140551

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Jan 28 2016

VMware Horizon View – Windows 10 Golden Image Creation

In this blog post I describe the steps required to create a Virtual Machine template using Windows 10 from scratch.

Only optimizations of the core OS are described, the impact of installed applications within the guest will also need to be evaluated.

Below are the steps to follow to create an optimized Golden Image for VDI

STEP 1: VMware Template Configuration

Create a new Virtual Machine using the vSphere Web client

  • Name: depending on naming convention standards (Note: use a name of less then 15 characters)
  • Location: depending on the environment
  • Compute Resource: depending on the environment
  • Storage: depending on the environment
  • Compatibility (=Hardware version): ESXi 6.0 and later (=Hardware version 11)
  • Reference:
  • Guest OS Family: Windows
  • Guest OS Version: Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)
  • Customise Hardware – Virtual Hardware Tab
  • vCPUs: 2
  • Memory: 3072 MB
  • Reserve all guest memory
  • HDD: 32 GB (disk size depends on the size of expected locally installed applications)
  • SCSI Controller: LSI Logic SAS
  • Network:
  • VLAN depending on the environment
  • Connect at Power On: YES
  • Adapter Type: VMXNET3
  • CD/DVD Drive:
  • Select “Datastore ISO File”
  • browse to the appropriate OS iso file
  • Connect at Power On: YES
  • Floppy Drive: Remove
  • Video Card:
  • Select “Specify Custom Settings”
  • Number of displays: 4
  • Total Video Memory: 128 MB
  • Enable 3D support: ONLY enable when you have a GPU card installed in the ESXi hosts
  • 3D renderer: Automatic
  • 3D Memory: 256 MB
  • Customise Hardware – VM Options tab
  • Boot options:
  • Force BIOS setup: Enable “The next time the virtual machine boots, force entry into the BIOS setup screen”
  • Advanced:
  • Settings:
  • Ensure “Enable logging” is unchecked
  • Configuration Parameters:
  • Edit Configuration Parameters
  • Add Row
  • Name: devices.hotplug
  • Value: false
  • Reference: See VMware KB 1012225
  • Click Finish

Power on the newly created VM and open the console from within the vSphere client to change the BIOS settings

  • Go to the Advanced tab – I/O Device Configuration and disable Serial Ports, Parallel Ports and Floppy Disk Controllers
  • Go to the Boot tab and change the boot order so the Hard Disk is 1st and the CD-ROM drive is the 2nd boot device
  • Save and exit (F10)

STEP 2: Win10 OS Installation

Boot the VM from the Win10 iso file

Ensure the language, time/currency format and keyboard/input method selections are correct and click “Next”

Click  “Install Windows”

Accept License terms and click “Next”

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Oct 16 2015

VMware Horizon View – Authenticate with your fingerprint

Since VMware Horizon 6.2 a new functionality has been introduced to be able to log in to your VDIs and RDSH applications using the Touch ID on iPhones and iPads.

This feature is only supported with Horizon 6.2 when using Horizon Client 3.5.  The mobile device must also be running IOS 8 or later and obviously have the Touch ID hardware present.

TouchID_01 TouchID_02 TouchID_03

This functionality is however not enabled by default, but it is very easy to enable the functionality:

  • Open ADSI Edit on any connection server
  • Connect to the View ADAM database (See VMware KB 2012377)
  • Open the object DC=vdi, DC=vmware, DC=int
  • Go to Properties – Global – Common
  • Edit Attribute “pae-ClientConfig” attribute
  • Add the value “BioMetricsTimeout=-1”

There is no need to restart the connection server. The settings are active immediately.TouchID_04

See also VMware Horizon View 6.2 Documentation

Also added as an item in my blog post VMware Horizon View – Settings I should not forget


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