VMware Horizon View 5.3 is now generally available

At November 21 VMware released VMware Horizon View version 5.3.0.

This release has some interesting features like support for Virtual SAN, and Windows 8.1 & Windows Server 2008 as desktop operating system.

It also features  a new storage overcommit option for linked-clone desktop pool storage.
When customers select the Unbounded overcommit option, they can place as many linked clones on the selected datastore as they desire. This feature is beneficial to customers who use third-party storage technologies (for example, Atlantis Computing VSA), which optimize the space consumed by the virtual disks of the individual virtual machines.

More on the storage optimization features in View 5.3 in this blogpost. 

Release notes are here
Documentation can be downloaded here.
Download the software from MyVMware

What is new in View 5.3? 

VMware Horizon View 5.3 delivers important features and enhancements and resolves some known problems in the previous release. This release of VMware Horizon View adds the following new features and support.

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Desktop Operating System Support
    Windows Server 2008 R2 (Datacenter edition) is now supported as a desktop operating system. For installation instructions and limitations, see KB 2057605: Using Windows Server 2008 R2 as a desktop operating system in VMware Horizon View.
  • Windows 8.1 Desktop Operating System Support
    Windows 8.1 is now supported as a desktop operating system.
  • VMware Horizon Mirage Support 
    You can now use VMware Horizon Mirage 4.3 to manage View desktops. See the VMware Horizon Mirage Administrator’s Guide for complete information about this feature.
  • VMware Virtual SAN Datastore Support
    When you create a desktop pool in View Administrator, you can now select a Virtual SAN datastore to store desktop virtual machines. Because Virtual SAN is in Beta, this feature is being released as a Tech Preview, which means that it is available for you to try, but it is not recommended for production use and no technical support is provided. The space-efficient virtual disk format is not available on Virtual SAN datastores. If you use Virtual SAN datastores to host virtual desktops, you will not be able to reclaim allocated unused space on the virtual machines.
  • View Connection Server Memory Recommendation Messages 
    If you install View Connection Server with less than 10GB of memory, VMware Horizon View provides memory recommendations by generating warning messages after the installation is complete.
  • vDGA Support
    vDGA (virtual Dedicated Graphics Acceleration) is now supported for View desktops. For linked-clone desktops, vDGA settings are preserved after refresh, recompose, and rebalance operations.
  • Linked-Clone Desktop Pool Storage Overcommit Feature Enhancements 
    The linked-clone desktop pool storage overcommit feature includes a new storage overcommit level called Unbounded. When you select Unbounded, View Manager does not limit the number of linked-clone desktops that it creates based on the physical capacity of the datastore. You select the storage overcommit level for a linked-clone desktop pool on the Select Datastores page when you add or edit a linked-clone pool. SelectUnbounded only if you are certain that the datastore has enough storage capacity to accommodate all of the desktops and their future growth.
  • View Persona Management Supportability Improvements
    Supportability improvements include new log messages and profile size and file and folder count tracking. View Persona Management uses the file and folder counts to suggest folders for redirection in the Windows event log and provides statistics for these folders.
  • Support to Grant Domain Administrators Access to Redirected Folders in View Persona Management
    A new group policy setting, Add the Administrators group to redirected folders, has been added to make redirected folders accessible to domain administrators. For information about the new group policy setting, see KB 2058932: Granting domain administrators access to redirected folders for View Persona Management.
  • VMware Horizon View Agent Direct-Connection Plug-in
    You can use VMware Horizon View Agent Direct-Connection Plug-in to connect directly to a virtual desktop. This plug-in is an installable extension to View Agent that allows a View client to directly connect to a View desktop without using View Connection Server. For more information, see VMware Horizon View Agent Direct-Connection Plug-in Administration.
  • View Composer Array Integration (VCAI) Support 
    The Tech Preview designation has been removed from VCAI. VCAI appears as an option during pool creation when you select an NFS datastore on an array that supports VAAI (vStorage API for Array Integration) native snapshots. The VCAI feature is now supported with select NAS vendors. For a list of supported NAS vendors, see KB 2061611: View Composer API for Array Integration (VCAI) support in VMware Horizon View.
  • Blast Secure Gateway Maximum Connections
    The Blast Secure Gateway (BSG) now supports up to 350 connections to Horizon View desktops from clients using HTML Access. This connection limit applies to a BSG on one View Connection Server instance or security server.
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About Marcel van den Berg
I am a technical consultant with a strong focus on server virtualization, desktop virtualization, cloud computing and business continuity/disaster recovery.

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