Overall Satisfaction with VMware Horizon View
We use VMware Horizon View for our VDI environment. It is used across our entire organization by faculty, staff, and students. The primary purpose is to provide easy access to the multitude of course applications that students use in classes. The secondary purpose is to provide employees easy access to network resources from offsite.
- VMware Horizon View is great for quickly and easily provisioning non-persistent virtual machines with the ability to scale the environment with minimal effort. In our case, we have two non-persistent pools, one for students and one for employees.
- It enables us to quickly deploy a new pool of virtual machines using a custom image with minimal effort. Sometimes we get last minute requests for a particular application or configuration, and this platform allows us to meet those requests.
- VMware Horizon View integrates with Unidesk, which is our persistent virtual machine management system. So, we are able to use Unidesk to manage the applications inside of those persistent virtual machines, and still use View to manage the overall pool and associated configuration.
- The upgrade process from year to year has been time consuming and somewhat arduous. Once we get things stabilized, they seem to work well, but the amount of time that goes into the upgrade process is rather significant.
- Initially, it seemed like a net gain. However, as software application bloat continues to occur (think Office 2010 versus 2016), the hardware footprint for each machine continues to grow. At some point, this may no longer be the right solution if we no longer have the hardware capacity (i.e., memory) to support the software running in the virtual desktop images.
I think the reason VMware Horizon View has done so well is the lack of competition in this area. We have considered the Microsoft equivalent, but are concerned that their support will be worse than VMware (which can be pretty frustrating, to be honest).
It is a great solution for deploying and managing virtual desktop environments. The challenge is that it has a number of moving parts (i.e., security servers, external connection broker servers, internal connection broker servers, etc.) and when something goes wrong, troubleshooting can be difficult.