Aug 212018
 
VMware Horizon View Logo

Well, after using the VMware Horizon Client mobile app (for Android) for a year, I finally decided to do a little write up and review. I use the android client regularly on my Samsung Tab E LTE tablet, and somewhat infrequently on my Samsung Galaxy S9+ mobile phone (due to the smaller screen).

Let’s start off by briefly explaining what VMware Horizon View is, what the client does, and finally the review. I’ll be including a couple screenshots as well to give an idea as to how the interface and resolution looks on the tablet itself.

The VMware Horizon Client mobile app for android is available at: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.vmware.view.client.android

What is VMware Horizon View

VMware Hoirzon View is a product and solution that enables VDI technology for a business. VDI stands for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. When a business uses VDI, they virtualize their desktops and use either thin clients, zero clients, or the view client to access these virtualized desktops. This allows the business to utilize all the awesome technologies that virtualization brings (DRS, High Availability, Backup/DR, high performance, reduced hardware costs) and provide rich computing environments to their users. The technology is also particularly interesting in the fact that it provides amazing remote access capabilities as one can access their desktop very easily with the VMware View Client.

When you tie this on to an advanced security technology such as Duo’s MFA product, you can’t go wrong!

In special case or large environments, enormous cost savings can be realized when implementing VDI.

What is the VMware Horizon View Mobile client for Android

As mentioned above, to access one’s virtualized desktop a client is needed. While a thin client or zero client can be used, this is beyond the scope of this post as here we are only discussing the VMware View client for Android.

You can download the VMware View client for Android from the App store (link here).

The VMware Horizon View Mobile client for Android allows you to connect to your VDI desktop remotely using your Android based phone or tablet. Below is a screenshot I took with my Samsung Tab E LTE tablet (with the side bar expanded):

VMware Horizon View Client on Android Tablet

VMware Horizon View Client on Android Tablet

VMware Horizon View Mobile Client for Android Experience

Please Note: There is more of the review below the screenshots. Scroll down for more!

The app appears to be very lightweight, with an easy interface. Configuration of View Connections Servers, or UAG’s (Unified Access Gateways) is very simple. The login process performs with RADIUS and/or MFA as the desktop client would. In the examples below, you’ll notice I use Duo’s MFA/2FA authentication solution in combination with AD logins.

VMware Horizon View Mobile Client Android Server List

VMware Horizon View Mobile Client Android Server List

The interface is almost identical to the desktop client with very little differences. The configuration options are also very similar and allow customization of the app, with options for connection quality as an example.

 

VMware Horizon View Mobile Client Android Server Login

VMware Horizon View Mobile Client Android Server Login

 

VMware Horizon View Mobile Client Android Login Duo MFA

VMware Horizon View Mobile Client Android Login Duo MFA

As you can see above, the RADIUS and Duo Security Login prompts are fully functional.

VMware Horizon View Mobile Client Android Server List

VMware Horizon View Mobile Client Android Server List

 

VMware Horizon View Mobile Client Android Windows 10 VDI Desktop

VMware Horizon View Mobile Client Android Windows 10 VDI Desktop

 

The resolution is perfect for the tablet, and is very usable. The touch interface works extremely well, and text input works as good as it can. While this wouldn’t be used as a replacement for the desktop client, or a thin/zero client, it is a valuable tool for the mobile power user.

With how lightweight and cheap tablets are now, you could almost leave your tablet in your vehicle (although I wouldn’t recommend it), so that in the event of an emergency where you need to access your desktop, you’d be able to using the app.

Pros:

  • Fluid interface
  • Windows 10 touch functionality works great
  • Resolution Support
  • Samsung Dex is fully supported
  • Webcam redirection works
  • Works on Airplanes using in flight WiFi

Cons:

  • Bandwidth usage
  • Saving credentials via Fingerprint Scanner would be nice (on the S8+ and S9+)

My Usage

Being in IT, I’ve had to use this many times to log in and manage my vSphere cluster, servers, HPe iLo, check temperatures, and log in to customer environments (I prefer to log in using my VDI desktop, instead of saving client information on the device I’m carrying with me). It’s perfect for these uses.

I also regularly use VDI over LTE. Using VDI over mobile LTE connections works fantastic, however you’ll want to make sure you have an adequate data plan as the H.264 video stream uses a lot of bandwidth. Using this regularly over LTE could cause you to go over your data limits and incur additional charges.

Additional Information

Samsung Dex

The VMware Horizon View Mobile Client for Android also supports Samsung Dex. This means that if you have a Dex dock or the Dex pad, you can use the mobile client to provide a full desktop experience to a monitor/keyboard/mouse using your Samsung Galaxy phone. I’ll be doing a write up later to demo this (it works great).

VMware Horizon Client for Chrome OS

VMware also has a client for Chrome OS, so that you can use your Chromebook to connect to your VDI desktop. You can download VMware Horizon Client for Chrome OS here: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/vmware-horizon-client-for/ppkfnjlimknmjoaemnpidmdlfchhehel

Aug 182018
 
VMware vSphere Mobile Watchlist Logo

Did you know that you can monitor and manage your VMware vSphere environment (ESXi hosts, cluster, and VMs) remotely with the “VMware vSphere Mobile Watchlist” app on your Android phone? Well, you can!

Download link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.vmware.beacon

The VMware vSphere Mobile Watchlist (VMware Watchlist) Android App

For some time now, I’ve been using this neat little app from VMware (available for download here) to monitor and manage my vSphere cluster remotely. You can use the app while directly on your LAN, or via VPN (I use it with OpenVPN to connect to my Sophos UTM). I’ve even used it while on airplanes using the on board in-flight WiFi.

The reason why I’m posting about this, is because I’ve never actually heard anyone talk about the app (which I find strange), so I’m assuming others aren’t aware of it’s existence as well.

The app runs extremely well on my Samsung S8+, Samsung S9+, and Samsung Tab E LTE tablet. I haven’t run in to any issues or app crashes.

Let’s take a look at the app

vSphere Mobile Watchlist Login Prompt

vSphere Mobile Watchlist Login Prompt

The above screen is where you initially log in. I use my Active Directory credentials (since I have my vCenter server integrated with AD).

vSphere Mobile Watchlist Hosts and VM list

vSphere Mobile Watchlist Hosts and VMs

In the default view (shown above), you can view a brief summary of your ESXi hosts, as well as a list of virtual machines running.

vSphere Mobile Watchlist Host Information

vSphere Mobile Watchlist Host Information

After selecting an ESXi host, you can view the hosts resources, details, related objects, as well as flip over to view host options.

vSphere Mobile Watchlist Host Options

vSphere Mobile Watchlist Host Options

Under host options, you can Enter Maintenance mode, reboot the host, shutdown the host, disconnect the host, or view the hosts’ sensor data.

vSphere Mobile Watchlist Host Sensor List and Fan Data

vSphere Mobile Watchlist Host Sensor Data (Fans)

Checking the HPe Proliant DL360p Gen8 fan sensor data with VMware Watchlist.

vSphere Mobile Watchlist Host Sensor Data (Temperature Sensor List)

vSphere Mobile Watchlist Host Sensor Data (Temperature)

Checking the HPe Proliant DL360p Gen8 temperature sensor data with VMware Watchlist. While not shown above, you can select individual items to pull the actual temperature values. Please Note that the temperature values are missing a decimal (Example: 2100 = 21.00 Celsius).

vSphere Mobile Watchlist VM Information

vSphere Mobile Watchlist VM Information View

When selecting a VM (Virtual Machine) from the default view, you can view the VM’s Resources (CPU, Memory, and Storage), Details (IP Addresses, DNS hostnames, Guest OS, VMWare Tools Status), related objects, and a list of other VMs running on the same host.

vSphere Mobile Watchlist VM Options

vSphere Mobile Watchlist VM Options

Flipping over to the VM options, we have the ability to power off, suspend, reset, shutdown, or gracefully restart the VM. We also have some snapshot functionality to take a snapshot, or manage VM snapshots.

Additional Notes

In my environment I have two HPe DL360p Gen8 Servers and the sensor data is fully supported (I used the HPe custom ESXi install image which includes host drivers).