The big difference between VMware View 3 and 4 is that View 4 adds a new display protocol – PCoIP – that provides an optimized desktop experience for the delivery of the entire desktop environment specially across WANs with high latency and low bandwidth.
From a user experience perspective View 4 offers a big improvement over its former release, but for the VMware View Administrator nothing much changes on a day-to-day basis besides few bits and pieces, and off course, the added support for vSphere 4 that enables improved virtual machine scalability and performance.
The installation of all VMware View 4 components is pretty much the same – For VMware View Agent only an additional option to install a PCoIP Server when deploying to the template.
There is another difference during installation of VMware View Client. A feature called Log in as current user that provides enhanced single sign-on – this feature integrates with Active Directory and smart cards to help simplify the process of logging in to a VMware View desktop. If you want to require all users to provide identity and credential information to log in to a View Connection Server and again to access a View desktop, deselect the Log in as current user component.
Most of the new features related do administration or management can be found in the Desktop/Pool Settings and View Server Settings pages.
Connection server restrictions: When you assign a tag to a View desktop or desktop pool, only users who connect to a View Connection Server instance that has a matching tag can access that desktop or desktop pool. You can assign a tag when you add or edit a desktop or desktop pool. See View Server Settings for configuration of the tags.
Default display protocol: The new option here is PCoIP, however RDP and HP RGS are still available.
Max number of monitors: Support for up to four monitors. (PCoIP only)
Resolution on each monitor: Support for resolutions up to 1920×1200 and pivot orientation to each monitor independently. (PCoIP only)
Tags: In View Server Settings administrators now can control user access to virtual desktops based on the View Connection Server being used for authentication. When you assign a tag to a View Connection Server instance, users who connect to that View Connection Server can access only those View desktops and desktop pools that have a matching tag or no tags.
Smart card policies – Administrators can set group policies to force desktop disconnection and require reconnection when users remove smart cards.
Domain filtering – You can use vdmadmin.exe to control the accessibility of domains and traverse trust relationships more quickly.
You can cleanly delete View desktops using scripts.
I haven’t seen any additional information about this, not even in the manual. The only link with a script to clean orphaned replicas comes from Duncan Epping. http://www.yellow-bricks.com/2009/12/16/cleaning-up-orphaned-replicas-in-view/
You can log in to View desktops using user principal names (UPN).
You can explicitly configure IP addresses to override those supplied by the View Agent when accessing a desktop.
Mixed Active Directory and Kerberos authentication is supported.
Besides some obscure new features that are not even properly documented in the manual, the upgrade and management of VMware View 4 should be no hard work for an experienced View 3 administrator.
PCoIP greatly enhances the user experience however due to the lack of new features, in my opinion VMware View 4 had an early market release as a result of the obvious competition with XenDesktop.
One of the features I would like to see for a next release is a agnostic connection protocol such as http/https to be able to access the desktop from anywhere. For some organisations multimedia and audio are not the most important when delivering virtual desktops but I will let this discussion for another opportunity.
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