VMware Horizon 7.0 GA – here’s what’s new (part 2 -Smart Policies and Blast Extreme)

VMware Horizon 7.0 is now GA. Now we can finally take a look at all the new features in detail. This second part is about Smart Policies and Blast Extreme.

Smart Policies

  • Control of the clipboard cut-and-paste, client drive redirection, USB redirection, and virtual printing desktop features through defined policies.
  • PCoIP session control through PCoIP profiles.
  • Conditional policies based on user location, desktop tagging, pool name, and Horizon Client registry values.

Smart Policies is another innovation of Horizon 7, leveraging the power of User Environment Manager to give administrators granular control of a user’s desktop experience. A number of key Horizon features can be dynamically enabled, disabled or controlled based on not only who the user is, but on the many different variables available through Horizon: client device, IP address, pool name, etc.

For example, a different PCoIP protocol profile could be set for a user accessing their desktop from a WAN network versus a LAN network. This gives the user the optimal experience based on their location. Similarly, clipboard redirection and other features could be disabled if users are on non-corporate devices or external to the network.

vmware horizon 7 policy setting pciop protocol

Smart Policys can be set on the following conditions

  • View Client Info (IP & Name)
  • Endpoint location (Internal/External)
  • Horizon Tags
  • Desktop Pool name

Below is a list of the smart policy that can be set and how they can be used by the Horizon administrators.


  • Enable
  • Disable
  • Allow Copy from Client to Agent
  • Allow Copy from Agent to Client

Client Drive

  • Disable
  • Allow All
  • Read Only


  • Enable
  • Disable


  • Enable
  • Disable

PCoIP bandwidth profiles

  • High-Speed (20 Mbps)
  • LAN (10Mbps or Higher)
  • Dedicated WAN (5Mbps default)
  • Broadband WAN (2Mbps)
  • Low-Speed (1Mbps)
  • Extremely low-speed connections (up to 500Kbps)

The following table shows when to use the best bandwidth profile and for what use cases

Description BW(Mbps) typical network typical user
1 Best User Experience(workstation) 20 LAN M&E CAD/CAM
2 Best User Experience(VDI) 10 LAN – MAN Knowledge worker, video
3 Default Setting 5 WAN Task worker, light video
4 Optimal User Experience 2 WAN Office Apps
5 Prioritize Bandwidth 1 WAN Basic Apps only
6 Minimum Bandwidth 0.5 WAN Low Data Entry

The following table shows how the PCoIP profile is tuned based on the profile selected

GPO 1 2 3 4 5 6
Max Session BW (kbps) 9000 9000 9000 5000 2000 1000
Min Session BW (kbps) 100 100 100 100 100 100
Enable BTL 1 2 0 0 0 0
Max Initial Image Quality 100 90 80 70 70 70
Minimum Image Quality 50 50 40 40 30 30
Max FPS 60 30 30 20 15 5
Max Audio Bandwidth (kbps) 1600 1600 500 500 200 90
Image Quality performance. 50 50 50 50 25 0

EUC architect Graeme Gordon gives you a five-minute introduction to Smart Policies in the video below:

To use Smart Policies, you will need VMware Horizon 7 and User Environment Manager 9. You will also need the latest view agent and clients installed to take advantage of these new features. The other thing to note is that these policies only work with the PCoIP and Blast Extreme protocols and not RDP.

VMware Blast Extreme

  • VMware Blast Extreme is now fully supported on the Horizon platform.
    • Administrators can select the VMware Blast display protocol as the default or available protocol for pools, farms, and entitlements.
    • End users can select the VMware Blast display protocol when connecting to remote desktops and applications.
  • VMware Blast Extreme features include:
    • TCP and UDP transport support
    • H.264 support for the best performance across more devices
    • Reduced device power consumption for longer battery life
    • NVIDIA GRID acceleration for more graphical workloads per server, better performance, and a superior remote user experience

Blast Extreme

Enter stage, Blast Extreme! Blast Extreme is an evolution of a new protocol VMware introduced when we delivered HTML Access for Horizon. Blast started as a TCP-based protocol leveraging JPG/PNG-based codec to deliver a great user experience to a browser.

Blast Extreme brings Blast into feature parity with PCoIP.

vmware horizon 7 blast extreme pcoip featuresAs an option, Blast Extreme also leverages the H.264 codec to provide an HD experience to end users. By using H.264, end-user devices can offload the protocol decode to hardware, rather than the CPU. Also on the server side, when combined with an NVIDIA GRID vGPU, the protocol encoding can be offloaded to the server’s GPU. This provides both performance gains and saves CPU utilization. Blast Extreme requires the Horizon client and is supported with the latest 4.0 clients for all supported operating systems (OS). Blast Extreme can be managed via Active Directory GPO where you can set session limits, quality choices, frame rate and more.

DCarter_Edit LocalA

Just as with PCoIP and RDP, VMware Horizon Administrators will be able to configure the Blast Extreme protocol as the default protocol for both desktop and application pools.

DCarter_Edit Global Entitlement

Blast Extreme will not only be available for standard desktop and application pools but also global pools when configured with Cloud Pod Architecture.

Blast Extreme matches and, in certain scenarios, exceeds the performance and bandwidth utilization of PCoIP. When combined with an NVIDIA GRID vGPU, performance/density gains can be considerable for high-performance 3D graphics workloads. The following chart shows the density gains—on average, 18%—when offloading the server-side protocol encode to a GPU.

vmware horizon blast extreme host cpu usage

EUC expert Marilyn Bassanta demos Blast Extreme in the following video:

Filed under: News Leave a comment
Comments (0) Trackbacks (0)

No comments yet.

Leave a comment

No trackbacks yet.