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Horizon Workspace ONE

Workspace ONE Access 21.08 Exciting New Features

As I prep for my next blog entry on the SAML Authentication with WS ONE Access, I was searching for the silent installation switches or options for the connector software. My script handles deploying the appliance in a semi-automated fashion, but I wanted to also automate the connector installation. Or at least, make it a single command line process for repeatability. In any case, I came across a note that VMware has released a new version of the appliance and connector with some really exciting new features. I figured I’d share the ones I’m most looking forward to here.

Horizon / Citrix Virtual App Support

As many who have used the Workspace ONE suite have experienced over the last few years, we have had to install a legacy connector (19.03) in order to support publication of Horizon Desktops or Applications. With this release, VMware has developed a Virtual App Service that should eliminate the need for the legacy connector. Unfortunately, there is not a direct upgrade path from the 19.03 connector to 21.08. The published process will be to stand up a new connector (server) and migrate the published applications and desktops to the new connector. Also, it is important to note that this new support does not include virtual apps hosted on Horizon Cloud or Azure at this time. The primary beneficiary will be the full on-prem folks (most of my experiences).

Workspace Connector Silent Installation Options

In addition to the ability to deploy the appliance via a simple script leveraging the VMware PowerCLI PowerShell additions, VMware has now provided a means to install the Workspace ONE Access Connector in silent mode. This option will interest those who are looking to deploy the connector via script or automation tool. I will demonstrate both options in my next SAML Authentication entry. In my case, I am looking forward to the ability to install /uninstall / reinstall in my lab environment.

Encrypted Database Connection Support

This one is near and dear to my heart. For the first time, the Workspace ONE Access appliance will support an encrypted connection to the database server. With an appliance sitting in the DMZ, this is an overdue feature finally coming forward. It will also help eliminate some of the compliance exemptions you may have been managing while using this product.

OpenJDK 8 Support

With this release, VMware has migrated to OpenJDK 8 away from the Oracle JDK. The only surprise to me on this change is that it took so long to do. The new licensing requirements for Oracle 8 had always made this a challenge for many smaller organizations.

Summary

The release notes cover many other new changes in this release. What excites you or not? Is there anything that you are interested in trying out or features you are still waiting for? Please share in the comments as I’m very interested in your feedback.

References

Documentation: https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-Workspace-ONE-Access/index.html

21.08 Release Notes: https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-Workspace-ONE-Access/21.08/rn/VMware-Workspace-ONE-Access-2108-Release-Notes-On-Premises.html

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