Home > VMware > VMware View 4.6 Release: VPN-Less Virtual Desktops For Everyone

VMware View 4.6 Release: VPN-Less Virtual Desktops For Everyone

Last week VMware released the latest iteration of View, 4.6. With 4.6 is a minor release, but comes with one major update. The big one is the inclusion of the new View Security Server. What the security server does it allows for VPN-less access to your virtual desktop inside your corporate environment. Now I know a lot of security guys are going to read that and choke on their muffins, but lets take a closer look.

VPNs mostly employ technology that leverages a TCP protocol. PCoIP is a UDP protocol. So before, the PCoIP packets would have to have over-head created to wrap the UDP packets inside a TCP packet. Not only that, TCP is a ‘reliable’ protocol, so that means you create more network overhead with the acknowledgements and retransmissions that come with TCP, but are unneeded with PCoIP.

What the View Security Server does is act as a PCoIP proxy. Users connect to a View Security Server in the DMZ, and the server authenticates the user, and then allows them specific access into the internal network only for their Virtual Desktop. So in theory, the View Security Server does what any good DMZ server does; allowing a very small scope of traffic to a limited internal resource. Keep in mind, the View Security Server does not use SSL, or isn’t an SSL-VPN solution. PCoIP does already use 128bit AES encryption, so that covers any encryption requirements there. You can also install an SSL cert for the FQDN authentication to prevent any man-in-the-middle attacks. There will be a requirement to punch a hole for port 4172 on both TCP and UDP on your firewall.

I think the idea behind View Security server is a great one, however, I think the firewall requirements and lack of additional encryption are going to cause a lot of push back from companies’ Information Security departments, and for good reason.

Other notable items for this release:

  • Support for syncing your iDevice (iPod/iPhone/iPad) with your virtual desktop via USB
  • Multiple Keyboard Mapping issues have been resolved
  • Change in the Single Sign On (SSO) Timeout value
  • Support for Windows 7 SP1
  • 160+ Bug Fixes

Suprisingly, this release doesn’t include any sort of Profile Management. I guess VMware’s focus here was on the View Security Server with this release.

Release Notes for VMware View 4.6 can be found HERE.

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