VMWare Tools for Remote Access

VDI (Virtual Desktop) vs Terminal Server

First let understand the difference between terminal server and virtual desktop remote access.

VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrasturcture)

  • No local pc required
  • custom version of software per user
  • designed for multimedia and desktop functionality
  • local atttached storage is available on the remote desktop
  • resources are individual to the user

TS (Terminal Server)

  • local pc is required
  • all users share the same software
  • all resources are shared
  • struggles with multimedia - graphics and audio

VmWare Remote Access Options

  • VMware Workstation
  • Mware Remote Console (VMRC)
  • VMWare Horizon

VMware Remote Console (VMRC)

  • Standalone windows, mac and linux application. It provides console access to the vm on a remote.
  • You can only launch VMware Remote Console (VMRC) from within the web client - “Launch Remote Access”
  • VMRC is supported by all vSphere 5.1 and ESX configurations, and by all vCloud Director 5.1 configurations.

Using VMRC in VCloud Director

According to the vcloud direcctor vmrc docs

You log into the tenant portal, select Action then select Launch VM Remote Console

Accessing VMRC via the API

Docs on accessing vmrc via the api

VMWare Horizon

  • A tool to create a virtual desktop infrastructure and uses the vSphere for hosting virtual desktops
  • All data lives in the data center, not on the endpoint, there are significant security benefits of VDI
  • Easier to scale