New Horizons: Runecast Analyzer v2.5


We are truly excited to bring you the latest version of Runecast Analyzer (v2.5). This major release brings game-changing support for VMware Horizon. We are opening new horizons to extend the power of proactive knowledge automation into the End User Computing (EUC) space!

 

Runecast Analyzer automates huge volumes of human-readable industry knowledge, placing it where it is relevant to you within your data center, and at your fingertips. Runecast harnesses all-important industry knowledge to identify risks and non-compliances; it shows you specifically where and how to prevent failures (like outages or breaches) before they happen. We’ve already pioneered and delivered proactive issue prevention across the VMware SDDC stack for Compute, Network, and Storage (vSphere, NSX-V, and vSAN), and made all that available for online and offline sites.

 

Our Customers, domain experts, and industry friends asked us to bring the power of Runecast’s knowledge automation technology to EUC - and that’s exactly what we’re providing in our latest offering...

Support for VMware Horizon

Horizon is VMware’s leading EUC product, providing virtualized or hosted desktops and applications delivered through a single platform to end users. The Horizon platform “provides IT with a streamlined approach to deliver and manage desktops and applications while containing costs and ensuring that end users can work anytime, anywhere, on any device”. It provides a stunning array of highly capable functionality and it leads innovation with advanced next-gen technologies like the Just-in-time Management Platform (JMP).

 

Horizon is a truly capable, though complex, product. VMware professionals know that delivering real-World EUC capability in the Enterprise can only be achieved with high-level technical expertise and with the application of current industry knowledge. Horizon systems depend on well-informed, strong designs and best practice implementation. Coming from the trenches of IT, we understand Horizon and know it is an intricate software platform, vulnerable to emerging bugs and risks (e.g. security exploits). Furthermore, Horizon is far from being a standalone product; it has critical dependencies that must be factored within the underlying VMware SDDC stack.

 

Runecast Analyzer radically empowers businesses to deliver and maintain VMware Horizon implementations that are truly resilient, secure, high performing, and continuously kept that way. Runecast Analyzer v2.5 brings automated industry knowledge to EUC, providing:

 

  • Identification of known VMware Horizon issues reported within the industry (such as outage and security threats) - from the 1000s of articles within the VMware Knowledge Base. The Analyzer shows if and where issues affect your specific implementation, and shows you how to resolve them.

  • Validation of your Horizon implementation (and therefore your design) against VMware recommended best practices. If best practices have been overlooked, it recommends why, how and where to improve.

  • Intelligent analysis of your Horizon components within the context of your underlying multi-product SDDC platform (vSphere and NSX-V / vSAN if implemented). Complex issues and misconfigurations are identified and exposed for affected components when related within your stack.

 

Let’s take a closer look:

Identify Industry-reported Horizon Issues

All Horizon environments are vulnerable to issues known and reported in the VMware Knowledge Base (or reported in other reputable industry sources). Extremely important industry knowledge is in a constant state of change and revision. If your environment is, or becomes, exposed to system risks (such as outages or breach threats) then Runecast Analyzer will identify, categorise, and list these risks for you. At a high-level you will be able to monitor and quantify how critical and pervasive your exposure is. The following chart shows the recent history of Horizon issues found in a particular SDDC:

 

 

At a more detailed level, Runecast Analyzer provides you with a table containing all industry-reported issues found within your SDDC. The following view is filtered to show the issues specifically related to Horizon:

 

 

So, now you know what issues you have, their criticality, and how pervasive they are. Let’s go a little deeper to proactively solve them! When selecting and drilling down into an issue you will be shown precisely where and how you are vulnerable:

 

 

… and for each specific issue, the Analyzer serves up the relevant industry documentation to your fingertips. The impact, symptoms, root-cause, and the resolution are provided giving you all the technical guidance needed to proactively remediate and protect your Horizon VDI platform.

Best Practices for Horizon

As well as continuously scanning your Horizon deployment for the latest bugs and vulnerabilities, Runecast Analyzer audits and verifies your deployment against VMware’s documented best practices. The following view has been filtered for Horizon, and shows you where your implementation (and maybe design) is (or isn’t!) adhering to highly important VMware recommendations:


 

 

When expanding particular best practice deviations from within the interface, you are advised how you can improve your Horizon deployment. The industry knowledge provided explains the justification for the best practice, the required actions to rectify, and the appropriate source reference(s):

 

 

Navigate Horizon objects within an SDDC inventory view

As well as viewing your Horizon issues in a list, you can also use the Runecast Analyzer to interactively navigate through the components in your EUC environment. This will allow you to see an object-centric view of your vulnerabilities and misconfigurations. Runecast Analyzer already offers the “Inventory View” including familiar SDDC objects such as hosts, VMs, NSX controllers, vSAN clusters, and datastores.

In v2.5, we now introduce full visibility for Horizon objects, so your Connection servers, farms, pools, etc. can all be found in the hierarchy:

 

 

Clicking on a specific object will show you all the problems relevant to it from the latest industry knowledge, and opportunities to improve it:

Horizon within the SDDC

Runecast fully appreciate that the modern data center is a complex, software-defined, and holistic system. Under the hood, our analysis engine provides intelligent scanning of your Horizon components within the context of your underlying multi-product SDDC platform (including vSphere, NSX-V, and vSAN if implemented).  We can access APIs throughout the stack, so we can inter-relate issues found in your Horizon deployment to your other SDDC objects.

 

This provides the unique and powerful capability to identify issues where they depend on multi-product configuration and in guiding the user to the root-cause and remediation path, if required, within other SDDC products. In the following example the user is shown that a VM template expected by Horizon actually doesn’t exists within the vCenter inventory:

 

 

Seen enough? Let’s get started

 

Setup and scan in no time

Here at Runecast, we like to keep things simple. Deploying and using Runecast Analyzer is a breeze - you can setup from scratch and start scanning your Horizon environment in literally minutes. After deploying the Runecast OVA, simply go to the settings page and enter your Connection server (or load balancer) details:

 

Runecast will confirm the connection is successful, and detect any vCenters related to your Connection server(s):

 

 

...Done!

 

Now you can analyze your VDI environment using the latest industry knowledge! Simply click “Analyze now” within the user interface. In no time, the relevant and current Horizon industry knowledge will be used to scan and validate your deployment, quantifying and identifying any risks from industry-reported issues and giving you the opportunity to improve the implementation according to best practices.

 

 

Now you have Runecast setup, you can bring the full power of knowledge automation across your whole SDDC. Your vSphere environment, and also vSAN / NSX-V can be fully scanned if you have them... This version brings optimizations and improvements across the board making the user experience even slicker.

 

This major new release opens new Horizons, bringing proactive knowledge automation into EUC. It continues to build and extend from the foundations of our proactive analytics platform to provide continuous protection and improvement for your whole software-defined data center estate. Runecast Analyzer v2.5 makes your environment rock-solid: truly resilient, secure, high performing, and continuously kept that way.

 

Why not give it a try in your own VMware SDDC?

Try Runecast v2.5 today!