Hey All,

Just wanted to provide an update on new features that were added to BIG-IP Access Manager (Formerly APM) 14.0 for VMware Horizon.

Listed below are the new features that were added into Access Manager for VMware Workspace ONE and VMware Horizon.

  • APM supports Blast Extreme protocol over TCP and UDP and also supports the Blast Extreme Adaptive Transport (BEAT) for Desktops and Applications.
     
  • APM supports access to VMware Horizon desktops and applications using VMware Workspace ONE as an IDP
    for more information on this check out the integration guide at
    https://f5.com/Portals/1/PDF/Partners/apm-proxy-with-workspace-one-integration-guide.pdf

What is the VMware Horizon Blast Extreme TCP/UDP with BEAT Feature?

Since the release of Blast Extreme in Horizon 7, F5 has supported the TCP functionality of the Blast code allowing for the VMware Horizon native client and HTML5 client's to connect to desktops and apps. BIG-IP (14.0) now supports the UDP and BEAT functionality of the Blast Extreme code. 

What is BEAT?

BEAT or Blast Extreme Adaptive Transport allows the switching between TCP and UDP of the Blast Extreme Transport based on the connected clients conditions.  For example, when a client is connected over a mobile network sometimes the connectivity is unstable (packet loss and/or high latency), with a typical TCP connection packet loss will retransmit the packet over and over again creating lag from a user's desktop or app perspective in Horizon.  BEAT was designed to adapt to these types of connections and will detect those packets being lost and adjust the protocol from the connected client from TCP to UDP to allow the dropped packets to be lost and continue moving forward allowing the user to have a more seamless desktop experience.  BEAT also has the ability to switch from UDP to TCP depending on the clients connectivity.

Is there an iAPP to Enable Blast UDP?

Currently there is not an iAPP for this functionality and the existing iAPP will only create the TCP functionality for the Blast Extreme Protocol.  F5 intends to release a build soon to resolve this issue, this article is being posted to help customers manually create the Virtual Server to allow for the Blast Extreme Functionality prior to the iAPP fix.

Here is the information needed to implement the Blast UDP functionality which will enable BEAT.
NOTE: This will need to be removed when the iAPP is upgraded later to allow for the feature/function

Create a VDI Profile

  1. Creating the VDI Profile for Blast Extreme  
  2. Navigate to Access --> Connectivity/VPN --> VDI/RDP --> VDI Profiles. 
  3. Create a new profile
  • Name it whatever you want
  • Change Parent Profile to “/Common/vdi”
  • In VMware View Settings change from PCoIP to Blast Extreme

 

Create a Virtual IP for the Blast Extreme UDP Port

  • Provide a Unique Name
  • Match the Destination Address with existing Horizon APM Deployment
  • Service Port: 8443
  • Source Address Translation: Automap
  • VDI Profile: Select previously created VDI Profile
  • Click Finished to Create the VIP

 

Validation/Testing

Once completed you can test the connection, I recommend using the VMware Horizon Performance Tracker as you can see the BEAT protocol in action changing from TCP to UDP.