VMware Horizon Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business – Optimized and fallback mode

VMware Horizon Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business?

As many customers are using Skype for Business as part of their Office365 subscriptions, they are looking to get a rich user experience and at the same time minimize the number of resources that audio or video calling consumes in their VDI or RDSH environments. The answer for this is the VMware Horizon Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business.

The VMware Horizon Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business allows Horizon customers to deliver a great user experience in a virtual desktop session by making usage of a media engine. With this media engine, we have the ability to offload the media stream to the endpoint of the end-user.

The picture below shows the stream within a non-optimized audio/video stream and one while the VMware Horizon Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business optimizes the stream allowing communication directly between endpoints.

                   Non-Optimized Mode                                                                                         Optimized Mode

Skype for business virtualization pack basic requirements:

  • During the VMware Horizon Agent setup in the VDI or RDS host (starting with version 7.2), select the VMware Horizon Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business feature
  • Make sure you have Skype for business installed (do not use the Basic client!)
  • Install the Horizon Client on the endpoint. The VMware Horizon Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business is installed by default if installing any client newer than 4.6 for Windows and 4.7 for macOS users.

Checking the virtualization pack status:

When logging in to the virtual desktop session, check the engine status in the notification.

The most common cause for the fallback mode is a version mismatch between the Horizon Client on the endpoint and the Horizon Agent in the VDI or RDS host.

Compatibility of Horizon Virtualization Pack for SFB Components :

Horizon Client Version Horizon Agent Version Virtualization Pack for SFB
4.8 or later 7.5 or later Optimized
4.8 or later 7.4 or earlier Fallback (SFB calls will not be optimized)
4.7 or earlier 7.5 or later Fallback (SFB calls will not be optimized)
4.7 or earlier 7.4 or earlier Optimized (but not the latest functionality)
4.6 or later 7.3 or later Optimized (but not the latest functionality)

All Credits to VMware *


VMware Horizon View Components

VMware Horizon View VDI solutions delivers the desktop services for end users.

The basic components Horizon View described below.


The first requirement for deploying virtual desktops with VMware View is a hypervisor that can host the desktops. View allows you to use ESX or ESXi servers, which are typically connected to a storage area network, which is where the virtual machines (VMs) actually reside.

vCenter server

vCenter Server allows IT administrators to deploy , manage , Monitor and secure a virtual infrastructure in a centralized fashion.

View connection server

The Horizon view connection server also referred as Connection Broker or View Manager.

Its central component of the view infrastructure.

Primary role to connect a user to their virtual desktop by performing the authentication and then delivering the appropriate desktop resources based on the user’s profile and entitlement.

View Security Server

The Horizon view security server is another instance of connection server.

Security server will be placed in DMZ network to allow the users to access their Virtual desktops securely from external network or from the Internet.

You cannot install the view Security server on the same machine that is already running view connection server or any other horizon view components.

View Replica Server

The Horizon view replica server is copy of view connection server that is used to enable HA to the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.

If your View connection server fails at any point , Replica server will take place to authenticate the users

You cannot install the view replica server on the same machine that is already running view connection server or any other horizon view components.

View Composer

View Composer is the server responsible for Cloning the parent image and customize the cloned images

Linked clone technology behind the View Composer server

The idea of linked clones is that it’s possible to create a master virtual desktop image and then create a series of logical clones of that image

Cloned machines are links to the master image, and it help to save storage space in much the same way that de-duplication does.

View Persona Management 

View Persona Management preserves user profiles and dynamically synchronizes them with a remote profile repository. Persona Management downloads only the files that Windows requires at login, such as user registry files. When the user or application opens other files from the desktop profile folder, these files are copied from the stored user persona to the View desktop.

VMware ThinApp

ThinApp is application virtualization solution from VMware. It is an optional component in VMware VDI infrastructure.  ThinApp is able to execute applications without them being installed in the traditional sense by virtualizing resources such as environment variables, files and Windows Registry keys

View Agent 

View Agent will be installed on all guest virtual machines, physical systems, or terminal servers in order to allow them to be managed by View manager .

Also deliver as a desktop as part of VMware VDI solution. The agent provides features such as connection monitoring, Virtual Printing, USB support, and single sign-on.

VMware View Client

The client which is installed on end users desktops or laptops. View client communicates with View Connection Server to allow users to connect to their desktops.The View Client can be installed on Windows, Max OSX, Linux open client and thin clients..

App Volume Manager

Management & configuration console where the app volumes agent breaks the application assignments & writable volumes.

App Volume Agent

This agent provides the file system and registry abstraction layer and its installed on virtual desktop machines.

This agent also virtualizes the file system writes, If you have deployed a writable volume to the user.

AppStack Volume

The read only volume that contains the applications and one user can be assigned more then one appstack.

A appstack can contain more then one application.

Writable Volume

Writable volume will be assigned for read & write operations and saving the changes what users make

Each user will have their own Writable Volumes

Depends of the infrastructure writable volume will be assigned

Continue reading