Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

With VDI, instead of a traditional desktop, you have a thin client and a hosted virtual desktop.

A thin client is a typically less costly and less powerful device than a desktop computer. Your organization may even use older, less powerful PCs as thin clients. Your hosted virtual desktop resides in a central server location called a data center. Your hosted virtual desktop includes your

  • Microsoft Windows desktop

  • Applications (such as Webex App)

  • Data

Using your thin client, you access your hosted virtual desktop over a secure Citrix or VMware connection.

Webex App works with VDI. However, sending the additional data that audio and video calls require, through the hosted virtual desktops, causes communications delays. This limitation is called the "hairpin" effect.

Webex App on VDI

Without optimization, Webex App messaging works as-is in a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) environment. However, the full Webex App experience also includes calling and meetings, which require video and audio media processing.

Because of a limitation known as the hairpin effect, calling, meeting, and accompanying video capability are not supported without optimization. The additional bandwidth required for calls and video creates a bottleneck at the data center because the media flows from one user to the data center back to another user. As a result of this unoptimized media path and the lack of easy access to peripherals such as device speakers, microphone, and camera, the user experience is not ideal.

To fix the issue of the hairpin effect, the Webex App VDI plugin extends the Cisco collaboration experience to virtual deployments so that users can use the full messaging, meeting, and calling functionality that the Webex App provides.

To reduce latency and to enhance media quality, the VDI plugin optimizes the media workflows by streaming media directly between users on thin client endpoints and leverages the hardware of the thin client machines to handle media processing. This media path does not go through the hosted virtual desktops (HVDs). The result is a stable and full-featured calling and meeting experience for your VDI users.

In this architecture, the Webex App is installed on the HVD in your VDI environment and required VDI plugins are installed on the user's thin client (typically a lightweight system, like a repurposed laptop or desktop).

Using a supported Linux or Windows-based thin client, users access the Webex App on the HVD from a remote virtual desktop environment. With supported versions of Webex App, users can use all of the built-in messaging, meetings, and calling on Webex App functionality on their thin client. Additionally, you can integrate Webex App VDI with a Unified CM or Webex Calling environment, so that users can use supported call features. You can also deploy the full featured meetings experience by installing the Webex App Meetings VDI plugin.

Download

You can find the Webex App for Windows VDI software downloads from https://www.webex.com/downloads/teams-vdi.html. The HVD installer (Webex app) and thin client build (Webex VDI plugin) are released every two months.

Administrators

Administrators can refer to the Deployment Guide for Cisco Webex App for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) for more information about what features are supported, how to prepare your environment, and how to deploy the Webex App VDI solution.

We support the Webex App on popular VDI infrastructure. When new platforms are added for a specific release, they are included in the notes under the Release tab for that specific release. You can find the complete list of platforms in the deployment guide, as linked below.

Connection Broker for the Hosted Virtual Desktop (HVD)

Thin Client Operating System

Feature Highlights


For new features for each release, see the Releases tab for more information.


If you're using Webex App VDI in fallback mode or standalone mode, some peripheral devices may not work. Because the device mapping is handled by Citrix or VMware, you must contact them for further troubleshooting.

Webex App VDI fallback mode offers short-term support for basic audio and video calls when VDI can't establish the virtual channel. Fallback mode supports standard calls and call recording. The full feature set isn't supported. Call quality is lower because of the server or network issues that cause the switch to fallback mode.

Webex App VDI supports backward compatibility: the latest Webex App VDI release supports the latest Webex App VDI plugin as well as three previous plugin releases (N-3).


While backwards compatibility is supported, we recommend that you and your users download the latest HVD installer and VDI thin client plugins from https://www.webex.com/downloads/teams-vdi.html whenever possible.

Webex App version for VDI (installed on HVD)

Compatible VDI plugin versions (installed on user thin clients)

41.10.0.20213

41.10.0.20213

41.8.0.19732*

41.6.1.19187, 41.6.0.19119*

41.4.0.18516*

41.8.0.19732

41.8.0.19732

41.6.1.19187, 41.6.0.19119*

41.4.0.18516*

41.1.0.17621*

41.6.1.19162

41.6.1.19187, 41.6.0.19119

41.4.0.18516*

41.1.0.17621*

3.0.16605.0*

41.4.0.18516

41.4.0.18516

41.1.0.17621*

3.0.16605.0*

3.0.15711.0*

41.1.0.17621

41.1.0.17621

3.0.16605.0*

3.0.15711.0*

* Indicates backward compatibility mode.

Features in Backward Compatibility Mode

When a release of Webex App is working with an earlier VDI plugin, the solution is running in backward compatibility mode. In this mode, Webex App for VDI supports all messaging features but only basic calling features. In this mode, Webex App VDI also cannot ensure the video quality because some advanced features are still under continuous development and improvement. See the following list of supported features for backward compatibility mode:

  • Phone service registration (on-premises)

  • Phone service registration (MRA)

  • Call forwarding

  • Deskphone Control (On-premises)

  • Audio and video calls

  • Hold

  • Transfer

  • Mute/Unmute audio

  • Mute/Unmute video

  • Desktop sharing

  • Device selection

  • Device volume control

  • In-call device switching

The Webex App for VDI environments supports most of the Webex App for Windows features, unless otherwise noted.


The Webex App for VDI environments follows a bi-monthly release schedule, whereas the standalone Webex App for Windows is released monthly. Because of this difference in release schedule, the VDI version of the app does not include features that are released for the standalone version in the odd month. When the VDI version is released in the even month, it catches up on any missed features from the previous month.

Due to a mandatory update to our services, you won't be able to sign in using the following versions of Webex App (installed on the Windows-based HVD) from the following date:

  • July 31, 2021 for all versions up to (but not including) 41.1.0.17740

You must uninstall the app manually in the Windows Control Panel and optionally you can clear the cache. Download the latest Webex App HVD installer from https://www.webex.com/downloads/teams-vdi.html and install the MSI using the steps in Configure Hosted Virtual Desktop in Webex.

See the following sections for each release for a list of new features specific to VDI and limitations for that specific release.

Features

For newly supported features, see the October 2021 release information in What's New for Webex.

Added VDI Support

  • MacOS VDI plugin

  • XenApp and XenDesktop (7.15 LTSR up to Cu8)

  • Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops 7 CR 2109

Limitations

  • 911 Wireless Location Reporting (CER) (Linux thin client is not supported)

  • Automatically Optimize Shared Content (Linux thin client is not supported)

  • Background noise reduction (Linux thin client is not supported)

  • Blur and virtual background (Linux thin client is not supported)

  • Citrix app protection mode

  • FIPS certification (Dell ThinOS and IGEL OS are not supported)

  • ICE support for media optimization (Linux thin client is not supported)

  • Music Mode (Linux thin client is not supported)

  • Proximity Pair

  • Remote Desktop Control over direct 1:1 call

  • Ringer/Alerts volume control in Audio Settings Page (only works on Windows plugin with Citrix)

  • Scrollbar is not supported (even it is visible) while sharing contents are zoomed in.

Features

For newly supported features, see the August 2021 release information in What's New for Webex.

Added VDI Support

  • Citrix Virtual Apps an Desktop CR version 7 2106

  • eLux RP6 2104 LTSR

  • VMware Horizon 8 2106

Limitations

  • 911 Wireless Location Reporting (CER) (Linux thin client is not supported)

  • Automatically Optimize Shared Content (Linux thin client is not supported)

  • Background noise reduction (Linux thin client is not supported)

  • Blur and virtual background (Linux thin client is not supported)

  • Citrix app protection mode

  • FIPS certification (Dell ThinOS and IGEL OS are not supported)

  • ICE support for media optimization (Linux thin client is not supported)

  • Music Mode (Linux thin client is not supported)

  • Proximity Pair

  • Remote Desktop Control over direct 1:1 call

  • Ringer/Alerts volume control in Audio Settings Page (only works on Windows plugin with Citrix)

  • Scrollbar is not supported (even it is visible) while sharing contents are zoomed in.

  • Silent Monitoring (Contact Center)

  • Whisper Announcement (Contact Center)

HVD version: 41.6.1.19162

Thin client version: 41.6.1.19187


Before this release, the Webex App app for VDI released every three months. From this release onward, the release frequency will change to every two months. We will also support the latest release and the previous three releases (N-3)—see the Version Support section for more information.


This release is rebranded for the New Webex Suite. For more information, see the New Webex Suite and Branding announcement.

Features

Calling:

  • Blur and virtual backgrounds (Windows)—Blurring your background makes your surroundings appear out of focus so people can't see what's going on behind you. Or maybe you just want to make it look like you're on a beach soaking up the sun. You can replace your surroundings with one of the preset backgrounds or an image of your own.

  • Call recording—Your administrator determines how much control you have over recording your calls. Depending on your setup, your incoming and outgoing calls may be recorded automatically or you may be able to decide which calls you want to record. When a call is being recorded, that recording continues whether you move the call to another device, merge the call with another active call, or make a conference call. You're presented with a visual indicator letting you know when a call is being recorded.

  • Move a call into a meeting—When you're in a call with someone who's internal or external to your organization, you can take advantage of advanced meetings features such as transcriptions, real-time translations, notes, action items, recordings, and whiteboarding. Just move that call into a full-featured meeting. Before moving the call into a meeting, you can even invite other people into the discussion.

  • Troubleshooting just got easier—You can now access detailed diagnostic information such as memory and CPU usage, configuration information about meetings, calling, and devices, as well as call statistics. You can share that information with your administrator so they can help resolve any issues you may be experiencing.

  • Preview of shared content—When you share content, you now see a preview of the content. You're able to make sure that you’re sharing only what you want and that everyone can see it. We also enhanced the Share content screen, making it easier for you to find the content that you want to share.

  • Shared content is automatically optimized (Windows)—We’ll automatically optimize your shared content for text, image, or video. Or you can choose to optimize for text and images or motion and video. It’s all up to you.

Added VDI Support

  • 10ZiG thin client

  • Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) certification

  • 32-bit Windows 10 thin clients (Citrix and VMWare)

Limitations

  • Automatically Optimize Shared Content (Linux thin client)

  • Background noise reduction (Linux thin client)

  • FIPS certification (Dell ThinOS and IGEL OS)

  • 911 Wireless Location Reporting (CER) (Linux thin client)

  • Blur and virtual background (Linux thin clients)

  • Citrix app protection mode

  • ICE support for media optimization (Linux thin client)

  • Music Mode (Linux thin client)

  • Proximity Pair

  • Ringer/Alerts volume control in Audio Settings Page (only works on Windows plugin with Citrix)

  • Scrollbar is not supported (even it is visible) while sharing contents are zoomed in.

  • Silent Monitoring (Contact Center)

Features

Built into Webex:

  • Annotate

  • Background noise reduction (Windows thin client)

  • Standard ringback tone for calls on Webex

Webex Calling and Unified CM:

  • Standard call progress tones

Unified CM:

  • 911 Wireless Location Reporting (CER) (Windows thin client)

  • Contact Center support (CTI-Servitude)

  • Zip Tone for Call Auto Answer

Added VDI Support

  • BroadWorks

  • Coexistence of Jabber Softphone for VDI and Webex for VDI

  • Notify users when VDI plugin is not installed or a version mismatch is detected

  • Registry Setting to Force Running in VDI Optimized Mode

  • VMWare Horizon client version 8.x (2103) is supported from the Webex VDI plugin version 41.4 onward.

Limitations

  • Automatically Optimize Shared Content (Linux thin client)

  • Background noise reduction (Linux thin client)

  • 911 Wireless Location Reporting (CER) (Linux thin client)

  • Blur and virtual background (Windows and Linux thin clients)

  • Citrix app protection mode

  • ICE support for media optimization (Linux thin client)

  • Music Mode (Linux thin client)

  • Proximity Pair

  • Ringer/Alerts volume control in Audio Settings Page (only works on Windows plugin with Citrix)

  • Scrollbar is not supported (even it is visible) while sharing contents are zoomed in.

  • Silent Monitoring (Contact Center)

Features


From this release onward, "Webex Teams" is rebranded to "Webex."

We now use the same version scheme as Webex Meetings. To avoid issues, please uninstall any previous 3.0.xxxxx.x Webex Teams Thin Client build and then install the latest 41.1.0.xxxxx Webex Thin Client build.

  • Built into Webex:

    • Call controls that are consistent with meetings

    • Music Mode (Windows thin client)

    • Progress indicator while upgrading Cisco Headset firmware

    • Test speaker and microphone

  • Webex Calling:

  • Unified CM:

    • Call Park/Retrieve

    • G.722.1 audio codec support

    • ICE support for media optimization (Windows thin client)

    • Indication in health check if MRA deployment is not available

    • Mobile and Remote Access support for Dual NIC

    • Mobile and Remote Access support for un-NATed

Added VDI Support

  • Mode Selection for Webex VDI Fallback

  • Single-session OS Support for VM Hosted Applications

  • VMware Cloud HVD Deployments

  • Virtual Channel Details in VDI Health Checker

  • Dell Wyse ThinOS 9.1

Limitations

  • Annotate

  • Blur and virtual background (Windows and Linux thin clients)

  • ICE support for media optimization (Linux thin client)

  • Music Mode (Linux thin client)

  • Proximity Pair

  • Ringer/Alerts volume control in Audio Settings Page (only works on Windows plugin with Citrix)

  • Scrollbar is not supported (even it is visible) while sharing contents are zoomed in.

  • Silent Monitoring (Contact Center)

Known defects, or bugs, have a severity level that indicates the priority of the defect. These release notes include the following bug types:

  • All severity level 1 or 2 bugs

  • Significant severity level 3 bugs

  • All customer-found bugs except severity level 6 enhancement requests

Severity Level

Description

1 Catastrophic

Reasonably common circumstances cause the entire system to fail, or a major subsystem to stop working, or other devices on the network to be disrupted. No workarounds exist.

2 Severe

Important functions are unusable and workarounds do not exist. Other functions and the rest of the network is operating normally.

3 Moderate

Failures occur in unusual circumstances, or minor features do not work at all, or other failures occur but low-impact workarounds exist.

This is the highest level for documentation bugs.

4 Minor

Failures occur under very unusual circumstances, but operation essentially recovers without intervention. Users do not need to install any workarounds and performance impact is tolerable.

5 Cosmetic

Defects do not cause any detrimental effect on system functionality.

6 Enhancement

Requests for new functionality or feature improvements.

To search for bugs not listed here, use the Bug Search Tool.

1

To access the Bug Search Tool, go to https://tools.cisco.com/bugsearch/search.

2

Sign in with your Cisco.com user ID and password.

3

To look for information about a specific problem, enter the bug ID number in the Search for field, then press Enter. Alternatively, you can search by product and release.

For more information, select Help at the top right of the Bug Search page.

Resolved Caveats

Resolved Caveats
Table 1. Resolved Caveats

Caveat ID Number

Severity

Description

CSCvz20960

3

no audible over Webex Teams softphone call

CSCvz20966

3

No Ringback on Webex Calls Over VDI

CSCvz73352

3

WebEx app starts with 360p resolution randomly

Resolved Caveats
Table 2. Resolved Caveats

Caveat ID Number

Severity

Description

CSCvx93541

3

Webex VDI 41.1.0.17621: No Audio (bi-directional) when call is placed or answered in VDI Client

CSCvz11836

3

webex VDI, phone services fail to reconnect when reconnecting to HVD through MRA

CSCvz11837

3

Outbound calling fails using Webex desktop application within end-user's Citrix

CSCvz11838

3

VDI - Webex app camera not working during locus calling

Resolved Caveats
Table 3. Resolved Caveats

Caveat ID Number

Severity

Description

CSCvz11839

3

On 32bit Windows, the 32bit ThinClient webex plugin