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)

  • Data

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

Webex 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 on VDI

The Webex VDI thin client is software that adds support for audio and video calls. The data doesn’t go through the hosted virtual desktop, thus eliminating the hairpin effect.

With supported versions of Webex for Windows, users can use the built-in messaging, meetings, and Teams calling functionality on their thin client. Additionally, users can use supported calling features through your calling environment (either a Calling in Webex (Unified CM) or Webex Calling deployment). The VDI solution optimizes media streams: audio and video streams are sent directly between the thin clients without going through the HVD.

Download

You can find the Webex for Windows VDI software downloads from https://www.webex.com/downloads/teams-vdi.html.

Administrators

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

Webex supports the following VDI infrastructure. (See the documentation for these VDI solutions for more information.)

Connection Broker for the Hosted Virtual Desktop (HVD)

  • Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops

  • VMware Horizon

  • Citrix Cloud HVD

  • Windows Virtual Desktop (Deployed on Microsoft Azure)

  • VMware Cloud HVD

Thin Client Operating System

  • Windows 8, 10

  • HP ThinPro 7.1

  • Ubuntu 16.04, 18.04, 20.04

  • Unicon eLux 6.9

  • IGEL OS 11.04

  • Dell Wyse ThinOS 9.1

Other Supported Features

  • Multiple Monitor Support

  • Fallback Mode of VDI

  • Virtual Desktop Multiple Monitor Support

  • MRA Support

  • Hardware acceleration and background noise reduction for windows OS thin-client

Webex for Windows and Linux VDI supports most of the Webex for Windows features, unless otherwise noted.

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

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

  • Enable/Disable Virtual Backgrounds in Optimized VDI Mode

  • 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

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

  • ICE support for media optimization (Linux thin client)

  • Music Mode (Linux thin client)

Features

  • Disable HD video by default for VDI deployments—For VDI deployments, you may want to disable HD video if a computer CPU is running high or you want to save network bandwidth during a call or meeting.

  • Mirror self-video for calls and meetings—During a video call, you can choose whether to mirror your video. Your video will appear just like you're looking in a mirror. If you're sharing something with text, however, the text will be hard for others to read because it will appear backwards. You may want to disable the mirror option in that case.

  • Fallback mode—Users may be in a Citrix environment and not have the thin client installed or the virtual channel is disconnected. We support this scenario with fallback to a non-virtual Webex installation. In this mode, the app shows a warning that the quality of video may be affected. Once the virtual channel is connected, the app can change to VDI mode.

  • Mobile and Remote Access (MRA)—The Mobile and Remote Access solution (MRA) provides a consistent experience inside and outside the enterprise. MRA provides a secure connection for Webex application traffic without having to connect to the corporate network over a VPN.

  • System tray icon for VDI client—The VDI client includes a system tray icon that shows the HVD connection status.

    The user can send logs from this icon screen.

  • Intel hardware acceleration for Windows thin client

  • VMware shared session application support for Windows thin client

  • Citrix XenApp publish application mode for Windows thin client

Added VDI Support

  • Citrix Remote PC

  • Dell Wyse ThinOS 9.1

  • Windows Virtual Desktop (deployed on Microsoft Azure) for Windows thin client

  • iGelOS 11.04.100

  • Ubuntu 18.04

  • Ubuntu 20.04

  • Windows server 2019

  • Unicon eLux 6.9

Limitations

  • Proximity Pair

  • On-premises or Cloud devices

  • Automatic Call Recording through Built-in-Bridge (BiB)

  • Annotate

  • Screen share with audio

  • Application Share

  • Customized virtual background images

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

  • Hardware acceleration (Linux)