VMware Blast Extreme

VMware Blast Extreme is a remote display protocol designed to deliver graphics-intensive virtual workloads using the H.264 advanced video compression standard.

Devices can decode the H.264 video codec using the graphics processing unit (GPU), rather than CPU, which reduces latency and improves bandwidth. Taking the strain off the CPU also makes Blast Extreme a good fit for mobile devices, because GPU decoding is not as much of a drain on battery life. Blast Extreme supports NVIDIA GRID virtualized GPUs, which help deliver graphics-intensive applications to users' devices.

VMware Blast Extreme works over either a LAN or a WAN. It includes Blast Smart Policies, which VDI shops can use to change settings, such as turning USB redirection on or off, for a user or group of users. Administrators can also make changes to bandwidth and frame rate settings and prevent users from copying and pasting information between clients and virtual desktops.

To allow applications to transfer data to the network, Blast Extreme's default transport protocol is the Transmission Control Protocol, but it can also use the User Datagram Protocol. Blast Extreme shrinks files so they take up less disk space and bandwidth; the default data compression is lossy, but administrators can set it to use lossless compression as well.   

From a security standpoint, VMware Blast Extreme uses the Advanced Encryption Standard and follows the Federal Information Processing Standards.

To use Blast Extreme, endpoint devices must have the most up-to-date Horizon View agents. Administrators may either configure devices to work with Blast Extreme or give users the power to do so themselves.

More than 70 thin clients from vendors such as IGEL, Dell and HP Inc. are certified to work with Blast Extreme.

VMware released Blast Extreme with Horizon 7 in March 2016. Other remote display protocols include PC over IP, Microsoft's Remote Display Protocol and Citrix HDX.

This was last updated in December 2016

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