VMware introduces industry’s most comprehensive virtual desktop and application portfolio
Today at VMworld 2014 Europe, VMware announced new products, program and service that add to the growing list of innovative solutions for end-user computing. Among them is VMware Horizon FLEX that will enable enterprises to centrally provision, manage and secure virtual desktops and applications running locally on Macs and PCs, using policy-based controls to more securely embrace bring your own (BYO) policies.
In addition, a new cloud service for desktop disaster recovery will allow organisations to protect their business and enhance workforce continuity, expansion of cloud hosted services in Europe will open opportunities for customers, and a new storage program will help customers quickly predict and control virtual desktop deployment costs at scale.
“We continue to dramatically accelerate the pace of innovation with new end-user computing and mobility solutions that will help VMware customers address the needs of their workforce,” said Sanjay Poonen, executive vice president and general manager, End-User Computing, VMware. “Building on the strong launch momentum for VMware Workspace Suite and new innovations in the AirWatch Enterprise Mobility Management platform, VMware Horizon FLEX joins a growing line-up of VMware End-User Computing products that transform legacy systems into a modern workspace that solves modern day challenges.”
VMware Horizon FLEX: Local virtual desktops for Macs and PCs with enterprise security
According to a recent June 2014 survey by Dimensional Research commissioned by VMware, 73 percent of IT administrators reported that user preference is forcing organisations to officially or unofficially support Macs[i]. In addition, many companies use contract workers for temporary assignments, making it difficult for IT to deploy, secure and control corporate desktops, applications and data.
VMware Horizon FLEX will be a comprehensive enterprise solution that will enable organisations to provision and manage local, corporate Windows-based virtual desktops to groups of employees that were previously difficult or costly to support. IT will be able to give Mac users, contractors and remote workers access to a secure corporate desktop in a cost effective package without sacrificing security or corporate compliance. This will allow IT to save on training and support costs, while end-users can quickly become productive on a Mac or PC while disconnected from the network.
VMware Horizon FLEX will provide:
- Flexible deployment options – Standardised virtual desktops for PC and Mac end-users can be provisioned for customers, contractors or remote employees through the corporate network or locally on a USB drive.
- Centralised control – Centralised policy-based management creates a more secure virtual desktop environment that assists with securing data, configurations and virtual disks. Device control can allow or deny use of peripheral devices, expiration control enables IT to set a timeframe for virtual desktops to expire and remote kill can disable virtual desktops remotely in case of theft, termination or lack of corporate compliance.
- Unified image management – Virtual desktops can be managed as a set of logical layers owned by IT or the end-user. Dynamic layer for desktop and application management using VMware Mirage technology enables IT managed layers to be updated while maintaining end-user files and personalisation.
- IT cost reductions – Enable Bring Your Own PC (BYOPC) and support Macs in the enterprise without having to support the system itself. This can reduce training needs by allowing employees to use their system of choice, expedite new employee on boarding, and eliminate the cost of sending a physical laptop.
- Interoperability with AirWatch – Utilise AirWatch OS X management to provision and manage Mac OS X devices including the configuration of VMware Fusion and the installation of desktop and application containers.
With the addition of VMware Horizon FLEX to the VMware end-user computing portfolio, customers will be able to choose between three different virtual desktop and application options from a single vendor to match their specific needs:
- VMware Horizon FLEX – A local solution with centralised controls that will enable the quick deployment of virtual Windows desktops to Mac and PC users so companies can embrace BYOPC policies without compromising security or control.
- VMware Horizon 6 – A data centre solution that delivers published applications and virtual desktops on a single integrated platform to empower IT with a streamlined approach for managing Windows applications and desktops.
- VMware Horizon Air – A cloud solution that will deliver cost-effective enterprise-class virtual desktops that gives customers the ability to blend public and private cloud desktops for a seamless end-user experience.
New solutions to support adoption and deployment of virtual desktops
VMware’s virtual desktop solutions are inspired by the mobile experience, built for the software defined data centre and can be delivered using any cloud. They will help eliminate the tradeoff between performance and costs, and solve specific challenges faced by customers using the speed and agility of the mobile-cloud. New product and program solutions designed to support the adoption and deployment of virtual desktops will include:
- VMware Horizon DaaS European expansion and rebranding – VMware Horizon DaaS has been rebranded to VMware Horizon Air. The complete line-up of end-user computing hosted cloud services that includes VMware Horizon Air Desktops, VMware Horizon Air Apps and VMware Horizon Air Desktop DR is scheduled to expand to new locations in France and Germany. As a result, global customers with employees in France, Germany and the UK will be able to take advantage of the agility and speed of VMware cloud services.
- VMware Horizon Air Desktop DR – An industry first, VMware Horizon Air Desktop DR is a new service that will enable organisations to easily protect their business and ensure workforce continuity with affordable cloud-hosted desktops and applications. In the event of a disaster, IT will be able to get users up and running quickly with the speed of the cloud without the complexity and cost of physical desktop disaster recovery solutions. End-users can be productive instantly, from any device, anywhere, with a secure workspace connected to their corporate resources.
- VMware App Volumes – The recently acquired CloudVolumes solution has been rebranded to VMware App Volumes and will offer new integration with VMware Horizon 6 and VMware Workspace Suite. The solution provides just-in time application delivery at scale to VMware and third-party virtualised desktops using on-demand layering technology that translates to superior performance at lower costs without compromising the end-user experience.
- VMware Horizon Fast Track 2.0 – This updated program helps customers accelerate the adoption and deployment of virtual desktops by offering access to validated partners, reference architectures and converged appliances for exceptional performance and predictable scale and cost. A new certified storage solutions offering is now available to give customers visibility into specific storage options and cost estimates for VDI, and the Validated Reference Architecture program has been updated for VMware Horizon 6. Depending on their needs, customers can now choose from three distinct Fast Track programs to assist with their deployment planning.
Turnkey appliances – Validated, converged and scalable appliances that help customers rapidly deploy virtual desktops.
Validated reference architectures – Implementation blueprints for storage, networking and servers to ensure interoperability with VMware Horizon 6.
Proven storage – Storage solutions certified to offer predictable performance for 1,000 and 2,000 seat VMware Horizon deployments to help customers avoid under- or over-provisioning storage capacity.
“We believe our employees prefer having a choice when selecting computing devices at our company. A solution that can help easily manage PCs, Macs and mobile systems, while maintaining compliance with corporate policies would be compelling,” said Suzan Pickett, manager, global infrastructure, Columbia Sportswear. “We need to open up the possibilities while maintaining the ability to centrally manage, secure, and administer all of our end-user systems and devices.”
Pricing and availability
VMware Horizon FLEX is expected to be available this quarter and will be licensed per device with prices starting at $250.
VMware Horizon Air Desktop DR is expected to be available this quarter and will be licensed per reserved desktop with prices starting at $5 per desktop per month. All VMware Horizon Air service offerings are expected to be available in France and Germany in Q1 2015.
VMware App Volumes will be available this quarter and included free of charge with VMware Horizon Enterprise. Also available as a stand-alone solution, prices start at $150 per concurrent user.