VMware Extends Cloud Desktop Horizon

Horizon 6 launch takes direct aim at Citrix by enabling enterprises with new virtual desktop capabilities.

VMware is aiming to grow its virtualization business with the release of the Horizon 6 suite of applications that enables Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) as well as Remote Desktop Services (RDS) delivery.

The Horizon 6 release is the latest evolution of VMware VDI efforts and integrates a number of prior VMware efforts together. VMware first introduced Horizon as an application manager gateway back in 2011.

Rob Baesman, senior director of product management for enterprise desktops, End-User Computing at VMware, explained to Datamation that the application manager functionality has evolved since 2011 and is now know as the workspace functionality within Horizon 6.

Baesman explained that the Horizon workspace provides users and administrators with a single point of access to a unified virtual workspace. Those applications can include SaaS, VDI or RDS applications. VMware's VDI solution is called Horizon View and Baesman said that the new version included in Horizon 6 is an incremental update.

A major new addition in Horizon 6 is the inclusion of Airwatch technology, which VMware acquired in a $1.5 billion acquisition earlier this year.

"Airwatch has its own file content sharing technology," Baesman said. "As the entirely of Horizon 6 becomes generally available, you'll see the legacy file sharing technology in Horizon transition to the Airwatch technology."

Other additional new features in Horizon 6 include a cloud pod architecture that enables enterprises to support multiple data centers. Pods can be deployed to enable a highly-available Horizon infrastructure for virtual desktops. VMware's virtual SAN (vSAN) is also getting integrated into the Horizon View VDI solution to enable distributed virtual storage.

VMware is also further integrating Horizon with the vCenter operations, enabling administrators to get more insight into virtual guest operations and applications. VMware is now bundling the Horizon suite together with the vSphere hypervisor solution as well as the vCenter management suite.

Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) is also making its way into Horizon 6. VMware acquired DaaS vendor Desktone in October of 2013. Baesman said that VMware now offers a hybrid experience for desktop virtualization with the DaaS offering. Enterprise can choose to deploy Horizon in their own data center or they can choose to leverage the service based offering. There is also an option to load balance workloads across the on-premises version and the DaaS version of Horizon.

While some components and features of Horizon 6 are already available, the full General Availability for Horizon 6 technology is set for June.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Datamation and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist




Tags: cloud computing, VMware, VDI, Virtual Desktop Interface


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