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VMware Broadens Its Hybrid-Cloud Virtual Desktop Horizons

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VMware today announced Horizon 7 and Horizon Air hybrid mode, a combo that the company claims can help enterprises deliver responsive virtual desktop and application experiences while exploiting the cost-savings benefits of the cloud.

Horizon 7 includes VMware’s Instant Clone Technology, formerly Project Fargo, enabling businesses to take a just-in-time approach to provisioning virtual desktops. According to the company, organizations can deploy up to 2,000 in 20 minutes.

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“Now, a booted-up parent VM [virtual machine] can be ‘hot-cloned’ to produce derivative desktop VM’s rapidly, leveraging the same disk and memory of the parent, with the clone starting in an already ‘booted-up’ state,” blogged Tony Paikeday, senior product line manager at VMware End-User Computing, today. “This process bypasses the cycle time incurred with traditional cloning where several power cycle and reconfiguration calls are usually made.”

To improve the user experience, VMware has also included its Blast Extreme technology, a low-latency display protocol designed for mobile cloud networks. “Blast Extreme is network-friendly, leverages both TCP and UDP transports, powered by H.264 to get the best performance across more devices, and reduces CPU consumption resulting in less device power consumed for longer battery life,” Paikeday added.

Also announced on Feb. 9 is Horizon Air with Hybrid-Mode, formerly codenamed Project Enzo, a desktop and application virtualization management and orchestration tool for hybrid cloud environments that is compatible with Horizon 7.

“Horizon Air Hybrid-Mode joins the growing family of Horizon Air cloud services from VMware and is designed to combine the economic benefits of cloud-based VMware virtual desktops and application technology, with the simplicity of hyper-converged infrastructure. Purpose-built to support hybrid cloud deployments with a fully multi-tenant,” explained Josue Fontanez, senior product line marketing manager for VMware Horizon Air, in a separate blog post.

Horizon Air with Hybrid-Mode consists of a cloud control plane hosted on hosted on VMware’s vCloud Air service that provides IT administrators with control over their virtual desktops running on appliances located on-premises. Joining the control plain is the company’s Horizon Node technology, which resides “on hyper-converged infrastructure and connect to the Cloud Control Plane and will provide intelligent orchestration, delivery and management of workloads,” said Fontanez.

VMware Horizon 7 will be available in Q1 2016 with prices starting at $250 per user for an on-premises license. VMware Horizon Air Hybrid-mode cloud plans, also available this quarter, costs $16 per user per month for named users, to start, and $26 per user per month for concurrent connections.

Finally, the company also announced Workspace ONE, an application delivery platform that integrates mobile device and user identity management.

Workspace ONE enables enterprises to offer self-service access to Windows, Cloud and Mobile apps on bring-your-own-devices. It offers secure email, chat, calendar, contacts and content sharing applications, along with integrations with popular collaboration apps like Evernote.

Workspace ONE will be available sometime in the current quarter with cloud subscription prices starting at $8 per user per month.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

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