VMware Horizon VDI Adding Support for Skype for Business

VMware announced that this week that it is collaborating with Microsoft to enable Skype for Business communications using VMware's Horizon virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solution.

In particular, the partnership centers on enabling Microsoft's Skype for Business on VMware's Horizon 7 solution. VMware is billing the combined technologies as an improved way of serving up Microsoft's unified communications solution. One of the main benefits of this approach is the use of peer-to-peer connections between the client devices for processing communications, which is designed to lessen the processing burdens on the remote server.

In addition, because it's a VDI arrangement, the deployment and management is centralized for organizations. VMware also is promising greater security for Skype for Business chats, ease of use for end users across multiple devices and lowered costs from the peer-to-peer processing approach.

Horizon is tapping a Skype for Business plug-in to enable the VDI scheme. It'll work with both Skype for Business Server and Skype for Business Online offered via Office 365 services, VMware indicated. The client support is enabled via Microsoft Media Manager APIs, and there will be support for Linux, Mac and Windows devices, according to VMware.

VMware expects to roll out a tech preview of the new Horizon plug-in for Skype for Business in the first quarter of 2017. It's possible to sign up for the preview at this page.

In other Microsoft-related news from VMworld 2016 Europe this week, VMware also announced that it is adding data loss prevention security for Office 365 applications on its Workspace One solution, along with enabling single sign-on access to Web and enterprise apps. The data loss prevention option will be arriving in Q4 2016, but the single sign-on capability is currently available.

There's also a new VMware Workspace One Essentials edition that provides user authentication support for bring-your-own-device scenarios, such as using unmanaged devices to access business resources. This Essentials edition adds single sign-on access support, as well as user self-service controls for accessing apps. The new VMware Workspace One Essentials solution will be arriving sometime in Q4 2016, priced at $4 per user per month.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.


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