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VMware Targets Windows and Chromebook Users with Desktop as a Service

Looking to replace your traditional Windows desktop infrastructure with virtual desktops but don't want to put in the back-end infrastructure? VMware today is launching a new desktop as a service (DaaS) that will extend its Horizon View VDI to organizations that don't want to install hardware and software to support thin-client implementations.

The new VMware Horizon DaaS is an alternative back-end infrastructure required for VDI with the company's new vCloud Hybrid Service, its public IaaS launched last year. Customers adding the new Horizon DaaS can interconnect it with the on-premise Horizon View infrastructure, though it's not required. VMware gained entry to the DaaS market last year with its acquisition of Desktone.

For those looking to replace Windows XP desktops or looking at deploying a VDI-like solution, VMware sees Horizon View as an affordable alternative. The monthly per-user cost starts at $35 with 30 GB of storage. Enterprises unable or unwilling to invest in the infrastructure and personnel to manage a VDI deployment will find the service appealing, says Dave Grant, senior director of product marketing and product management for DaaS at VMware. "It reduces some of the barriers we've heard around desktop virtualization," Grant said.

The $35 price for Horizon DaaS is the same cost of Amazon Web Services' similar Amazon WorkSpaces offering, which was launched last year at its annual customer and partner conference. Grant acknowledged its new service will compete against Amazon WorkSpaces but argued Horizon DaaS on premise is a broader offering since it will work with organizations that also have VMware View on premise and want to augment it. "Some people might want to burst or want to use it for remote offices," he said.

Administrators can provision the new Horizon DaaS offering with full Windows clients Windows 7 and Windows 8), iPads, Android-based devices and Chromebooks. VMware now has a stake in the success of Chromebooks. The company last month announced a partnership with Google to offer the Horizon View VDI solution on Chromebooks.

Grant told me the company is seeing increased demand for Chromebooks by enterprises. "For our clients that want to adopt the Chromebook,  they still need to leverage Windows applications in their organization and they use Horizon DaaS to pipe in and stream those Windows applications onto the Chromebook," Grant said.

Customer accounts are in a multitenant environment ensuring security, he added. "Every tenant has its own resources for compliance and security," he said. "That's extremely important as you get into the enterprise."

Those using full Windows desktops can migrate their licenses to Horizon DaaS and but don't need to deploy Windows Server.

DaaS proponents argue it is an appealing option for shops migrating from Windows XP, which Microsoft will stop supporting next month. According to a survey of Redmond magazine readers about their Windows XP migration plans, 9 percent are considering some form of VDI. Are you considering DaaS in your organization?


Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 03/10/2014 at 11:19 AM


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