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VMware Brings Windows Desktops and Apps to IBM Cloud

VMware is upgrading its Horizon virtual digital workspace portfolio to make desktop-as-service (DaaS) more viable over low-bandwidth networks and for those requiring high performance. The company said it is implementing new protocols and deployment options including several different hyperconverged appliances and support for IBM's SoftLayer Cloud.

The company announced three new additions to its end user computing set of offerings: the new Horizon Cloud Service, Horizon Apps, and Horizon 7.1 desktop and apps delivery platform.  The new offerings take advantage of new protocols VMware has acquired and optimized to boost performance, making it more suitable for various virtual client and app environments, including Microsoft's Skype for Business. These improvements to Horizon are currently rolling out at the technology preview stage, according to VMware.

VMware has extended it Blast virtual client protocol, which it introduced last year, with technology designed to improve latency by offering improved adaptive bit rates, reducing packet loss and providing better forward error correction. The company claims its new Blast Extreme Adaptive Transport (BEAT) offers 6x faster transfers over intercontinental networks and 4x when the connection is cross-continental, while reducing bandwidth by 50 percent. These findings are based on the company's testing but officials say it's suited for use on public Wi-Fi networks. "It really opens up a lot of use cases, where now we can really deliver that great user experience," said Sheldon D'Paiva, a director of product marketing at VMware.

The company is also offering new integrated management controls. The new Just-in Time Management Platform (JMP), which the company said provides an integrated approach to managing virtual desktops and apps, enables real-time video delivery, contextual policy management and improved configuration and provisioning.  The initial JMP release will allow customers to take advantage of VMware's Instant Clones, previously only available for virtual desktops, and supporting it for published apps as well as for cloud deployment.

"We feel bringing these best of breed technologies together allows customers to  dynamically scale desktops and apps on demand both on premises and in the cloud to best meet their use case," said Courtney Burry, VMware's senior director of end user computing. "The benefit of what this provides to customers when you combine all of these things together is that they get the ability to pool their infrastructure on the back end to drive down costs. They can destroy and create sessions on demand for improved security. And users get a better, more personalized experience every time they log in."

Robert Young, research director for IDC's IT service and client virtualization software practice, said the addition of the Just in Time management tools should be welcome by customers and prospects who want common controls across DaaS, on-premises and hybrid virtual client offerings. "If you're going to take advantage of Horizon and want to use Horizon Cloud on prem or in the public cloud, or a mixture of both, how you can utilize that common set of management tools to do that," Young said. "That's important because a lot of large companies don't want to go in on DaaS. They want to do some DaaS, still some on-prem. The ability to have those management tools function across those different environments is an interesting innovation from VMware in that respect. "

JMP will be offered with the new Horizon App Volumes advanced edition, which offers the RDSH app, session-based desktops and includes the User Environment Manager, VMware vSphere and VMware vCenter. It's priced at $200 per named user and $325 per concurrent user. A standard edition that doesn't include the JMP technology is priced at $125 per named user and $200 per concurrent user.

The new Horizon Cloud Service will let organizations deploy virtual Windows desktops and apps using a VMware-managed service hosted on the IBM SoftLayer public cloud. VMware teamed up with IBM last summer to announce at its annual VMworld conference that it would offer services managed on Big Blue's SoftLayer cloud. Horizon Cloud supports 3G graphics with devices that have Nvidia GRID virtual GPUs. In addition to using the public IBM SoftLayer cloud, the new Horizon Cloud service allows organizations to provision their own hyperconverged appliances. The company is supporting systems from its parent company, Dell EMC, as well as Quanta and Hitachi Data Systems

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 02/08/2017 at 9:00 AM


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