After announcing Horizon 6 back in April, VMware (VMW) officially has made its latest on-premise virtualized and remote desktop solution for enterprise available to the general public. With Horizon 6, VMware is promising users the ability to deliver RDS hosted applications, including packaged ThinApp, software-as-a-service (SaaS) apps and Citrix XenApp applications, all of which can be accessed by users through a unified workspace.
“This is a big deal for customers looking for a cost-effective alternative to supporting end users who may just need access to a few applications across mobile devices or remote locations,” said Courtney Burry, director of Product Marketing, End-User Computing at VMware, in a recent blog post. “But this release is not just about apps and making end user access a whole lot easier, it’s also about ensuring that IT organizations everywhere can streamline and automate desktop and application management and ultimately drive down costs.”
VMware has included Mirage, the company’s unified image management for physical and virtual desktops with Horizon 6, giving users the ability to take a layered approach to image management and ensure switch updates and management for their physical, virtual and BYO PCs, according to Burry. Additionally, the solution’s vCenter Orchestrator plug-in works with vCloud Automation Center to help IT admins approve and provide self-service to end user requests for applications and desktops, including the ability to refresh and recycle desktops.
Burry said the vCenter Operations Manager for Horizon also will support monitoring on both desktops and hosted RDS sessions and applications, essentially allowing organizations to monitor all of their Horizon components, including desktops and apps, the network, a user’s virtualized stack and host and application servers. What’s more, VMware’s new Cloud Pod Architecture will help Horizon 6 users to scale the solution across multiple data centers and sites, giving them immediate access to a new desktop in case one of their virtual locations goes offline.
Horizon 6 customers can leverage vCenter and vSphere to manage and set up pools of users and deliver 3D graphics, Burry noted. Horizon 6 users can even optimize their virtual desktops for VMware Virtual SAN, with all three solutions coming bundled with the new solution.
“We are excited about Horizon 6,” said Burry. “In fact this is—by far—the biggest release the desktop team at VMware has pulled together to date.”
By releasing Horizon 6 as a complimentary solution to the company’s existing product portfolio, VMware is looking to give users a comprehensive way of managing and modifying their virtual desktop infrastructures and lower the total cost of ownership.