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April 21, 2021
VMware is the latest to respond to the shift to flexible work environments with the launch of its Anywhere Workspace. Released Tuesday, it combines VMware’s Workspace One end-user computing (EUC), Carbon Black endpoint protection and the new VMware SASE.
VMware designed Anyplace Workspace to deliver secure and reliable access for organizations with newly distributed workforces. Like many IT providers, VMware has found that the shift to remote and hybrid work environments is here to stay.
A VMware study found that 61% of organizations surveyed see giving employees remote access is a necessity. And 90% of them said that employers must provide workers with reliable access from any device and every location. Shanker Iyer, VMware’s SVP and general manager of end-user computing, said in a media briefing last week that the company describes this as “multimodal work.”
VMware’s Shanker Iyer
“That means working across multiple devices, working across multiple ways to access the applications they need, will have differing requirements,” Iyer said.
Those applications may be distributed among data centers, multiple clouds and include various SaaS applications enabled for employees, he said.
Iyer also emphasized that organizations typically have different remote access technologies. Some are older models, such as VPNs, while some are newer models such as SD-WAN.
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“This is what distributed work entails,” Iyer said.
Before the pandemic, Iyer noted that many organizations had no – or limited – remote access, and VDI networks that weren’t extensible. In either scenario, many customers lacked the capacity to enable the scale of remote access required at the pandemic’s outset.
“We saw large increases in deployments of [Workspace One] as well as organizations that have significantly increased their presence of virtual desktops and virtual apps to manage through this highly distributed workforce,” said Shawn Bass, VMware’s CTO of end-user computing, explaining how Anyplace Workspace works.
Bass said that many organizations also saw that their VPNs were not suited for the nature of how people were accessing applications from different devices and locations. The new VMWare secure access service edge (SASE) offering, based on VMware’s VeloCloud technology, provides a more suitable and popular alternative to VPNs, Bass said.
The VMware SASE platform has more than 100 points of presence distributed throughout the world, according to Bass.
“What that basically means is that we’re within 10 milliseconds of 80% of the world’s population, and we’re within 5 milliseconds from all the major cloud service providers,” Bass said. “This means that employees will get the best possible network performance regardless of where they are located, as well as regardless of where the application is that they’re using, whether it’s in a data center or whether it’s coming from the public cloud.”
Bass also underscored the significance of VMware SASE’s role for employees onsite or those working remotely. For the latter, VMware has embedded its Workspace One tunnel technology that provides per-application VPN support directly into the VMware SASE offering.
As a result, employees not connected to WAN gear can use SASE instead of a traditional VPN.
“And this solution can be used for both corporate devices as well as bring your own devices [BYOD],” Bass said.
The benefit of VMware Anywhere Workspace is the fact that the vendor has integrated Workspace One, Carbon Black and the new VMware SASE into a common platform, according to Bob Laliberte, a senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group.
ESG’s Bob Laliberte
“Given the increased complexity from a highly distributed environment, with applications deployed across data centers, multiple public clouds and edge locations, and employees free to work from virtually any location, it will be important to deploy solutions that drive operational efficiencies,” Laliberte said.
That is a top priority among organizations undergoing digital transformation initiatives, he added.
“From a competitive standpoint, it elevates the SASE discussion, which now includes hosted desktops and provides greater differentiation,” he said.
As organizations look to deploy solutions to help them create a more resilient environment moving forward, a packaged solution like this should be attractive to channel partners, Laliberte added.
VMware’s Anywhere Workspace provides “a comprehensive solution to empower a hybrid work environment and be able to scale,” Laliberte said. “This may be especially true for those partners that are already delivering one or more of the pieces of the solution, such as SD-WAN, Carbon Black or Workspace One. They can leverage this solution to deliver increased value and expand their footprint.”
Jeffrey Schwartz has covered the IT industry for nearly three decades, most recently as editor-in-chief of Redmond magazine and executive editor of Redmond Channel Partner. Prior to that, he held various editing and writing roles at CommunicationsWeek, InternetWeek and VARBusiness (now CRN) magazines, among other publications.
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