VMware consolidates Horizon 6 onto a single platform

VMware has announced the launch of its Horizon 6, an integrated solution that delivers published applications and desktops on a single platform.

VMware end user of computing product marketing manager Asanga Wanigatunga said it is a business' responsibility to service the growing workforce demand for flexibility, mobility, and bring-your-own-device.

"From a consumer stand point, they want to consume enterprise services whether its apps, data, or desktop services through a seamless experience in any context," he said.

Horizon 6 offers three core desktop business services: virtual desktop and app delivery; desktop and app delivery from public cloud; and image management for laptops and PCs.

According to Wanigatunga, virtual desktop and app delivery is one of the "fastest growing pieces" in VMware's business, and to service this growth Horizon 6 features application remoting.

"During the last six years in virtual desktop infrastructure we came up with a concept called packaged virtualisation, which was highly robust and made perfect sense. But we had other customers that only had six apps and delivering a remote virtual desktop would be a fair investment. So we wanted to do was build the application remoting aspect into it," he said.

"What we did was develop an architecture and platform to make sure our customers could address those use cases, but we made sure it was looking outbound for the next 10 years, so the architecture was built to be future proof."

The desktop and app delivery on the public cloud feature enables customers to consume the same level of app services, whether they're accessing it via the web, software-as-a-service, or a mobile application remotely.

Wanigatunga said VMware is currently partnering with cloud partners in Australia as part of its vSphere program to help deliver desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) in an aim to reduce annual per-user costs. This could potentially see enterprises save almost four times the amount they currently spend on labour if they moved from using physical laptops to DaaS.

This offering follows VMware's purchase of DaaS firm Desktone in October last year.

"Desktone is a leader in desktop-as-a-service and has a complete and proven blueprint for enabling service providers to deliver DaaS," said Sanjay Poonen, executive vice president and general manager, end user computing of VMware, at the time of the announcement during VMWorld.

VMware also leverages Wanova's Mirage product, which came along as part of the company's acquisition of the turnkey desktop provider almost 20 months ago.

"Historically Mirage is very good at doing laptop and desktop management, but in the last year or so we've enhanced how customers can use the same tools to do their image management, software distribution, and profile management in a virtual desktop using the same tool sets," Wanigatunga said.

Horizon 6 has also been designed to service the mobility space to ensure enterprise apps can be delivered across tablets and smartphones. VMware's foothold into mobility can be attributed to the company's most recent acquisition, where US$1.54 billion was paid for AirWatch.

During the announcement of the acquisition, Poonen said AirWatch will enable VMware to grow its share in mobile work and collaboration. "Mobile is the new desktop," he said. "The world needs a robust mobile platform in the post-PC era. AirWatch will become the focal point for VMware's mobile strategy."

Through Horizon 6, VMWare will also offer a brokering service through the integration of one of its competitors' products, Citrix XenApp, with plans "to do a lot more moving forward". Wanigatunga said the idea behind this is to ensure its customers' existing legacy investments are not wasted.

"Most organisations want to upgrade legacy often because its end of life but it shouldn't be really the reason you build a business case to do something. So what we're saying is we'll build a brokering way and so what we're giving them is the chance where they can migrate legacy technology onto newer technology," he said.

VMware plans to offer Horizon 6 through three main bundles: view standard, advanced, and enterprise. Wanigatunga said customers will choose each bundle depending on their maturity level of how they far in they are in automating and reorchestrating the delivery of their applications.