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Monthly Archives: February 2013

Broadening VMware’s EUC Horizons with Innovation


by Scott Davis CTO,
End-User Computing

Welcome to 2013, the era of multi-device mobile workspace, BYOD and the consumerization of IT. Let’s explore each of these.

Consumerization of IT doesn’t mean encouraging your users to use unaccountable, non-compliant consumer services to get their work done. But it does mean that IT has competition! IT is no longer the only game in town. Users are far more sophisticated in 2013 – they use tools and technologies in their personal lives and woe to the IT organization that doesn’t provide access to modern easy to use, business compliant technologies that enable a productive workforce. Fail to do that and your IT org is on the road to obsolescent.

This brings me to BYOD, which is a great advance for users – buy and use what you want, when you want it. No longer are you tethered to an uncool corporate-sanctioned device that was approved 3 years ago.

And lastly, the multi-device workspace. We use many different devices throughout the day. Most users have 2-3 devices that they use at different times and places depending on context. Some folks call this the “post-PC” era, but as I’ve mentioned before I consider it the “Post PC only” era.

So given this landscape, what do businesses need today from an End-User Computing strategy? They need to embrace all of the above and do so in a way that is manageable, cost-effective, secure and compliant. They should also give users access to their “stuff” across all their devices safely, securely and efficiently. In order to accomplish this, IT needs to embrace technologies that will give them the ability to manage user business identity, and deliver business applications and data across a multitude of devices. In this new and modern world, identity and policies should follow a human, not a device – and IT needs to move away from physical device management. VMware has been hard at work to address this challenge for IT and users, and today I’m excited to share more details about the products and innovations that advance our EUC vision.

Today we launched the Horizon Suite – the platform for workforce mobility that will efficiently and easily deliver a virtual workspace to end-users that spans all their devices. The suite will consist of Horizon Workspace, Horizon Mirage and Horizon View. These products and their technologies, individually and collectively as a suite, will deliver the tools you need for today’s multi-device, mobile workspace.  Now I’d like to discuss some of the technical innovations within each of these products.

Horizon Workspace 1.0 will present users with a single identity that spans your devices, business applications, files and data, and even your View desktops. The user interface is a self-service portal that with a single click delivers SaaS, Windows desktop, ThinApp packages and mobile applications to your devices in the most efficient way possible. IT entitles and tracks users and their applications via a centrally stored and administered catalogue and accompanying portal. Horizon Workspace also will contain an enterprise-grade file synch service that automatically synchronizes your files across your devices that enables rich collaboration. And for IT, the master copy of the data will be securely contained and tracked behind the corporate firewall, providing security and compliance. The product will be available later this quarter and I encourage you to check it out.

One of the constituents in a multi-device workspace is still good old Windows PCs and their applications. VMware and our customers haven’t forgotten about Windows just yet! We are continuing our investments in products and technologies that facilitate bridging between the Windows environment and the multi-device workspace, as well as provide a more easily predictable and easily managed Windows experience. Horizon Mirage 4.0 is the first major release of our Mirage image management software since the VMware acquisition of Wanova. It will feature the most requested new capability – production grade application layering. And yes, Horizon Mirage will now have the ability to package applications and groups of applications in separate, independently manageable layers. This is state of the art image management for enterprises of all sizes with diverse workforces and allows IT to manage Windows and Windows applications more like modern device firmware. Mirage operates on both physical and virtual images and enables centralized image management with local, disconnected execution. Great stuff!

Lastly, Horizon View 5.2 is the newest version of our trusted VDI product. It can run Windows clients in VMs on vSphere in the datacenter, and deliver the graphics and user interface remotely over the LAN or WAN. VDI has been a great technology that addresses many use cases, such as Mobile Secure Desktops, Business Process Desktops, and Follow-Me Desktops. The multi-device workspace needs Windows desktops and Windows applications too, especially when you are running on non-Windows devices such as iPads or Android tablets – and VMware has been putting a lot of emphasis on enhanced mobile user experience for tablets through our user interface virtualization innovations, now referred to as Unity Touch.  Horizon View 5.2 will be fully integrated with Horizon Workspace, providing single sign-on and access to your desktop through the self-service portal. That access can be via the traditional full function View client available for most platforms and now will also be available in just the browser via our “Blast” HTML 5 protocol. Horizon View 5.2 will also contain additional enhancements including 3D hardware accelerated graphics, vSphere SE-Sparse storage consolidation and improved scaling and performance.

Hope you enjoyed meeting our Horizon family! All the products and their innovations are expected to be available later this quarter. Please keep us posted on your feedback and experiences as you use these products. Do you think the Horizon Suite will address the IT challenges that exist in your environment?

VMware to Acquire Virsto Software


by John Gilmartin
Vice President,
Storage & Availability

Today, VMware announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire Virsto Software (read VMware press release, read Virsto blog post), a Sunnyvale, California-based company whose software optimizes storage for virtual environments.  I look forward to welcoming the very talented Virsto team to VMware as soon as we close the transaction, which we expect will occur later this quarter.

Our customers have told us that managing performance and data services for virtual machines can be challenging, especially in I/O-intensive environments like virtual desktops. Virsto has developed a VM-centric storage management model that accelerates I/O performance for any block-based storage system while providing efficient data services like VM snapshots and clones. These technologies have helped Virsto customers significantly improve the performance and utilization of their storage systems. For a more eloquent explanation of what the Virsto team has accomplished, please read the blog Cormac Hogan posted back in August: http://cormachogan.com/2012/08/22/virsto-software-for-vsphere-overview/

We have two plans for the Virsto product.  First, we’ll continue to offer Virsto’s standalone virtual appliance to help accelerate storage performance and improve efficiency in VMware vSphere environments. This means we’ll continue to support existing Virsto customers while also introducing Virsto’s capabilities to new users. Second, we’re planning to integrate Virsto’s architecture and data management services into future VMware products.  Stay tuned for more specifics on this.

The acquisition of Virsto is just the latest example of VMware’s commitment to delivering innovative solutions to some of the toughest problems in IT. We believe that by extending the benefits of virtualization to every domain of the datacenter – compute, network, storage – we can help our customers achieve unprecedented levels of efficiency and agility.

As the datacenter undergoes a fundamental transformation, new opportunities and innovation are emerging across every technology category. Defining a new approach to storage will be a foundational element of the software-defined datacenter, and VMware is excited to help drive this transformation in partnership with our storage ecosystem. I look forward to sharing more developments