The Software-Defined Data Center Meets End-User Computing: Here, Now and Coming to a City Near You

Oct 29, 2013


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by Courtney Burry, Director of Product Marketing End-User Computing, VMware

At VMworld San Francisco, VMware made some big announcements around the software-defined data center – providing customers with a path to automate the control of the data center and support private, public and hybrid clouds with the virtualization of not just computer – but the storage and network infrastructure, as well.

Naturally, this has led many people to ask us how these announcements will tie into the VMware Horizon™ Suite  and how we are planning to let customers harness the power of the software-defined data center to deliver end-user computing workloads-as-a-service.

Well at VMworld Barcelona and in our current VMworld roadshow taking place in a North American city nearest you—we are demonstrating  just how the software-defined data center and end-user computing are coming together to deliver better end-user experience, streamlined management and lower costs to IT organizations across the globe.

Better End-User Experience

Let’s begin with user experience. VMware just announced Horizon View™ 5.3 with a whole host of great new features including virtual direct graphics acceleration (vDGA) support with NVIDIA. Leveraging the power of vSphere and the software-defined data center, this new feature provides workstation-class performance to the highest-end graphics users out there. This complements VMware’s support for shared graphics acceleration and software-rendered 3D graphics and provides customers with a wide range of price and performance options. To check out what this looks like, see a great video demo of virtual shared graphics acceleration (vSGA) in action here.

Better Management and Automation

Now one of the great things about Horizon View is that it comes bundled with vCenter. This makes it really easy for our vSphere customers to set up their pools of desktops and manage their environments-because it is the same platform that they have come to know and rely on to manage their server workloads.

But given all of the moving parts involved in VDI, it is equally important that we provide customers with the tools to monitor and troubleshoot their virtual desktop environments. And this is just what vCenter™ Operations Manager for Horizon View does. This product leverages the same vCenter Operations platform used to automate the software-defined data center and applies these principles to analyze what’s normal across a virtual desktop environment. And the good news is that customers can now get this product in the Horizon Suite at NO additional cost starting October 28, 2013.

When it comes to virtual desktop management—there is one more thing I want to highlight. VMware also just announced we are improving the ability for customers to manage persistent Horizon View virtual desktops back in the software-defined data center with Horizon Mirage™ 4.3. With support for full clone virtual desktops, Horzon Mirage 4.3 will allow customers to streamline virtual desktop management while ensuring that end users have the ability to upload applications and have these truly persist across updates and sessions. To see how this works, click this video demo.

Lower Costs

Last but definitely not least is cost. Who doesn’t want to get more for less – especially when it comes to desktop virtualization? This is doubly important when you think about storage and VDI.

Thankfully many of our ecosystem partners have come out with fantastic high-performance, low-cost storage solutions. And when you combine these with the native storage optimizations available in Horizon View today (care of the software-defined data center I might add), customers can now get started with VDI for as low as $200 per user*.

To take this (and the software-defined data center) one step further, we also  just announced the availability of a vSAN public beta. vSAN will not only help customers automate storage provisioning for desktop workloads—it will help them continue to drive down their storage costs. You can sign up for this beta here.

Finally—we made a lot of noise about the acquisition of Desktone in Barcelona and talked about our desktops-as-a-service (DaaS) offering across the hybrid cloud. This is great news for customers looking to harness the hybrid cloud to drive down costs, outsource desktop management and easily burst up and down to support exactly the capacity they need.

Check it Out

Our Horizon Suite of products are only getting better because of VMware’s software-defined data center. And this show (so to speak) is just getting started. To find out more, be sure to check out VMworld on Tour. We look forward to seeing you there.


*cost includes storage, compute and networking.

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