VMware Horizon By Product Technical Guides

Introducing VMware Horizon FLEX

By Gina Daly, Technical Writer for Technical Marketing, End-User Computing, VMware

Do your employees want to use Macs in the workplace? Do you want to say ‘Yes’ to a BYO program? Perhaps you are hiring more temporary and contract staff? However, you struggle with balancing corporate access and corporate compliance…

VMware Horizon FLEX is an exciting new product that addresses these use cases and more! Horizon FLEX was announced at VMworld Europe 2014 and will be generally available soon. The VMware Horizon FLEX Solution Brief discusses the enterprise use cases solved by Horizon FLEX, as well as how it works and a sample of some of the functionality.

So, What Is Horizon FLEX?

VMware Horizon FLEX is a policy-based containerized desktop solution which provides IT with the flexibility to meet the needs of Mac users, contractors, and disconnected workers, while ensuring security, control, and compliance of the corporate desktop. In other words, Horizon FLEX is a locked-down virtual machine for the user to run locally on a machine of their choice, that you as the administrator can control with various policies. You can provide users with the corporate access they need, and enforce the security compliance you want. It is a win-win solution!


Figure 1: Horizon FLEX Is a Combination of Existing VMware Products and Introduces a New Policy Server

What Is the Horizon FLEX Policy Server?

The Policy Server is the newest element of the Horizon FLEX package and allows you to protect your corporate data and manage your virtual machines from a central location.


Figure 2: Add Policy in the Horizon FLEX Policy Server

You can lock down your virtual machines by controlling USB devices, preventing file copy, and disabling drag and drop. You can give contractors a restricted virtual machine with predefined expiration dates, and you can even “poison-pill” a virtual machine at any time, in circumstances such as employee termination or theft of the device.

VMware has been successful with the local virtual machine for many, many years. Recent feedback from Fusion Pro customers was extremely positive. A big plus was the enhanced restriction settings for virtual machines; however, missing was a central management capability for the restricted virtual machines. The Horizon FLEX Policy Server adds a level of control and management and launches the humble local virtual machine to enterprise-worthy status.


Figure 3: Remote Lock Function in the Horizon FLEX Policy Server

What About the Cost?

The best part about implementing this solution is that VMware Horizon with View and VMware vSphere are not prerequisites. Minimal infrastructure can be used to deploy Horizon FLEX. Remember, the virtual machines are stored locally on the endpoints, so there is no extra storage overhead to worry about. Mirage is packaged with Horizon FLEX as an optional image management tool, but you can continue to use your existing image management tool with the Horizon FLEX Policy Server, if you wish.

If you already have Mirage in your environment, Horizon FLEX will fit in, offering a local desktop option for your Mac users, BYO users, and offline users.

What Are You Waiting For?

Horizon FLEX is a product that truly lives up to its name:

  • FLEXible deployment – BYO, Mac, or Windows? No problem. Users can run Windows corporate apps on a Mac or their own computers.
  • FLEXible delivery – Deliver secure desktops via the network or USB.
  • FLEXible management – Manage virtual machines centrally via the Horizon FLEX Policy Server.

Take the leap. Embrace Macs and BYO in this Windows corporate world. Empower your users to work from wherever they are, online or offline.

For more information on VMware Horizon FLEX, check out the VMware Horizon FLEX Solution Brief.