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VMware Horizon FLEX Makes VMware the Vendor With the Most Comprehensive Virtual Desktop and App Portfolio

Sumit DhawanBy Sumit Dhawan, SVP and GM, Desktop Products, End-User Computing

Coming off of the tremendous momentum of VMworld U.S., here we are at VMworld Europe 2014! I have been to Barcelona about half a dozen times and it is always great to spend time here – great vibe with interesting architecture, delicious tapas, beautiful flamenco and more. In the midst of all this, I am pleased to share some exciting announcements we made today for End User Computing products and services.


It’s only been 6 weeks since our last VMworld where EUC made several exciting announcements that included the introduction of the brand new VMware Workspace™ Suite, an integrated platform that combines AirWatch mobile and content management with Horizon virtual desktop and applications to deliver a unified end-user experience. Also, we announced our acquisition of CloudVolumes to provide real time application delivery and in conjunction, showcased our next-generation desktop paradigm with Project Meteor to deliver Just-In-Time (JIT) Desktops.

We continue to believe that mobility is driving change from traditional PC-centric architectures to the mobile-cloud architecture. In the new world of mobile-cloud, customers can easily adopt a device agnostic strategy and deliver their corporate apps and data securely from any cloud. We are continuing to push the pace of innovation and keeping our foot on the pedal to deliver the best solutions to our customers for this journey.

Today, we made several announcements including the introduction of a new product in the VMware Horizon® family ­– Horizon FLEX™, a new service – VMware Horizon Air™ Desktop DR, integration of VMware App Volumes with Horizon Enterprise, and the further expansion into Europe (France and Germany) of our cloud hosted end-user computing services.

For more information, Erik Frieberg and Harry Labana have written about VMware Horizon Air and VMware App Volumes, while Kit Colbert has provided his technical perspective on VMware Horizon FLEX.

These announcements round out our portfolio for customers.

The Most Comprehensive Virtual Desktop and Application Solution Provider

With our announcement today, VMware instantly becomes the vendor with the most comprehensive virtual desktop and application portfolio in the industry. VMware Horizon FLEX offers a third option to customers who want to adopt virtual desktops and applications.

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We understand that customers need different solutions for different end-users and now for the first time, customers can work with one vendor who can provide them with several choices. Customers can choose from on-premise virtual desktops and applications, cloud-based virtual desktops and applications and now local virtual desktops and applications.

With VMware Horizon FLEX added to our portfolio, customers truly have choice when it comes to selecting the virtual desktop approach that is best suited for them.

  • VMware Horizon 6 – A data center solution that delivers published applications and virtual desktops on a single integrated platform to users using any device, anywhere.
  • VMware Horizon Air – A cloud solution that delivers cost-effective enterprise-class virtual desktops and applications that gives customers the ability to blend public and private cloud desktops for a seamless end-user experience.
  • NEW VMware Horizon FLEX – A local solution with centralized controls that will enable the quick deployment of virtual Windows desktops to Mac and PC users so companies can embrace BYOPC policies without compromising security or control.

In addition, VMware Mirage can enable customers to centrally manage applications and OS images and deliver them to laptops/PCs across various locations with built-in backup and recovery. Mirage can help organizations continue to deliver OS images and apps to their physical laptops/PCs that are distributed worldwide.

Customers can use all of these technologies together to build their next generation mobile-cloud architecture for their business critical Windows apps and desktops. Additionally, Horizon Air Desktop DR gives customers the ability to add a business continuity option to their virtual or physical desktop deployments (managed with or without VMware solutions). Customers no longer have to build expensive and unreliable business continuity strategies that rely on either keeping expensive datacenter resources available on standby or leasing PCs or work desks in the case of a business continuity event.

Let me explain a bit more about Horizon FLEX – where it fits and why we built it.


More and more users are demanding Macs, even in organizations where Windows is the corporate computing standard. In addition, many companies are moving a significant percentage of their workforce from permanent to temporary or contract roles, making it more difficult for IT to keep control over corporate applications and data. End-users are also more remote than ever before, often working from home, on the road, or via branch offices. And everyone needs to be productive even when disconnected from the corporate network.

All of this puts tremendous pressure on IT to enable the workforce without sacrificing security and control.  IT must ensure corporate compliance and control costs while complying with their new workforce requirements.

VMware Horizon FLEX is a policy-based, localized virtual desktop solution that provides IT with the flexibility to meet the needs of Mac and PC users, contractors and disconnected workers while ensuring security, control and compliance of the corporate desktop.

Just look at this recent June 2014 survey report by Dimensional Research commissioned by VMware that shows the preference of Macs among users where 73 percent of IT administrators reported that user preference is forcing them to officially or unofficially support Macs.

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Horizon FLEX is a solution designed to address the problem of delivering Windows-based desktops and apps to Macs or other devices brought in by contractors or BYO programs. It gives IT the required control over the corporate data and apps while end-users get an experience they need on their laptop regardless of where they are, online or offline. Together with AirWatch Mac Management, IT can build a comprehensive solution for enabling their entire fleet of Macs with the corporate apps and desktop.

These new products and services will all be available shortly in the next few weeks. The VMware team will continue to enhance these solutions based on your feedback – so feel free to provide your feedback below.