VMware App Volumes VMware Horizon

VMware Horizon Integration – How the Pieces Fit Together, Part 2

By Anthony Rizzo, Staff End-User-Computing Technologist, VMware

Part 1 in this Horizon Integration blog series introduced the concept of VMware Horizon as a very flexible and adaptable tooling system for building next-generation end-user-computing architectures—and interoperability is a key contributor to these characteristics. Before going into the details of interoperability, it is essential to understand three key architectural principles for building these next-generation architectures.

VMware Horizon – Three Key Architectural Concepts


In the 1980s, computing became personal. In the 1990s, it became portable. In the early 2000s, with the introduction of the iPhone, it became perpetually connected and social. Many of us carry at least one supercomputer in our pocket, and often in multiples. Today these devices are used in almost every facet of our daily lives.

The new generation of worker uses the same set of various devices for both personal and business activities. If not mindfully deployed, this co-mingling of personal and corporate information infringes on personal privacy. It also exposes businesses to security, privacy, and regulatory complications.

This is where Horizon (VMware Horizon 6.2 and VMware Horizon Air Desktops and Horizon Air Apps ) comes in. Due to the flexible interoperability and scale of Horizon, three important digital workspace concepts are made possible.


Horizon centralizes corporate computing assets like virtual desktops, business applications, and business data into a VMware software-defined data center (SDDC).

This establishes a secure, virtualized “base of operations” from which corporate assets are managed, automated, and delivered. Corporate data becomes fully protected and accounted for.

Policy-Based Provisioning and Management

With end-user-computing assets centralized in a VMware SDDC, IT can easily construct pools of desktops or applications, and entitle users and groups to these pools using policies. With a reduced administrative surface, identity management becomes simple and more controlled. Single sign-on (SSO) simplifies user access to centralized assets. Monitoring and troubleshooting also become substantially less complicated, faster, and more accurate, with assets centrally located.

Standardized, Secure, Isolated Brokering to Any Device

In a very controlled manner, Horizon securely provisions and brokers centralized assets to users with any device. Single sign-on (SSO) to all central assets simplifies the user experience. Business assets remain isolated from personal data and applications. De-coupling of applications and data from end-user hardware makes cross-platform app delivery easy and natural.

Here are just a few benefits of the concepts just discussed:

  • Horizon makes for adaptability in any industry. Click any of the industries below for specific examples.
Manufacturing Healthcare Education Financial
National_Government Regional_Government
  • Back-end changes and upgrades are obscured from user perception, resulting in higher productivity. End-user learning curves are virtually eliminated.
  • With only one SSO account for users to remember, help desk incidents related to forgotten account names or passwords are substantially reduced.
  • Because architectural changes can be made using policies and automation, business services supported by these architectures can be adapted and scaled quickly as the business requires, with little impact to the end-user.
  • Centralization makes business and regulatory requirements easier to achieve and maintain.
  • In properly planned and architected scenarios, peak performance is often easier to achieve, maintain, and scale with virtual desktops and applications running on data center compute power. In these environments, it is also easier to keep end-user-computing elements (operating system, registries, application state, file systems, caches, and so on) uncluttered, further ensuring better performance over traditional models. The blog VMware App Volumes – What About Performance? illustrates this point with extensive performance-testing results.
  • A consistent Windows application experience can be delivered across disparate platforms to reduce learning curves often imposed by specialized versions.
  • Policy-based automation frees IT to focus on business innovation, rather than just maintenance and operation.

So far, we have covered the idea of Horizon as a flexible and dynamic tooling environment. We followed with key architectural concepts that foster centralized, policy-driven, highly-controlled end-user-computing assets accessible to the user by SSO. The goal of these concepts is to arm business with an end-user-computing architecture effectively serving the business while adapting quickly and accurately to its changing requirements. Part 3 will discuss the importance of deliberate planning—mapping business requirements with Horizon features to properly tool or re-tool the end-user computing architecture. Part 4 explains how the products in the VMware End-User-Computing portfolio can be combined and adapted to form solutions that meet your needs.