Empowering a Remote Workforce for Business Continuity with Hybrid and Multi-Cloud VDI and Apps 

Mar 12, 2020
Sachin Sharma

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Sachin Sharma is a Director of Product Marketing for VMware’s End-User Computing business unit.

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When faced with unpredictable events like natural disasters, emergencies, or public health outbreaks, organizations must be prepared to quickly assess and take action against impact to their business. Being prepared to answer questions such as “how do we minimize business disruption?” or “how do we enable our workforce to access corporate resources remotely?”, or even more importantly, “how do we ensure the safety of our employees?” becomes as critical as ever. Under these circumstances, having solutions for use cases centered around business continuity, disaster recovery and remote work are a top priority, and many organizations turn to the benefits of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and app virtualization technology to help.

With desktop and app virtualization, IT can quickly and efficiently deliver secure virtual desktops and apps by using centralized management and providing great user experience. If remote workers suddenly need access to more virtual desktops and apps, customers with existing VDI and published app deployments may look to quickly expand their on-premises environments to deliver more virtual desktops and apps or use hybrid-cloud capabilities to quickly scale delivery of virtual desktops and apps between private and public cloud. Customers who currently don’t have VDI and published app deployments can consider leveraging cloud elasticity and cloud burst across multi-cloud options to quickly deliver virtual desktops and apps with the cloud of their choice. Regardless of the scenario, hybrid and multi-cloud VDI and apps can play an important role for IT to deliver on business continuity, disaster recovery, and remote work use cases, as part of a comprehensive digital workspace strategy.

Leveraging Hybrid-Cloud VDI and Apps

Deployments of VDI and published apps have traditionally been installed, delivered, and managed with on-premises hardware. For example, customers set up on-premises hardware, including compute, network, and storage components, and install virtual desktop and/or published app software like VMware Horizon 7 on top of the hardware. For years, this on-premises or private cloud model has been helping customers simplify desktop and app management while securing data and reducing IT costs. When it comes to quickly scaling and automating virtual desktop and app delivery in this type of set up though, IT doesn’t always have the luxury of standing up on-premises infrastructure because of time and cost challenges. This doesn’t suit well for business continuity, disaster recovery and remote work at scale use cases, which require quick time to value. That’s where hybrid-cloud virtual desktop and app models come to the rescue, with great options such as:

Horizon 7 with VMware Cloud Foundation, powered by Dell EMC VxRail – This integrated software and hardware stack provides customers with automation and built-in lifecycle management to help quickly scale existing on-premises Horizon deployments. VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) on VxRail, the Dell Technologies Cloud Platform, is now also available through a subscription-based model and allows for rapid deployment and configuration of the hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) layer. Customers can easily manage infrastructure with a consistent experience using the software-defined data center (SDDC) Manager to help manage the compute, storage, and network components combined with Horizon 7 to deliver virtual desktops and apps. Customers can also use VCF through our cloud service provider partners like VMware Cloud on AWS, for true hybridity.

Horizon 7 on VMware Cloud on AWS – With this option, customers can extend Horizon 7 desktop and app workloads between on-premises and VMware Cloud on AWS. IT admins can use their Horizon 7 and vSphere expertise to save time and easily deploy virtual desktops and apps on VMware Cloud on AWS. On-premises and global VMware Cloud on AWS pods can be linked to provide a unified desktop and app brokering environment managed through a single, centralized entitlement layer. And common cloud management services on our cloud control plane help simplify management of images, apps, and more across hybrid and multi-cloud models. You can learn more about how our own VMware IT team onboarded over 1,000 of our new Carbon Black colleagues within 30 days by using the Horizon 7 on VMware Cloud on AWS solution.

• Remote Access to Windows 10 Physical PCs – Another sought after option for enabling business continuity through remote work is providing access to Windows 10 physical PCs for remote workers. In the event of an emergency, physical PCs may not be able to be moved outside the corporate office or perimeter. To help overcome the challenge of accessing data from that physical PC, the Horizon Agent can simply be installed on that physical PC, brokered through Horizon 7 and accessed by employees using the Blast Extreme protocol. In this case, employees can remotely access their Windows 10 physical PC to continue to work.

Leveraging Multi-Cloud VDI and Apps

Access to global cloud resources that are elastic and can scale (start small if needed!), access to up-to-date tools, time to value, and relying on resilient services are all reasons public cloud adoption continues to grow. Cloud economics even factors in with cloud burst and pay as you go OpEx models, potentially reducing costs based on CapEx avoidance, for example. Customers can take advantage of these cloud benefits for desktop and app virtualization to tackle business continuity, disaster recovery, and remote work use cases. With a multi-cloud model, which can also include hybrid-cloud options like Horizon 7 on VMC on AWS, several great choices exist:

Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure – A fast and easy way to deliver virtual desktops and apps for remote work is spinning up on-demand capacity in Microsoft’s Azure Cloud and leveraging Horizon Cloud’s multi-tenant architecture built for the cloud. From a consumption standpoint, consumption-based pricing keeps costs down so customers only pay for what they use. With global reach across 50+ data center regions, Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure can bring data and app locality to almost anywhere, providing a great user experience for a remote workforce. The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) was able to reduce operational costs by 40% by moving desktop and app infrastructure to Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure, enabling more than 10,000 students to access coursework remotely.

Horizon Cloud on IBM Cloud – his solution is another great option for customers who want to benefit from Horizon Cloud and consume IBM Cloud capacity. Customers have access to worldwide data centers and can configure their VDI environment with several options, including with Nvidia GPUs. Horizon Cloud on IBM Cloud offers customers a fully managed Desktop-as-a-Service solution that eases management complexity by using the power of the cloud.

VMware Cloud Provider Program (VCPP) Network – For additional desktop and app management services for multi-cloud, we have partnered with the top managed service providers (MSPs) globally to give customers more cloud consumption and management options.

How do I get started?

VMware Horizon Service is a critical piece of the digital workspace journey. By leveraging the elasticity and flexibility of hybrid and multi-cloud virtual desktops and apps, any organization can ensure business continuity. Even if you have solutions for business continuity, disaster recovery and/or remote work use cases, it’s vital to ensure you have a plan to scale as needed. If you don’t have solutions in place, it’s ok, getting started is easy. Customers have the flexibility to use our Horizon Universal License to deploy their Horizon Service wherever they’d like. Customers can also request a free trial of Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure, or Horizon 7 for on-premises or on VMware Cloud on AWS. Investing in solutions for business continuity, disaster recovery, and remote work today will continue to benefit customers even beyond these use cases. As we like to say, #businesscontinues.

 

What’s Next?

Each day over the next few weeks, we will be rolling out a series of posts and resources around business continuity. We also hosted a business continuity webinar, Pandemic Preparedness and Response: How to Quickly Set Up a Remote Workforce for Success, that you can watch on-demand.

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