Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure Support for Windows Virtual Desktop is Here

Mar 17, 2020
Gabe Knuth

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Gabe Knuth is a member of the EUC Product Marketing team VMware. He has spent 22 years in EUC, including eleven years as an independent industry analyst at BrianMadden.com. Prior to joining VMware, he worked in Product Marketing at Microsoft, focusing on FSLogix and Windows Virtual Desktop.

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Today is an important day for Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure! We’re releasing the latest version (3.0), which includes support for Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop, including Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session. Customers can now use the enterprise-class features and user experience of Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure with Windows Virtual Desktop.

About VMware Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure

Developed as a service on Azure, VMware Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure has been helping customers deploy virtual desktop environments for nearly three years. When Windows Virtual Desktop was announced, VMware and Microsoft worked together to extend the functionality of Windows Virtual Desktop to Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure:

Windows Virtual Desktop

This collaboration makes VMware an approved Windows Virtual Desktop provider, enabling customers to have access to a modern, cloud-native platform that delivers enterprise-class features like broad endpoint support, advanced remoting protocols, application management, user environment management, monitoring, lifecycle management, and more. Because Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure is part of the VMware Horizon Service, administrators can now manage all their Horizon environments from the same pane of glass as their VMware Horizon service.

“We’re excited for this release, and we believe Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure will make our joint customers more successful as they leverage the power of Windows Virtual Desktop. Our partnership with VMware has been very productive, and I’m looking forward to continued collaboration,” said Kam VedBrat, Partner Group Program Manager, Windows Virtual Desktop at Microsoft.

Businesses demand flexibility, features, and value

It’s hard to ignore the gravity created by the cloud, and as more on-premises resources are pulled towards Cloud or SaaS-based environments, it’s only reasonable to expect desktops to follow. However, things like applications and user data can reside in multiple platforms (both on-premises and in the cloud), so it’s difficult to fully commit to one platform or another. Because of that, it’s important to be able to deliver a broad set of features across multiple environments.

Windows Virtual Desktop

Hybrid

Because it’s difficult to switch your environment from 100% on-premises to 100% cloud, the concept of hybrid is more important than ever. Instead of waiting for all use cases to be ready for the cloud, companies can direct users to the most appropriate environment for each user on a case-by-case basis and scale at their own pace.

In fact, a recent survey showed that 91% of VMware customers think that hybrid support (managing resources on-premises and in the cloud) is a “Nice to have” or “Must have” feature.

Windows Virtual Desktop

To address this need, the VMware Horizon Service, which is leveraged by Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure, provides a single pane of glass to manage all Horizon environments, on-premises or in the cloud, allowing customers to place workloads wherever they see fit. In some cases, that could mean on-premises (maybe to access a large application that resides in the corporate data center), and in other cases, that workload may be more appropriate to run in Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure (the only platform that can use Windows Virtual Desktop).

Business Continuity

A hybrid desktop virtualization solution also allows customers to design strategies that could be extremely challenging in more traditional deployment models. For example, Business Continuity is top of mind as global health concerns are prompting businesses to evaluate ways to maintain productivity when workers are remote.  Existing desktop virtualization users can access their desktops and applications remotely, but traditional users are left out. A hybrid desktop virtualization platform could allow customers to quickly deploy cloud-based desktops and applications to those traditional users, maintaining their productivity in the face of a regional disruption.

(For more on what VMware can do to help your Business Continuity strategy, check out our series of blog posts entitled Business Continuity through Unexpected Events or reach out to your local rep or partner.)

Accelerated time to value

By leveraging the capabilities of Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure and the Horizon Service Control Plane, customers quickly take advantage of Windows Virtual Desktop, including Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session. Instead of waiting to migrate large groups of users to Azure, customers can move individual users or departments as the use cases become available while managing both environments in the same way. This shortens the time to value, increases end-user productivity, and can drastically reduce the costs of managing Windows 10 in an enterprise.

Leveraging Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session is easy. Customers simply choose the new OS type when importing a new image from the Azure Marketplace. They can also use the new OS for images that are manually built for use in Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure.

Windows Virtual Desktop

Next Steps

Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure is just one of the reasons that IDC named VMware a leader in its 2019-2020 IDC MarketScape for Virtual Client Computing Vendor Assessment. If you’re ready to learn more about Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure and how our partnership with Microsoft can help you deploy on Azure with Windows Virtual Desktop, it’s easy to get started:

• Register for a free 45-day trial of Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure

• Create an account at my.vmware.com – this is the account that your customer record will use

• Acquire Microsoft Azure capacity and the appropriate Microsoft license that entitles you to Windows Virtual Desktop

Once your Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure trial registration has been processed, you’ll receive information on how to proceed. In the meantime, feel free to check out these other resources:

VMTN forums

• Product documentation

• VMware Tech Zone for technical blogs and material related to Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure

Quick Start Tutorial – Walks you through setting up Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure to get you up and running as fast as possible

Hands-On Labs – The fastest way to get a feel for how Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure works before you try it in your own environment

Mastering Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure – This Activity Path will teach you everything you need to know to be successful with Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure.

Horizon Virtual Desktop Optimization Guide – Optimizing your image is as critical as quality networking and storage, though it’s often overlooked. Start your proof of concept or pilot the right way by following our optimization guide and you’ll immediately see the benefits in user experience, density, and cost savings.

We’re excited to take this next step, and we look forward to seeing all the amazing things our customers can do with Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure and Windows Virtual Desktop.

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