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Horizon 8: Unleashing the Power of Secure Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Deployments with a Modern Platform

The global pandemic has changed the future of work forever with organizations and end users adapting to a remote-everything, work-from-anywhere environment. In response to the current crisis, many organizations have turned to desktop and application virtualization to deliver remote work solutions to their employees since as it enables easy access to corporate apps and data from any device, while maintaining the highest levels of security. It sounds simple but getting the resources and capacity necessary to quickly scale for an at-home workforce can be challenging. This is where VMware Horizon excels – with flexible deployment options across private and public clouds to scale secure access to corporate resources. And customers have been able to quickly respond by using the various deployment options Horizon provides – many to the tune of deploying thousands of virtual desktops and apps in days. Organizations can truly rely on Horizon as a modern platform for secure delivery of virtual desktops and apps across the hybrid cloud from VMware, the market leader in SDDC and digital workspaces.

As we continue to enable IT to empower their future ready workforce, we are excited to announce the upcoming general availability of VMware Horizon 8. To help support business-critical use cases in healthcare, financial institutions, education and more, customers can leverage Horizon with best-in-class management that simplifies day-to-day IT work, reduces costs and leverages unique integrations with the VMware technology ecosystem. The Horizon platform modernizes virtual workspace delivery and management with an agile, lightweight approach that spans the hybrid cloud. The result is fast and simple virtual desktop and application delivery that extends the best digital workspace experience to all apps.

Let’s drill down into some of the key areas of development with Horizon.

Hybrid Delivery, Management & Scale

Horizon supports hybrid and multi-cloud architectures that allow organizations to scale flexibly across public and private clouds such as VMware Cloud on AWS and Microsoft Azure – now also with support for Google Cloud and VMware Cloud on Dell EMC, as well as Azure VMware Solution (currently in preview).

We’ve made enhancements to the Horizon Control Plane to simplify management with services that connect entitlement and management layers across Horizon pods in different datacenters and clouds. The newly integrated Universal Broker delivers a global entitlement layer that intelligently provisions end users to their personal desktop or app in any connected pod or cloud based on availability or proximity for the best possible user experience. Image and application management is also simplified with services that can be used across pods and clouds – create an image or app package once and distribute to Horizon deployments as needed. These features, coupled with real-time performance monitoring and end-to-end security, unlock key hybrid and multi-cloud use cases such as work from home, business continuity, real-time bursting, disaster recovery, and high availability which simplify and optimize your cloud investment.

Modern Platform for Simplicity and Speed

Horizon provides the ability to deliver stateless, non-persistent desktops in seconds which centralizes and simplifies management with one-to-many provisioning and zero downtime updates. Instant Clone technology provides unique capabilities to Horizon through integration to VMware vSphere and App Volumes. New Instant Clones Smart Provisioning capabilities improve Instant Clones with Horizon functionality to help reduce storage requirements and costs. Elastic DRS (Distributed Resource Scheduler) gives admins the ability to dynamically expand pools and burst up and down automatically to meet business demands.

App Volumes allows admins to package apps once and deploy everywhere. Exciting innovations streamline inventory and lifecycle management of individual apps, with simple, one-to-many roll out, or rollbacks, that easily handle the rule as well as the exception, enabling maximum flexibility. App Volumes is also now supported for Horizon Cloud on Azure deployments!

Lastly, full support for new RESTful APIs help automate rich capabilities and orchestrate services on the Horizon platform including monitoring, entitlements and user and machine management. This allows customers and partners to easily interact with Horizon for added flexibility, access and distribution of information and modernizing services and processes with speed, providing endless possibilities to enhance and streamline their Horizon environment.


The Best Digital Workspace Experience

Advances in Blast Extreme protocol deliver a great user experience with support for high quality video content, including 3D graphics workloads leveraging new HEVC H.265 codecs and GPUs – now with support for both for 4K and 8K monitor displays. Automation reduces CPU and bandwidth consumption with intelligent selection of the transport mode (protocol) and Codec depending on screen content and network conditions.

With growing demand for collaboration tools to support remote workers, VMware Horizon offers improved capabilities for unified communications and collaboration for better user experience and improved productivity. Optimization packs are available for Zoom and Webex- and now with enhanced audio and video experience and support for Microsoft Teams.

High-performance graphics support comes with collaboration with partners like NVIDIA, Intel, and AMD. For example, NVIDIA GRID and Quadro technologies deliver enhanced user experience In Horizon environments with scalable rich graphics providing maximum optimization for office apps and multimedia as well as enabling remote users who rely on workstations with complex graphics.

End-to-End Security from Your Trusted Partner

Virtualizing desktops and applications provides inherent security because data and apps reside in the datacenter and not on the endpoints. Horizon takes it to the next level by taking advantage of intrinsic security that’s built into your VMware infrastructure to further enhance security from the device, across the network, and into the datacenter or cloud with integrations to Workspace ONE Access, VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud, NSX Advanced Load Balancer (Avi Networks) and Unified Access Gateway. With next-generation endpoint protection from VMware Carbon Black, IT can further improve security on virtual desktops and apps. VMware can help customers embrace a Zero Trust access security model across users, apps, and endpoints that empowers employees without sacrificing security.


We are excited to continue to give customers the latest modern innovation with the Horizon 8 release, providing IT with new capabilities and deployment options to ensure that end users can work anytime, anywhere, on any device. Leveraging VMware’s virtualization heritage and a trusted digital foundation, Horizon delivers unique benefits​ with enterprise grade management capabilities that strengthen security and simplify day 2 operations, further enabling organizations into the future. Stay tuned for more blogs covering updates to Horizon in the upcoming weeks.

The Horizon 8 2006 release is expected to be generally available in VMware’s Fiscal Q3 FY21, ending on October 30, 2020. To trial Horizon, sign up for a 90-day free trial.

For more information on VMware Horizon, visit: www.vmware.com/go/horizon

For more technical information, check out these resources:

VMware TechZone – technical blogs and best practices

Master path for Horizon – learn everything you need to know to get started with Horizon