Student studying on tablet pc
VMware Horizon

Five reasons why Horizon Apps should replace your legacy app publishing environment

This post is co-authored by Gabe Knuth and Cris Lau.

VMware has a long history with VDI, dating back to the very beginning of what has come to be a revolutionary force in end-user computing. That makes sense, since virtual machines is kind of our thing, but with such a strong VDI pedigree, it’s easy to overlook our excellent app publishing technology. Today, I wanted to take some time to highlight some of the most notable aspects of Horizon Apps and why it should replace your legacy application publishing environment.

Before we get started, though, it’s worth pointing out that Horizon Apps is the same VMware Horizon that you use for VDI, it’s just that instead of connecting users to their own virtual machine, it connects users to apps or desktops on hosts that are shared amongst many users. In the past, this has been called RDSH (or Remote Desktop Session Host) or app publishing, though today the term “multi-session” is picking up steam. This is due to the introduction of Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session, which we’ll get to in a bit.

This means that regardless of whether your end users are connected to VDI desktops or a published application (or desktop), they’ll have the same great user experience, broad endpoint support and peripheral support. Plus, as an admin, you’ll use the same tools, interface, techniques and approach you already have access to, including features that depend on the exclusive integration with VMware SDDC.

With that, let’s take a look at some of the more interesting benefits of Horizon Apps and how it can help you achieve legacy app modernization:

Horizon Apps is improving the delivery of healthcare

Over the last two years, VMware has made significant investments in R&D and partnerships to ensure Horizon Apps continues to be a trusted app delivery platform for our healthcare customers. In that short time, we introduced over 40 new features to improve healthcare delivery for patients and doctors, and created a Horizon Deployment Guide specifically for healthcare. We worked closely with leading EMR vendors and device manufacturers, including support for Epic, Imprivata and Nuance. Horizon is also listed as an Epic Target Platform.

Many healthcare customers have joined us. You should too!

It’s incredibly scalable and cost-effective

Horizon is a highly scalable desktop and application delivery platform! Horizon Apps can support up to 20,000 RDSH sessions per pod and up to 200,000 sessions using the Cloud Pod Architecture (CPA) deployment. The built-in load balancing and load evaluation policies help you optimize the distribution of your users across available resources.

Plus, if your legacy system is not based on Horizon, but is running on VMware vSphere, we have good news – VMware Horizon includes vSphere for desktop licenses. That means switching to Horizon not only gives you a rock-solid platform with incredible features, it also reduces your infrastructure costs!

It’s the key to Windows 10 cost savings in Azure

By now you’re likely aware of Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop (formerly Windows Virtual Desktop) and its primary feature: Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session. What you might not be aware of, though, is that even though this is a proper Windows 10 OS, you only need to buy a Horizon Apps license to access it since it’s a multi-session operating system. That means that Horizon Apps plus Azure Virtual Desktop is by far the least expensive way to deliver virtual desktops and applications from Azure!

Find out more about the awesome functionality that Horizon adds above and beyond Azure Virtual Desktop, all while keeping consumption and licensing costs low, in our blog Horizon Apps Standard Subscription: The lowest-cost path to Windows Virtual Desktop + VMware Horizon. One Horizon Apps customer switched from VDI to Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session and saw a nearly 80% reduction in their monthly bill!

It supports Windows and Linux apps

Did you know Horizon Apps lets you deliver seamless Windows applications running on a Windows10 VDI? The reasons to do this are everywhere in specialized areas like healthcare. You may have applications or drivers that aren’t supported on server OSes, or your app vendor may require you to control license use requirements. With the VM hosted applications feature, you can deliver that application from a Windows 10 VDI. You can even deliver Linux apps to developer and engineering use cases!

Improved peripheral support

Customers who evaluated Horizon Apps a few years ago often tell us limited peripheral support in Horizon Apps held them from embracing Horizon to deliver their applications. Less than two years ago, we launched the peripheral validation lab and have validated over 200 popular peripheral devices, from printer and scanners, to biometric readers and EKG devices for healthcare in order to better enhance user experience.

In addition, we have enhanced support for USB and serial port redirection capabilities in single and nested connection mode across different Horizon clients. Basically, if you haven’t tried Horizon Apps in a while, you’re missing out!

How to get Horizon Apps

Horizon Apps is available as part of the Horizon Universal subscription, which includes all the features of VMware Horizon, including:

  • Support for hybrid and multi-cloud environments that can utilize resources on-premises and in the cloud
  • Cloud-based control plane, managed by VMware
  • Advanced image, application and user environment management capabilities
  • Universal broker that provides a single access point for all users and eases administrative tasks when deploying resources from multiple locations
  • Single pane of glass management of all platforms, on-premises or in the cloud
  • Support for the features of Azure Virtual Desktop, including Windows 10 Enterprise multi-session published desktops and applications

It’s time to replace your legacy app publishing platform 

VMware Horizon is trusted in organizations for more than just VDI workloads. Companies around the world count on Horizon Apps to deliver critical workloads in financial, education and healthcare settings. If you want to learn more about why you should trade in your legacy software for VMware Horizon, head over to our “Top Reasons to Leave Your Legacy Environment Behind” page. There you’ll find lots of additional resources, like how Sentara Health saved millions of dollars by switching to VMware to distribute EPIC to their end users.

If you’re ready to try VMware Horizon for yourself and leave your legacy technology behind, sign up for a free trial of the Horizon Universal license, contact your VMware representative, or reach out to a local partner. Don’t forget to check out VMware Tech Zone, too, where you’ll find resources like these: