Last year at VMworld, we announced the VMware Horizon next-generation hybrid DaaS architecture. For us, “next-gen” represents a complete rewrite of the Horizon architecture that allows us to modernize every corner of the desktop and app virtualization infrastructure so many customers rely on, built entirely from the ground up. For customers, it means unprecedented scalability and cost optimization along with a dramatic simplification of the infrastructure required to deliver enterprise-class desktop and app virtualization.
Earlier this year we launched a Limited Availability program for Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure customers, and today we’re pleased to announce that Horizon Cloud next-gen is now Generally Available to all Horizon Cloud environments on Microsoft Azure!
The future of VMware Horizon DaaS
Horizon Cloud next-gen customers will enjoy features and capabilities never seen before, including a unique “thin-edge” architecture that drastically reduces the amount of infrastructure deployed in your environment. This modern architecture significantly reduces the cost associated with deploying Horizon Cloud infrastructure while increasing scalability to unparalleled levels. Additionally, advanced automation via published APIs lets you integrate Horizon more deeply into your IT environment and Day 2 management processes, while proactive monitoring means VMware can identify and resolve problems before they affect you and your users.
We’ve outlined these benefits in past blogs, but let’s take a closer look at the details of how Horizon Cloud next-gen can deliver lower cost, unprecedented scalability, advanced automation, and improved visibility and troubleshooting:
The “thin-edge” architecture reduces the footprint of the Horizon infrastructure that resides in your Azure subscription. Whereas Horizon Cloud requires Pod Managers, Azure PostgreSQL service, and multiple Unified Access Gateways (UAGs) per subscription, Horizon Cloud next-gen moves many of those components to the VMware-managed Horizon Control Plane and introduces the Horizon Edge, which consists of a single Edge Gateway and a variable number of UAGs that scales up and down as needed. This results in an infrastructure cost savings of up to 78%!
The new architecture brings changes in scalability as well. Prior Horizon Cloud environments that leveraged Pods were limited to 2,000 users per Azure subscription, at which point another Pod needs to be deployed (which means another subscription and set of infrastructure). With Horizon Cloud next-gen, each Horizon Edge can support multiple Azure subscriptions, each of which can support 5,000 users. In total, each Horizon Edge will support up to 20,000 users across four Azure subscriptions. Beyond that, customers simply need to deploy a new Horizon Edge. Because all Horizon Edges — whether spread around the world or located in the same Azure region — leverage the same Horizon Control Plane, they’re all managed as a single environment.
Horizon Cloud next-gen is API-driven, which means everything that’s available through the Horizon Universal Console admin interface will be accessible via APIs. This means they’ll be accessible to third-party ISVs (think ticketing or monitoring), partners (for building managed service offerings or Day 2 management services), and customers (for integrating with your own automation workflows). We’re already seeing partners building services around Horizon Cloud next-gen, and we can’t wait to see what else they come up with!
Improved stability, visibility, and troubleshooting
Moving the Pod functionality into the Horizon Control Plane reduces the footprint in your Azure environment and dramatically simplifies day-to-day operations for both your environment and the Horizon Cloud service. With fewer components running in each Azure subscription and Horizon Edge, you’ll experience additional stability like never before. Plus, our VMware Operations team benefits from increased observability over the entire service offering, which allows us to proactively detect and resolve issues before they affect your environment. Finally, should an issue arise, we’ve also built in advanced alerting and reporting capabilities to keep everyone on the same page.
Hopefully you see why we’re so excited about Horizon Cloud next-gen! The best part, though, is that this is all part of the Horizon ecosystem, which means you’ll still enjoy the same clients, protocol, and features (like hybrid support, app management, image management, etc.) that you’ve come to expect from VMware Horizon. Plus, it’s available via the Horizon subscription you already have today.
With this announcement, all new customers will immediately receive the benefits of the next-gen infrastructure. Current Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure customers will need to undergo a small migration that requires minimal customer interaction. We will be migrating select customers in the coming months, and the Horizon Operations team will be reaching out to you with more information. Rest assured, nothing will happen without your knowledge and cooperation.
More information on Horizon Cloud next-gen, including VMware Explore sessions, can be found below:
- VMware Explore Session – Next-Generation Hybrid DaaS architecture – What’s New with Horizon Cloud [EUSB2138US]
- VMware Explore Session – VMware Horizon Cloud Service – next-gen: Intro and Architecture Deep Dive with Demos [EUST2158US]
- Product Docs
- Horizon Cloud next-gen Datasheet
- Horizon Cloud next-gen FAQ
- Horizon Cloud Product Page
- VMware Horizon Resources on VMware Tech Zone
- Reference Architectures on VMware Tech Zone
For more VMware Explore news, see our VMware Explore 2022 Anywhere Workspace, Workspace ONE, and Horizon announcement overview and all of the articles in our VMware Explore 2022 category.