VMware is excited to announce that Horizon® Cloud Service™ has achieved Authority to Operate (ATO) in the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP®) and State Risk and Authorization Management Program (StateRAMP®) High environment. This authorization means U.S. federal and state agencies and contractors — as well as local and tribal governments — can use Horizon Cloud Service to deploy and manage VDI and app workloads on premises and in Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure GovCloud.
What are FedRAMP and StateRAMP High authorizations?
FedRAMP is a U.S. government program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services used by the U.S. government. This security compliance framework aims to protect U.S. citizen and federal data in the cloud, based on these objectives:
- Confidentiality: data should be kept secure from unauthorized parties.
- Integrity: data should be protected against unauthorized modification.
- Availability: data is available to authorized users when they need it.
FedRAMP High authorization is built on a rigorous set of security standards. Products and services need to receive ATO for federal agencies to use them as a solution or for proof of concept.
For all U.S. federal agencies, products and services must have the FedRAMP certification to ensure:
- A higher level of integrity and transparency between the U.S. government and services that they are leveraging from any cloud providers
- A continuous monitoring of services used by federal agencies
- Use of secure and reliable solutions that are assessed and authorized regularly
Similar to how FedRAMP qualifies and authorizes cloud providers for federal agencies, StateRAMP helps state and local agencies to qualify and deploy services from cloud-service providers to meet established regulatory standards. Unlike FedRAMP, which has government oversight, StateRAMP is an independent non-profit organization.
Horizon Cloud Service has achieved authorization from FedRAMP and the General Services Administration (GSA) through the Joint Authorization Board (JAB) for multiple civilian, intelligence, and education agencies. Horizon Cloud Service has also received its ATO from StateRAMP for state and local agencies.
What is Horizon Cloud Service?
VMware Horizon is an industry-leading virtual desktop and application solution that is leveraged by enterprises and government agencies around the globe. In fact, in the latest IDC Marketscape Worldwide Virtual Client Computing (VCC) Vendor Assessment, Horizon was positioned as a Leader for the sixth consecutive time.
The FedRAMP- and StateRAMP-authorized offering of VMware Horizon is Horizon Cloud Service. Using Horizon Cloud Service, IT teams can efficiently deploy and scale virtual desktops and apps from a single control plane with rapid provisioning, automation, and simplified management. This service ensures the same seamless VDI experience on premises, in Microsoft Azure GovCloud, and in hybrid cloud environments.
Top Horizon Cloud Service benefits
Here is a summary of important benefits that Horizon Cloud Service with FedRAMP and StateRAMP High authorization offers for federal agencies.
Extends workloads with a hybrid solution
Most federal agencies host their VDI and app services on premises. In case extra capacity is required, instead of standing up additional expensive infrastructure on premises, agencies can leverage Horizon Cloud Service for cloud bursting, so their users can consume various virtual desktops and apps from the public cloud. Thus, having a hybrid solution with on-premises and public cloud solutions, such as Microsoft Azure GovCloud, federal agencies can now redefine their VDI capabilities.
Provides unparalleled end-user experience
Horizon Cloud Service provides a consistent user experience across hybrid VDI deployments. Agencies can continue to leverage Horizon VDI clients and use the VMware Blast protocol to have superior performance wherever their desktops or apps are located.
Supports a variety of workloads
Users may need various types of virtual desktops and apps to meet their demands, and this means IT needs to support a broad set of workloads. Now, Horizon Cloud Service provides flexibility to support instant and full clone VDI workloads based on Linux and Windows. Agencies can support Windows 10 multi-session in Azure cloud. Furthermore, RDSH-based workloads are supported on Microsoft Azure.
Additional Horizon Cloud Service features include session collaboration, screen capturing, and user and image management. IT admins can also deliver optimized video and audio experiences across collaboration software — such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Webex — with this solution. If you are interested in the complete features list, please refer to this feature comparison matrix.
We are pleased that Horizon Cloud Service is now FedRAMP and StateRAMP High authorized. For a deeper dive on the FedRAMP authorization, read “FedRAMP High Authorization for VMware Horizon Cloud Service,” a Tech Zone article.
For additional information about how VMware Horizon can help your agency realize its full VDI potential, please speak with your VMware account team.