Home VMware Improves View, and Extends Horizon

VMware Improves View, and Extends Horizon

Yesterday’s VMware announcements were all about the data center and the global cloud ecosystem. Today the announcements are more end-user focused. Today the company took the wraps off VMware View 5 and updates to VMware Horizon.

Aside from a scenic theme to the announcements, what’s going on with View and Horizon? VMware View lets organizations provide personalized virtual desktops to users as a managed service. Users can get their desktop on a mobile device, laptop, desktop, or thin client.

Thanks to improvements in View 5, they can get them faster and with less bandwidth. VMware has enhanced its PCoIP delivery so that you can get up to 75% bandwidth improvement. Better compression, client-side caching, and the choice of lossless options. They’ve also added performance optimizations that are supposed to reduce the load on CPUs by 5 to 10%.

View 5 also promises to deliver better graphics overall, by using View 5 with vSphere 5. This means that users that get their desktops via View will have the option of using Windows Aero or other 3D applications that require Direct-X or OpenGL support. And users can have displays that are up to 1900×1200. Two of them, actually.

The real biggie with View 5 is persona management. This preserves the user’s profile between sessions – that includes user-specific desktop settings, application data and settings, and other Windows registry entries configured by applications. This doesn’t look quite as comprehensive as the technology Citrix picked up from RingCube, but should be a big boost for shops that are already invested in VMware View and vSphere. VMware’s Scott Davis has blogged extensively about the “flavors” of persona management.

There’s also an update to the VMware View Client for iPad on the, er, horizon. Pricing for View 5 is $150 per concurrent connection for the enterprise edition and $250 per concurrent user for the premier edition. Both editions include vSphere 5 for desktops, vCenter Server 5 and VMware View Manager 5. Premier adds View Client with Local Mode, ThinApp 4.6, and View Composer and vShield Endpoint.

On the Horizon

In addition to updating View, VMware announced updates to VMware Horizon. Horizon is meant to serve as an “identity-as-a-service” hub to extend user identity from systems like Microsoft Active Directory into the cloud. It consists of Mobile Manager and the Mobile Virtualization Platform (MVP) Mobile Manager is a console for monitoring, updating, and provisioning/de-provisioning virtual workspaces on mobile devices. The MVP is to allow users to run a virtual work environment on their mobile phones that’s separate from their personal environment.

This isn’t entirely new, VMware previewed MVP earlier this year at the Mobile World Congress. The announcement for this week is that MVP now works with LG and Samsung phones. LG was announced earlier this year, Samsung is new to the family of supported devices.

This is good and bad news for users and organizations. Good in that if they have a supported phone, they can use one phone for everything. Bad in that they’re saddled with a limited set of Android devices. And iOS isn’t on the list yet, though Raj Mallempati, director product marketing, enterprise desktop solutions for VMware says it’s “technically possible” to support iOS. It seems to be more a matter of getting Apple’s cooperation. Mallempati says he can’t say whether it’s likely or not that the iOS version will come to market.

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