Yesterday we saw the announcement of VMware Horizon 6.0 with over 150 new features including some major new features for VMware Horizon View. I am not going to spend long regurgitating information already available but the main new features in this release are as follows.
- Remote Desktop’s through Microsoft RDSH have long been supported by VMware and View but it has always been treated as a second class citizen with no PCoIP support, now RDSH desktops are fully supported with PCoIP, even more importantly you can publish individual applications from remote desktop session hosts in a similar manner to XenApp
- Horizon Workspace now not only supports SaaS applications and ThinApps but also RDS Hosted Applications and XenApp Applications!
- Optimization and Integration with VSAN
- Enhanced Monitoring and Automation capabilities with VMware vCenter Operations Manager and vCloud Automation Center
- New cloud Pod and Block Architecture allowing high availability and scale out across multiple datacenters including VCHS
The image below shows the Horizon Workspace End-User App Portal, displaying VDI Desktops, RDS Desktops, ThinApps, RDS Apps and XenApps all in one seamless view
I am going to dig into the technical features and how to’s in the coming weeks but in the mean time I would recommend checking out the following resources for more information
CEO Video Message
CTO Blog Post
The Future of End User Computing
If you look at the Horizon 6 release in individual components any one feature may not be classed as ground breaking or revolutionary more maybe evolutionary, but when you stop and consider what is actually happening within end user computing at the moment, I believe this sets VMware ahead of the competition.
If we go back 2 years or more ago we were all awaiting the year of VDI, which I think we have now come to realise is never going to materialise to the same effect that virtualisation had for x86 servers. More so end user computing has become more focused around freedom and flexibility as well as the importance of user experience, if we try and deliver this with VDI alone we are not going to be able to succeced in every situation and arguably alone in any situation. We need the flexibility to be able to deliver the end user experience in the right way for the given user and potentially in different ways for this user on different devices.
We have seen VMware over the years formulating their end user computing vision with many acquisitions namely Wanova and Airwatch to allow them to tackle much more than simply VDI, with Horizon 6 we are starting to see many elements coming together. The future of end user computing isn’t just VDI, isn’t just Tablets and isn’t just SaaS it is going to be a mixture of modern technologies and legacy to support our legacy applications and the methods by which we work. Organisations are still going to be using PC’s alongside their tablets and their legacy applications alongside their ThinApps and SaaS applications, we need a solution that can be as flexible as our users requirements whilst allowing us simplicity in management, monitoring and automation.
Why is having RDS Application Publishing Support Important? I have long said that Citrix’s biggest asset has been XenApp and I have been confused with their messaging over reason years of its on going support or lack of. Whilst session based desktops and applications can have their inherent problems they also offer simplistic ways to host and distribute applications. If you are able to publish applications individually, it allows the user to seamlessly work on the device that they want without having to chop and change between the native OS and a VDI desktop.
I am really excited by the vision of End User Computing that VMware are brining to us and I believe we are now seeing a suite of products that is able to assist with your end user computing strategy what ever that maybe VDI or not. They also aren’t shy to embrace the competition which we can see with the XenApp support, if you are using these systems you don’t need to do a forklift move from XenApp as Horizon Workspace will be able to seamlessly support these applications or Horizon View 6 will help you move away if you desire.