Today VMware EUC have announced not only VMware View 5.1 but many of the much anticipated EUC products including Horizon Application Manager, vCenter Operations Manager for View and Project Octopus!
Over the last year VMware have been teasing us with information on their continued vision for End User Computing and todays announcements start bringing those visions to reality.
VMware View 5.1
One of the most exciting new features for me in this new release is the VMware View Storage Accelerator, the storage requirements for View and any type of VDI can be an issue for any deployment but probably most relevantly for SMB’s. With the Storage Accelerator up to 2GB of RAM in each of your VDI hosts is used to accelerate the most commonly used storage blocks, meaning there can be up to a massive 80% reduction in peaks IOPS required from the storage device.
I can’t wait to see this live in some of my customers environments to see what reductions in IO we see after we enable storage acceleration.
This isn’t the only new feature, USB support has been greatly enhanced, RADIUS is supported for greater second form factor authentication support and a number of other features have been enhanced or introduced to further allow greater scale with View, these include user interface response times, allowing View Composer to be installed on a separate server to the vCenter and a further optimised PCoIP protocol.
VMware Horizon Application Manager 1.5
For the first time VMware Horizon Application Manger is available internationally and not just in the US and it can now be installed on premise with a simple new virtual appliance format. For me this is one of the products I have been waiting for, I think the enterprise application store is going to be an important change in the way we are delivering applications to our end users and Horizon answers two of the most common ways I see applications being consumed moving forward. Horizon Application Manager 1.5 not only allows us to distribute ThinApps to our users but also allows us to manage the provisioning and authentication of cloud based applications that we are starting to see increasingly more common within everyday life as well as within the enterprise.
I had a chance to play with distributing ThinApps via Horizon Application Manager at VMworld last year and I was very impressed, I have been waiting for a VMware mechanism to distribute ThinApps for some time, for me distributing them via View has never gelled well with me, but the way Horizon Application Manager allows you to do it in the style of an Enterprise Application store I think works really well. At present I am waiting for more information on licensing for this, I understand it is going to ship with ThinApp licences as standard, I want to understand how existing ThinApp customers would be able to purchase App Manager without having to buy more licenses.
VMware vCenter Operations Manager for View
I am a big fan of VMware vCenter Operations Manager and I am pleased to see that a VDI specific version is now being released, which is specifically geared around the VDI workloads and includes elements like PCoIP bandwidth utilisation. This is probably the product I have had the least amount of exposure to thus far as I haven’t been part of the beta for this product, for this reason I will reserve judgement till later. Having said that I think when monitoring end user workloads their are a number of metrics that you need to know below the infrastructure layer itself, such as logon times and application load times, these tend to be the elements that users will notice the most, I also want to be alerted to crashing applications etc, I have had good experience with products like LiquidWare Labs Stratusphere UX for these reasons. It will be interesting to see how vCenter Operations Manager for View compares to their product.
VMware Project Octopus Beta
I have been a big user of Dropbox for a long time now so fully understand the passion end users have for wanting to use this in their work lives as well as personal lives, but in my position as a consultant I can also fully understand the risks to a business and the difficulties an IT manager has over being able to administer, manage and police such an application in the workplace. When I heard about Project Octopus last year I really wanted to get my hands on it and see how good it was! Project Octopus is exactly what you would expect from a corporate DropBox alternative, it is an on premise, file sharing solutions with multiple end point device support. The IT department are in control of external sharing, file retention, versioning and quota’s via policies, the end users can store their files in their Octopus folder much like their DropBox folder, there is then a web interface, Windows and Mac clients and IOS and Android clients. I have been impressed with what I have seen so far from this product and I cant wait to see how it is developed before release. I would love granular controls to be able to manage the types of files being synced as I don’t want to be syncing my users personal MP3’s and Movie collection on my shared storage, the Octopus server is also a Linux virtual appliance so I need to understand backup and recovery of individual files a lot better moving forward. This is also a space that is starting to become very crowded very quickly with Microsoft’s SkyDrive, Google Drive and maybe more relevantly on premise solutions like RES Software’s HyperDrive and Citrix’s Sharefile, so it is going to be interesting to see who comes out on top, if indeed Dropbox doesn’t have something up their sleeves to meet these corporate requirements.
Release Dates and More Information
VMware states that they expect these products will be available in the 2nd quarter of 2012 so watch out for more information. VMware are also running an online conference covering the end user computing announcements tomorrow, to register please view their website here >> https://event.on24.com/eventRegistration/EventLobbyServlet?target=registration.jsp&eventid=450929&sessionid=1&key=66DC78E604772289A3EC818E9C7FD1E0&partnerref=W_EUC&sourcepage=register
To view the whole announcement visit VMware’s website here >> http://www.vmware.com/company/news/releases/vmw-euc-portfolio-05-02-12.html