by Thor Olavsrud

VMware Shares Vision, Looks to Horizon

Aug 28, 20124 mins
Consumer ElectronicsDesktop VirtualizationIT Leadership

VMware CTO Steve Herrod tells VMworld attendees how the virtualization leader is managing the consumerization of IT. The vision hasn't changed a lot since last year, with one exception. The vision is now an integrated one based on the Horizon Suite.

SAN FRANCISCO — The second day of VMworld 2012 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco kicked off with VMware CTO Steve Herrod enumerating the virtualization giant’s advances in managing the consumerization of IT. The vision remains largely the same as the one expressed last year, with one major difference: no more point solutions.

Whereas last year had VMware watchers buzzing about Project Octopus, Project Horizon, Project AppBlast and other point solutions, this year it’s about Horizon Suite, which brings those capabilities and others together into a comprehensive integrated platform for managing a mobile workforce.

Vittorio Viarengo, vice president of Product Marketing, End-User Computing at VMware demonstrates Horizon Suite.

“It’s the exact same vision, but this time we’re delivering on it,” Herrod told the keynote audience, eliciting some chuckles. He noted that customers have spoken clearly. “You want us to deliver suites, not point solutions.”

The point solutions, he said, create a hodge podge of tools and add complexity to IT. That translates into increased costs and reduced flexibility.

“Last year at VMworld, we unveiled our vision for End User Computing and in May we showed progress across all axis of that vision–that is Desktop, Apps and Data, by shipping a new version of View, Horizon Application Manager and the beta release of Octopus for secure file syncing and sharing,” says Vittorio Viarengo, vice president of Product Marketing, End-User Computing at VMware.

[Related: VMware Envisions Virtualization in Post-PC, BYOD Era]

“Since then, our engineering team has been very busy bringing these components together into a one, integrated and cohesive suite. It’s hard work, don’t try to do this at home (nor should you have to do it), but we believe it is the right thing to do in the long run. The VMware Horizon Suite provides end user with a single place to get access to their apps, data and desktops and gives IT a single management console to manage entitlements policies and security.”

“This alpha integrates both Horizon Application manager, the project formerly known as Octopus,” Viarengo says. “It will also feature the HTML remoting technologies that we demoed last year as part of the AppBlast project. In this first release we will use the HTML remoting protocol to give user access to their View desktops from any browser but stay tuned for more exciting ways we are going to leverage this technology.”

Horizon Suite will bring together Project Octopus, Project AppBlast, ThinApp, Horizon Application Manager and Horizon Mobile into an integrated management platform. It uses a central Web management console that allows IT to customize a service catalog for an organization’s data and applications.

Horizon Data will sit at the center of Horizon Suite, providing role-based access and policy enforcement across applications, data and desktops.

[Related: Does VMware Move Signal That Big Data Is Ready for Prime Time?]

“You need to start thinking about applying policy and identity to a person and then have it follow on whatever device they happen to use,” Herrod said.

Bringing together all these solutions in a single suite will allow IT to deliver Windows, Android, iOS, Web and SaaS applications in a single workspace while giving end users self-service access to applications and data.

VMware says it expects to deliver a beta version of Horizon Suite in the fourth quarter. VMware is also continuing to push the idea of desktop virtualization, both with the existing VMware View application and now with Mirage, brought to VMware as part of its recent Wanova acquisition.

[Related: VMware Kills vRAM Pricing With vSphere 5.1]

Whereas View focuses on hosting desktops in the data center, Mirage is designed to add the capability to manage desktops in the cloud while still allowing local system execution on physical desktops and laptops. Mirage clones the images of the endpoints in the data center and runs them locally.

Thor Olavsrud covers IT Security, Big Data, Open Source, Microsoft Tools and Servers for Follow Thor on Twitter @ThorOlavsrud. Follow everything from on Twitter @CIOonline and on Facebook. Email Thor at