VMware bundles apps into BYOD management suite

VMware Horizon Suite will allow workers to access applications from any device

Anticipating the greater use of personal consumer electronics in the workplace, VMware has bundled three of its IT management products into a single suite designed to help administrators deliver worker data, applications and desktops to myriad end-user devices.

The new VMware Horizon Suite includes the VMware View VDI (Virtual Desktop Interface), the VMware Mirage desktop management software and a new product, VMware Horizon Workspace, an extension of its Horizon Application Manager introduced last year.

VMware also updated VMware View -- now called VMware Horizon View -- and VMware Mirage, now called VMware Horizon Mirage.

The Horizon Suite will allow employees to access work applications from any device they use, whether it is a laptop, tablet or even smartphone, said Erik Frieberg, VMware senior director for end user computing.

VMware's approach is "to transform the silo apps, such as operation systems, into services that can be delivered to end users in any device, with policy-based management," Frieberg said.

According to Forrester Research, 67 percent of employees in the workforce are now using their own personal smartphones to conduct some work business and 46 percent use their own laptops. Such BYOD (bring-your-own-device) practices can be a challenge for system administrators, who must assure the integrity of organizational data, software and equipment.

The three software products have been tailored to work together to provide a comprehensive way for employees to access data and applications no matter what device they use, Frieberg said.

The VMware Horizon Workspace provides a single integrated workspace where employees can access their data and company applications, as well as discover new applications that would be necessary for the work duties. The software also provides a link to get to their desktops through VMware Horizon View.

VMware Horizon Workspace can be advantageous in that it provides users a single sign-on for all their applications and data while providing administrators the ability to control these resources from a single location, for updating and compliance monitoring.

VMware Horizon View provides a way for users to access their desktops from any device. The newly updated version 5.2 of View comes with support for hardware-accelerated three-dimensional graphics, useful for rendering files in the CAD (computer-assisted design) and CAM (computer assisted manufacturing) formats. The software now can understand gesture movements, so it can be run on tablets.

VMware Horizon Mirage provides a way for system administrators to manage the user desktops remotely. The newly released version 4 of Mirage allows administrators to update parts of an OS without disturbing the data or the applications on the computer.

VMware Horizon Mirage 4 and VMware Horizon Workspace each cost US$150 per named user. VMware Horizon View 5.2 costs $250 per concurrent connection, and is offered in increments of 10 licenses. The Horizon Suite as a whole costs $300 per named user.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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