VMware gives enterprises a BYOD boost with three new tools

Employees get flexibility; IT gets security and control

Enterprise mobility is often a tug-of-war between freedom-seeking employees and security-minded IT departments, but VMware aims to make those differences go away. The virtualization giant on Tuesday rolled out a brand-new platform along with two key updates it says will help keep everyone happy.

Developed in part with the "bring your own device" trend in mind, Workspace One gives companies a single tool for delivering digital workspaces that aggregate all devices, applications and services while securely managing them through unified common access and identity.

Single-Sign On access, for example, leverages Secure App Token Systems for authentication. Once authenticated, employees gain instant self-service access to a personalized enterprise application store where they can subscribe to virtually any mobile, cloud or Windows application.

Self-service device provisioning through the new unified management platform, meanwhile, will allow employees to self-configure the laptops, smartphones and tablets of their choice -- BYOD or company-owned -- for immediate enterprise use. When they use their own devices, employees can choose the level of services and IT restrictions they're comfortable with, VMware said.

Workspace One will include consumer-style email, calendar, contacts, content and chat applications that feature invisible security measures. Swipe and touch integrations with Web applications such as Evernote and Gmail as well as third-party tools like Atlassian Jira and GitHub will also be included.

For sensitive information, Workspace One will combine identity and device management with ComplianceCheck Conditional Access to enforce access decisions across any application or device. It will also modernize application lifecycle management by giving administrators the ability to automate application delivery and provide updates on the fly. Workspace One will tap VMware AirWatch mobile management and VMware Horizon along with VMware App Volumes application-delivery technology.

The new platform is expected to be generally available this quarter in standard, advanced and enterprise editions. Prices will start at $8 per user per month for cloud subscriptions and $150 per user for on-premises perpetual licenses.

Also on Tuesday, VMware updated its Horizon and Horizon Air tools for for delivering and managing virtual applications and desktops. VMware Horizon 7, for example, features a new cloud-optimized display protocol. A new hybrid-mode capability in VMware Horizon Air, meanwhile, promises to simplify application and desktop delivery by combining the benefits of hyperconverged infrastructure and Virtual SAN Ready Nodes with a single, cloud-based plane to manage on-premises and cloud deployments.

VMware Horizon 7 and VMware Horizon Air with hybrid mode are expected to be generally available this quarter. VMware Horizon 7 pricing starts at $250 per user for on-premises perpetual licenses. VMware Horizon Air hybrid-mode cloud subscription pricing starts at $16 per user per month for named users and $26 per user per month for concurrent connections.

Ultimately, it's all about making mobility easier for enterprises to manage.

"Mobility initiatives are fascinating to observe inside businesses, but they can be extremely challenging for companies to wrap their arms around," said Mark Bowker, a senior analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group, via email.

Proactive threat detection, improved employee productivity and enhanced communication and collaboration are the top factors influencing an organization's mobility strategy, Bowker said, citing recent ESG research. The challenge sets in when IT and business professionals working towards those ends try to sift through a market that is "boiling with technology innovation," he added.

VMware is "one of the few vendors that can flex some muscle in the mobility market," Bowker added, thanks to its "breadth of technology and its ability to solve strategic mobility initiatives up and down the CIO’s whiteboard."

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Katherine Noyes

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