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Why Horizon Suite? How View, Mirage and Workspace work together for VDI [VMware]

Servers, Storage and Networking | Posted on June 26, 2013 by David Davis

VMware View is an industry leading Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solution that runs on top of the VMware vSphere hypervisor. Enterprises around the world use VMware View to successfully virtualize thousands of end user desktops, moving them into the datacenter. Recently, VMware has announced the availability of a new suite of tools, that includes VMware View, called the Horizon Suite. What makes up the new VMware Horizon Suite and how do you know if your company actually needs it?

What is VMware Horizon Suite?

VMware’s new flagship end-user computing product is the Horizon Suite. It’s made up of three products. They are:

  1. VMware Horizon View – Horizon View is really just the latest version of “VMware View” that you have heard of before. The most important piece of Horizon View is the connection broker (called “View Manager”), which connects end user to their virtualized desktop in the datacenter. Also included with View is VMware’s PCoIP remote display protocol to deliver the best end user experience possible, over the LAN or WAN. Finally, View includes ThinApp (for application virtualization) and Composer (for rapid creation of desktop images from a golden image). End users connect to their View desktops via multiple methods including a View software client on a desktop/laptop, View iPad or Android client, through a web browser, or a thin-client hardware-based device.
why you should implement Horizone Suite [VMware]

Figure 1 – A VMware Horizon View Infrastructure (Graphic Thanks to VMware.com).

2. VMware Horizon Mirage – based on technology acquired from Wanova, VMware’s Mirage is a unique solution for physical desktops. Quite different from traditional VDI, Mirage is a centralized desktop image management technology that separates the PC into logical layers owned and managed by either IT or the end-user. It may be difficult to understand how exactly Mirage works so I recommend that you watch this entertaining VMware Mirage introduction video.

Why you should implement Horizon Suite [VMware]

Figure 2 – VMware Horizon Mirage (Graphic Thanks to VMware.com)

3. VMware Horizon Workspace – like Mirage, Horizon Workspace is also not a traditional VDI solution. Instead, Horizon Workspace is provides a single centralized interface for all users to securely access their company’s applications and data – from any device. With Workspace, administrators gain more simple, centralized, policy-based management for all users where end-users gain the freedom to be mobile while accessing their company’s data an any device at any time. Think of Workspace as a web-based portal for your company’s critical apps and data files. Here’s what it looks like:

Why you should implement Horizon Suite [VMware]

Figure 3 – VMware Horizon Workspace (Graphic Thanks to VMware.com)

So why would VMware want to sell an EUC suite full of products that potentially compete with one another and how do you know if you need this new suite of products? Let’s find out.

Do You Need VMware’s Horizon Suite?
The majority of companies today are still using traditional end user desktops, Windows AD roaming profiles, and shared Windows file servers. With this traditional design, you’re troubled by problems like:

  • Troubleshooting end user desktop and laptops
  • Applications and operating system upgrade difficulties
  • Roaming profiles that have grown too large
  • Login times being too long
  • Remote access users not having the applications they need
  • Sharing files between company locations
  • Delays getting new desktops up and running
  • End users bringing their own devices that are unsupported
  • Potential for data loss from users using their own devices, USB devices, or roaming data on laptops
  • Overall high cost of maintenance and ownership

The implementation of VDI, or virtual desktop infrastructure, using (in this case) VMware Horizon View has been the traditional “prescription” for these “aliments” however, even VMware realized that it’s not the perfect solution for every company and every business case. For that reason, they invested in other end user computing solutions – Mirage and Workspace.

For example, they recognize that not every company is going to adopt VDI immediately so, for those who still want to use traditional desktops but remove many of these pain points, VMware has a solution for you with Mirage.

In another example, for end users who want to bring their own desktop or use their iPad at work or on the go, VMware recognized that View wasn’t the perfect solution as it presented the end user with an entire virtual machine desktop when perhaps all they really wanted access to was a single application. Again, VMware now has a solution for that situation as well with VMware Horizon Workspace.

In other words, the solutions in VMware Horizon aren’t competing; they are complementary and designed to fulfill all the various use cases that a company will need to maximize the experience of the end users (leading to maximum productivity!)

Action Items
To sum this article up:

  • VMware View is now Horizon View and it’s part of the Horizon Suite
  • The VMware Horizon Suite is made up of View, Mirage, and Workspace
  • The different solutions in the Horizon Suite are designed to maximize the end user computing (EUC) experience at your company

My recommendation is to evaluate the new VMware Horizon Suite (available free for 60 days) and speak with a dedicated Softchoice VMware expert to explore how the VMware Horizon Suite will make you your IT staff more efficient, save your company money, and maximize your company’s end user experience.

Have questions about VMware Horizon Suite? Leave them in the comments below and I will get back to you!

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