VMworld: VMware Horizon Flex To Manage Local Virtual Desktops On PC And Mac

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VMware says new platform will allow businesses to cope with the Bring Your Own Laptop phenomenon by supporting all types of device

VMware says Horizon Flex will allow businesses to cope with Bring Your Own Laptop (BYOL) by deploying corporate Windows virtual desktops on PCs and Macs, while improving efficiency and reducing cost at the same time.

The virtualisation specialist says Horizon Flex will allow firms to manage systems previously thought to difficult or expensive to support and machines added to a corporate network for a short period of time.

It claims many companies have to officially or unofficially support Mac machines because of demand from workers, leaving gaps in many firm’s IT strategy. It claims that Horizon Flex, in conjunction with AirWatch’s Mac OS X management capabilities, ensures corporate data and networks are protected with policies and approved applications.

VMware Horizon Flex

VMware Pat GelsingerEmployees are in theory less likely to circumvent restrictions because their device isn’t supported and in any case, should a virtual desktop not meet compliance rules, it can be disabled. This remote termination feature is also useful should a personal device be lost or stolen..

Speaking at VMworld 2014 in Barcelona, Sanjay Poonen, executive vice president and general manager of end-user computing at VMware, said employees were used to accessing streamed films and music through services like Spotify and Netflix on a device of their choice and this was being reflected in the corporate world, too.

“There’re some fundamental changes happening in the world of end users and IT,” Poonen said of the shift towards mobility, adding that the different types of devices and operating systems required a neutral player to help manage them.

Naturally, he feels VMware and its suite of products, including those from AirWatch, made his company the “Switzerland of IT” in a reference to the Alpine country’s famous political neutrality.

VMware has also rebranded its Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) offering as Horizon Air, and plans to expand the service to France and Germany. A new cloud-based disaster recovery service was announced at VMworld and the company also revealed how it plans to use its recent acquisition of ClodVolumes.

Now known as App Volumes, customers can instantly add approved and remove applications and services to virtual machines in a similar manner to smartphones, leading VMware CTO kit Colbert to call it an “App Store-like experience”.

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