#VMworld US 2017: End User Computing / VDI, announcements and releases

During (and around) VMworld 2017 VMware has lifted many of their products to a new level to enable their customer a better and more agile software-defined datacenter than ever. Besides their datacenter portfolio VMware is pushing their vision of a digital workspace in the end-user computing field much further.

Horizon + Airwatch -> Workspace One try to combine all relevant subjects within the EUC field (Identities, Desktops, Applications, Devices, Policies, … ) within one single solution.

The following post summarize the EUC announcements within VMware’s current and upcoming products.

##### Virtual Desktops and Applications Delivery

Horizon 7

During VMworld the next release of Horizon 7.3 has been announced. With Horizon 7 we have a solution in place that delivers Applications (RDSH-based) and/or virtual desktops from the datacenter to the end-user over a (very good) remote protocoll.

Whats’s New:

  • Skype for Business improvements (via VDI and RDSH-Hoste Application, Linux & Mac endpoint support in beta)
  • Better Horizon Apps (via RDSH) integration into the virtual Desktop & Endpoint (session preloading, integration in start menu)
  • Blast Improvements
  • Support for NVIDIA Pascal architecture including a new Management Pack for vRealize Operations

My Opinion:

Horizon 7.3 is finally solving a problem I have dealt since 1 year. Integrating RDSH-Hosted Applications smoothly  into the guest OS. Since the session is preloaded and nut just established when a user clicks on the application item the performance of this solution will be much closer to a native installation.

The next thing I am really looking forward ist the session collaboration. A functionality of blast that will allow the user to share this session with others. Can’t wait to get this included!

Release Date: soon (Horizon has a quarterly release schedule ;-).

Related links:

JMP

With Just-In-Time Management Platform (JMP) VMware announced a few months ago not a complete new solution, but an integrated component which leverages existing technologies to help solve problems within virtual desktop solutions nowadays:

“Different Users and their use-cases have different requirements regarding their virtual desktop hardware and required applications.”

The platform is coming with a slick HTML5 interface combining the functionality of

  • Instant Clones with a configurable virtual hardware set
  • App Volumes to attach Applications (called AppStacks) residing on a VMDK to a desktop
  • User Environment Manager to manage the users profile

Whats’s New:

  • Everything and nothing ;-)

My Opinion:

Eventhough all technologies exist and are production-ready nowadays there the integration of it via the Just-In-Time Management Platform will make it easier to quickly deliver the right desktop to the specific use cases from within a single interface. The platform will offer an API that can be used to integrate it into existing service portal that are available within the enterprises.

I hope we will be able to get hands on pretty quick on the solution. I don’t really like the strategy of VMware to talk within official blog posts about products that are not production ready (App Volumes 3) or close of being released at all. I hope this strategy will change soon, since VMware’s EUC portfolio is getting bigger and more complex so that it is really hard for us to keep on track what is just an announced vision, an almost released product or a GA product.

Release Date: TBD

Related links:

##### Mobile & Device Management

Disclaimer: I am an expert within the VDI and datacenter part of modern end-user computing. My experience and opinions on the mobile and device management part ist quite limited up to that point. 

Workspace One (including Unified Endpoint Manager (UEM))

With Unified Endpoint Manager the management of Windows 10, Mac OS ,Chrome Os, iOS and Android can be fully managed centrally. Beeing part of workspace one you are able to integrate Horizon and Airwatch to fully features EUC stack.

Whats’s New:

  • Only available device manager to support Chrome OS (Airwatch and Google license required)
  • Cloud-based peer-to-peer (P2P) software distribution technology to install large applications to distributed PCs at scale.
  • Support for HP Device-as-a-Service

My Opinion:

Wow…another product which abbreviation is UEM. In my area UEM has always been used as VMware’s product User Environment Manager. Having the same term for two different solutions within the same company is a guarantee to confuse customers and partners. It seems there is still a lot to do within the organizational integration between Airwatch and VMware. Anyway, the vision of Unified Endpoint Manager is a great one. Companies want Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD), they want their employes to buy a new Laptop and follow during the setup a procedure that ends up in a corporate ready device that has full compliance. Wizard based setup like we are used to it from an iPhone or Android are the baseline.

Related links:

Workspace One App Express

With Workspace One App Express customers will be able to capture Windows Applications, let them run within the Cloud and give access to the user via the workspace one portal.

Whats’s New:

  • Everything

My Opinion:

The solution is a SaaS solution only that might be used for simple Applications that don’t need access to corporate Active Directories or Data. To be honest I am not sure that solution will work out. I have expected when I heard about this product that we can install applications within instant clones to be able to publish them out to specific users via workspace one.

Related links:

 

Workspace One Intelligence

Workspace One Intelligence is a separate product within VMware’s mobile device portfolio. The idea behind Workspace One Intelligence is to give fully insides in all kind of endpoint and desktop relevant data within a corperation, quickly discover information out of it and automate/trigger actions based on the findings. Therefore it enables data driven decisions and actions from a single data-lake which includes all kind endpoint related data. Workspace One Intelligence is a cloud based Software-as-a-Service offering that will be available for Workspace SaaS and On-Premises customers.

Whats’s New:

  • Everything

My Opinion:

The demo of Workspace One Intelligence was quite cool. Quickly figuring out that specific product versions with security risks exists and create specific actions directly for those computers can be quite useful in days where our computers are attacked on a daily base.

Since the core technology is based on Amazons elastic search we will only be able to consume the service as a cloud service. This might be a big deal since so much data will be collected and especially German customers are quite cautious about data stored within public cloud providers (especially when the product offering it is called Airwatch ;-)

Release Date: End-of-Year

Related links:

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