VMware announces Horizon 7 and Workspace ONE – What are the cool things?

Ahead of their big unveiling events today and tomorrow VMware has announced two major new product updates: VMware Horizon 7 and VMware Workspace ONE. Let's look into what it is all about.There is a truckload of information already available on the different blogs - because VMware has allowed bloggers that were briefed to share the details today. I will talk about some of the features that really intrigue me and refer to some other sources. First the highlights.

The first announcement is VMware Horizon ONE (which has nothing to do with RES ONE Workspace by the way).  The Workspace ONE announcement has four major areas of new capabilities for customers:

  • Unified App Store – plugable architecture which becomes a collection of entitlements for the users. Workspace One App for IOS, Android and Windows. Integrates web, mobile, cloud, Windows, Horizon and Citrix. Simple onboarding with e-mail address.
  • Email and Content Apps – Integrated Email and Calendar system built for business. Integration platform for common worflows. Emails are protected on any device for malicious file attachments. This would be the Boxer acquisition.
  • Compliance Check Conditional Access – Sensitive data are protected by restricting access. It’s a policy engine which manages that. The policy engine resides in AirWatch. It’s possible to enforce for GPS location, App Blacklist or Jailbroken devices.
  • One Touch Mobile SSO – Eliminate passwords. No need complex PIN. Has new technology leveraging DTS (Device trust service). Without VPN, Cloud-based Kerberos Key distribution.

workspace ONE

More details are available from Brian (or Jack actually) Madden, Rob Beekmans or Vladan Seget. I really like the overarching message and applicability of this set of products to a large market. Not everyone is ready to go all mobile nor is everyone still on Windows XP with apps running from network shares. With this offering VMware can allow you to be bleeding edge without having to do away with what you have. It seems integrating identity management and EMM (along with virtual desktops, web SSO, and other things) is clearly the way forward for end user computing.

One of the capabilities I want to highlight that I like that VMware is selling security to end users - which is where the sale (or acceptance) really is made. Let me explain. With the combination of the new capabilities Compliance Check Conditional Access and One Touch Mobile SSO IT has the possibility to offer security to their business consumers that actually makes the life of the business employee easier instead of harder. That's a huge benefit towards user acceptance and overall success of the project.

The second announcement is about AppVolumes 3.0, Horizon Air Hybrid Mode (formerly Project Enzo), and Horizon 7.  The AppVolumes 3.0 announcement came out last week and is all about addressing some of the (perceived) issues with AppVolumes and adding some new functionality. Horizon Air Hybrid Mode is what used to be known as Project Enzo and now the first version of that is about to ship. Here's a video - where it is interesting to see Dell's Steve Lalla prominently in the video:

Horizon 7 'just' is the next major version of VMware Horizon. There is a ton of new stuff. Again, Brian (Gabe actually) Madden, Rob Beekmans or Vladan Seget have more information. I'll pick some highlights that I personally think are very interesting.



AppToggle lets you deliver single applications from an AppStack with that contains multiple apps as opposed to delivering the entire AppStack. AppToggle allows you to turn on/off applications, not just hiding. This should allow you to have less AppStacks, and easier management. It will depend on the ease of use and management to see how popular this functionality will be.



Then VMware also announced Blast Extreme Experience, an upgrade from the VMware Blast protocol that already exists today. The big thing about it is that it seems to offer feature parity with PCoIP on all platforms. It almost seems to good to believe but who knows. In fact, it seems Blast Extreme seems to be better than PCoIP because Blast Extreme uses less bandwidth, is better on bad networks (VMware claims it handle 20% packet loss and still present a reasonable user experience), less client side CPU and has / is an HTML5 client allowing for access from almost any device. This only reaffirms to me that the protocols we are seeing today will do for the bulk of all use cases.

Putting it all together

The final cool thing is not so much a product feature but more of an attitude. VMware has acquired quite a few companies lately in with this release you can see all of that (starting to) come together. Having been a part of a few acquisitions myself, I know that it is very easy to share the plan that you will integrate stuff fast but actually doing it is a second thing.

After all, resources are not endless so you can't focus completely on integration and forget about the resources needed to grow revenue on the 'standalone' features that need to be added to a product for it to remain competitive. On the other hand, you will have to integrate things sooner rather than later because the longer you wait the harder it gets.  VMware seems to have been able to pull if off in this release. Here's a video of how the Immidio acquisition has been put to use to create and integrate PCoIP Connection policies for Horizon View:

The products from these announcements will also (start to) show how this integration is facilitated: the common APIs and the common management interfaces (Astro). All of these announcements are aimed to provide customers with an integrated End User Computing solution and are comprised of different acquisitions (Airwatch, NSX, AppVolumes, Immidio etc.)

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