The smartphone has become much more than a mobility enabler — it’s a life-enabler.
“This device is going to be the remote control to our life,” said Sanjay Poonen, VMware’s executive vice president and general manager for end-user computing, speaking at VMworld 2015. “It is fundamentally transforming the way in which we work and live.”
But the transformation won’t be complete until “consumer simplicity meets enterprise security,” Poonen said. “The goal is to connect the user who wants simplicity — to IT who wants security. Connect users who want choice to IT who wants control.”
With mobile rising as the new desktop, VMware sees end-user computing growing just as fast as the Internet of Things, Poonen said.
In order to cater to that demand, VMware announced several new products at VMworld 2015 in San Francisco this week. Here’s a breakdown of a few key products unveiled.
For companies migrating to Windows 10, VMware offered a tech preview for Project A2, which packages the company’s AirWatch and App Volumes services.
For SMBs and enterprises moving to the new Microsoft operating system — or simply needing to better manage disparate applications — this offers a solution.
“We’re providing a streamlined platform to manage all these different types of applications and push them out in real time to users in a seamless fashion,” explained Courtney Burry, VMware’s senior director for product marketing.
Project A2 offers IT teams a uniform management experience for their entire fleet of Windows 10 desktop devices and mobile devices, she said. It also delivers a consistent end-user mobile workspace that provides access to applications including Windows, Software as a Service apps and mobile — to any device.
VMware Identity Manager
Single sign-on tools are nothing new, but offering this level of identity management with applications in the cloud forms the basis of VMware’s new Identity Manager.
With the new solution, end users receive single sign-on convenience for all of their applications, including Windows apps, SaaS apps or Office 365.
“This is the only solution out there right now has hooks into Office 365 to simplify the pushing down of those certifications so that users can access and log on and get single sign-on into Office 365,” Burry said. “This is offered as a cloud-based model as well as an on-premises model.”
Identity Manager also provides context awareness, meaning users are automatically provided sign-on access to only the applications they need, depending on their role, location and device, she said.
The next generation of VMware virtual desktop technology, Horizon 6.2, brings a new level of advanced management and security features, powered by VMware’s proven the software-defined datacenter.
“Most customers are moving toward this if they want an advanced security appliance,” Burry said. “You’re able to pull all of the data and management back into the data center. You’re also streamlining the management of users because now you’re managing everything centrally — nothing is tied to the endpoints anymore.”
Desktop virtualization provides increased efficiency for end users at a lower cost, she said, by providing a consistent experience across any device and location connected. The Horizon update allows for server load balancing and federated access to link mobile end users to the nearest servers for faster performance.
“From a cost perspective, virtual desktop is huge because what a lot of people don’t realize is for every dollar you spend on hardware, you’re spending about three to four dollars managing it,” she said.
The separation of management from infrastructure forms the basis of Project Enzo, available in beta to selected VMware customers this quarter.
“This provides all customers, SMB and commercial included, with a flexibility to deliver desktop and application services across clouds,” Burry said. “The management all sits in the cloud, and your desktop and applications can sit locally on a local appliance.”
According to VMware, its unified hybrid cloud model also provides a right-sized solution based on user needs, so it’s cost-effective. Additionally, Project Enzo allows users to push out custom desktops in seconds, she said.
“You effectively can create a desktop, inject applications into it and then push that down to users in seconds,” she said.
With these new products, VMware moves forward to deliver any device, any application, from anywhere — at lower costs, decreased complexity and cross-cloud agility.