VMworld 2012 : VMware Introduces Horizon Suite

VMware Chief Technology Officer Steve Herrod kicked off the second day keynote of VMworld 2012 by playing drums with the opening musical act and introducing the new VMware Horizon Suite. Currently in alpha form, the Horizon Suite is aimed at helping system administrators manage the new IT management challenges posed by the consumerization of IT and “bring your own device” (BYOD) trends.

The Horizon Suite combines several previously announced products and technologies, including Horizon Mobile, Horizon Application Manager, Project Octopus, Project AppBlast, and ThinApp. One of the most impressive aspects of the Horizon Mobile portion of the keynote involved running a virtual container on an iPhone that included approved enterprise applications. When the presenter tried to copy information out of the container into an an external app (in this case, Evernote) Horizon Mobile’s management features prevented the copy from taking place. Horizon seems like it has the potential to relieve many of the headaches IT pros face when it comes to managing and enforcing corporate policies on mobile devices.

The second major component of Herrod’s keynote focused on updates to VMware View and Wanova Mirage, which soon be renamed to VMware Mirage. VMware View was updated to version 5.1 earlier this year, and Herrod — along with some assistance from Vittorio Viarengo, VMware’s vice president of product marketing for end-user computing — showed the value of combining VMware View with the recently acquired Wanova Mirage technology. Herrod and Viarengo demonstrated upgrading a Windows XP laptop to Windows 7, simulated having the laptop broken, and then showed streaming the user’s desktop to a new tablet device. The ability to clone endpoint images in the datacenter and allow them to run locally could be boon for users who want more local control and performance while maintaining the manageability and security that admins require.

A few more details about VMware Horizon were posted on Viarengo’s blog. Horizon will “…feature the HTML remoting technologies that we demoed last year as part of the AppBlast project,” the executive writes. “In this first release we will use the HTML remoting protocol to give user access to their View desktops from any browser but stay tuned for more exciting ways we are going to leverage this technology.”

Viarengo also posted a sneak preview of the VMware Horizon management interface on YouTube, as seen below.

Did you attend the VMworld Tuesday morning keynote? Feel free to tell me what you thought of VMware Horizon by adding a comment to this blog post or reach out to me on Twitter.