VMware has launched Horizon 6, an integrated solution that delivers published applications and desktops on a single platform.

With this launch, Horizon 6 becomes the industry’s most comprehensive desktop solution with centralised management of any type of enterprise application and desktop, including physical desktops and laptops, virtual desktops and applications and employee-owned PCs.

“Customers want to transform their applications and enterprise desktops for the mobile cloud era – extending access to employees on any device, from anywhere via a comprehensive solution that is simple, secure and cost effective,” says Nick Black, business manager: end-user computing, sub-Saharan Africa at VMware.

“VMware Horizon 6 addresses these issues and delivers amazing new capabilities to our customers at nearly the same cost as a traditional, physical desktop.

“Horizon 6 represents a major product milestone that continues the rapid pace of innovation from VMware, and helps customers take the next step in their desktop journey.”

Innovations in application delivery, data centre-to-device management, storage optimisation and flexible hybrid delivery VMware Horizon 6 make enterprise desktops and applications easier and more cost-effective to deliver, protect and manage. Multiple access points such as laptops, tablets, smartphones and an array of other employee-owned devices are putting pressure on IT departments to deliver a high level of service and access without compromise.

The new system introduces capabilities that are integrated into a single solution that empower IT with a streamlined approach for managing Windows applications and desktops. With Horizon 6, enterprise applications and Windows operating systems are centrally managed so updates can be made in an agile and predictable manner.

In addition, Horizon 6 enables entire desktops or just applications can be delivered in a flexible manner to end-users:
* Virtually for access from multiple locations and devices;
* Physically by syncing the entire desktop image to end-user laptops for online and offline access; and
* Securely by delivering applications and content in a managed secure container to support Bring Your Own (BYO) PC scenarios.

Regardless of the use case, VMware Horizon 6 delivers a consistent, self-service user experience for access to enterprise applications through a unified workspace.

New capabilities in VMware Horizon 6 include:
* Published applications and virtual desktops delivered through a single platform – VMware Horizon 6 offers streamlined management, end-user entitlement, and quick delivery of published Windows applications, RDS-based desktops and virtual desktops across devices and locations. The new capabilities are built on a single platform that is an extension of the market leading VDI solution, VMware Horizon View.

* A unified workspace for simplified access – With VMware Horizon 6, end-users can access all applications and desktops from a single unified workspace. The unified workspace supports the delivery of virtualised applications hosted in the data centre or local on the device, web and SaaS applications, RDS hosted applications, and published applications from third party platforms, such as Citrix XenApp, with a single sign-on experience.

* Storage optimisation with VMware Virtual SAN and delivery from the software-defined data centre – VMware Horizon 6 is optimised for the software-defined data centre. The solution provides integrated management of VMware Virtual SAN that can significantly reduce the cost of storage for virtual desktops by using local storage. With this innovation, the capital cost of virtual desktops with Horizon 6 can be similar to physical desktops.

* Closed-loop management and automation – VMware Horizon 6 offers new capabilities for end-to-end visibility and automation from data centre-to-device. The new VMware vCenter Operations for View provides health and risk monitoring, proactive end-user experience monitoring and deep diagnostics from data centre-to-device all within a single console.

Horizon 6 also supports automation and self-service, allowing IT to provide line-of-business users with the ability to request desktops and applications by using built-in workflows and automated infrastructure provisioning. This closed-loop management and automation is integrated with the vCloud Automation Centre management console, making it easier for customers with vCloud Suite to get started with Horizon 6.

* Central image management of virtual, physical and employee-owned PCs –VMware offers centralised image management for virtual, physical and employee-owned PCs from a single, integrated solution. Using the updated VMware Mirage, IT administrators can design a single desktop with the required operating system and applications, and deliver it to end-users in a department or entire organisation based on end-user needs.

* Hybrid cloud delivery – VMware Horizon 6 introduces a new client that seamlessly connects to virtual desktops and applications running in an on-premise cloud, a service provider partner cloud, or through VMware vCloud Hybrid Service with the same, high performance end-user experience. This flexibility gives customers the ability to deploy Horizon 6 via the hybrid cloud – balancing between business-owned and public cloud-based infrastructure to best satisfy their needs.

“The announcement of VMware Horizon 6 continues our momentum in end-user computing, bringing the best solutions for desktop, mobile and content collaboration via a secure virtual workspace,” adds Black. “As a recognised innovator in the industry, VMware’s ambition is to provide end-users their apps and content served to them securely – anywhere, anyplace and anytime – whether on a desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.”