VMware is unveiling View 5.1 and other updated end-user solutions, as it moves forward with its effort to facilitate personal clouds for enterprises. The new releases are intended to simplify management for administrators, and to better position the company in its battle with Citrix Systems.
Boaz Chalamish, senior vice president and general manager, said in a statement that customers are looking for "services that can be accessed anywhere, on any device." He added that View 5.1, which updates the company's Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, or VDI, solutions, allows companies to "simplify technology, manage more efficiently and better connect employees."
As Much as 50 Percent
VMware said that IT administration is streamlined in 5.1 by improvements in provisioning, configuration management, connection brokering, policy enforcement, performance monitoring and application assignment, all available via a single console.
There is also a feature to give administrators the ability, through a vCenter Operations add-on, to check desktop performance and maintain a watch for any problems in performance.
Additionally, 5.1 supports RADIUS, offering more choices for two-factor authentication, and there's support for PC-over-IP, or PCoIP, protocol, enabling smoothly rendered HD video to be transmitted over a LAN or WAN as if it were running on a PC.
VMWare said the new offerings allow operational costs to be reduced by as much as 50 percent. The company noted that the new storage capabilities in 5.1, enabled by Storage Accelerator, will reduce total cost of ownership by caching the most frequently used apps, and increasing the speed at which individual workspaces can be assembled.
View Composer Array Integration, now in Tech Preview, improves provisioning speeds by leveraging the ability of storage arrays to clone user workspaces for deployment. View Personal Management enables user data to be moved from physical to virtual machines, and kept in sync.
Updated clients are available for Mac, Windows, and Linux devices, as well as for iPad, Android, and Amazon Kindle Fire tablets, for connecting to a VMWare View desktop.
VMware also launched version 1.5 of its Horizon Application Manager, which, for the first time, can run on companies' own servers instead of only via a hosted service. Version 1.5 provides a portal through which users can access their cloud-based and Windows-based apps, virtual desktops, and data, and it offers the ability to add new software-as-a-service providers.
Also on the launchpad for VMware: an effort known as Project Octopus, a Dropbox-like service for file storage and collaboration, within the company's network. Octopus is now in beta.
We caught up with Pund-IT's Charles King, who said that VMware's announcements "keep moving the goalposts," especially in ways that support the bring-your-own-device trend. King pointed to Project Octopus in particular, which, when fully enabled, "can extend applications and desktops to virtually any client," while providing the kinds of "unified experience" and IT management that VMware customers want.