“Links” section update Bright-Streams

Today I updated the “links” section on Bright-Streams. Products has been added to the VMware End User Computing portfolio over the last years. I added links to these product/technical resource/blog pages.

I also would like to mention the new whychooseview.com website, VMware launched recently. Videos, blog posts (also 3rd party) and other content is available there. Do check it out.

The updated links cover the following products:

  • VMware Corporation
  • VMware End User Computing
  • VMware View
  • VMware ThinApp
  • Zimbra
  • VMware Horizon App Manager
  • VMware Mirage
  • VMware Socialcast
  • Horizon Mobile

Make Project Octopus available via Horizon App Manager 1.5

In June 2012, VMware released Horizon Application Manager 1.5.

In the beginning of this year, 2012, VMware’s Project Octopus went beta; http://blogs.vmware.com/euc/2012/05/project-octopus-public-beta-now-available.html

Via Horizon you can give users access to enterprise applications. Think about ThinApp’d and SaaS apps.

Octopus is another application you can make available via Horizon App Manager. Octopus is a on-premise virtual appliance but nevertheless, you can give your users access to this Octopus appliance via Horizon.

I created a document (with help from some of my VMware colleagues) to make Octopus available via Horizon. I aware Octopus is still beta and not every one can have access to the code. However, I would like to show beta participants how to make Octopus available via Horizon.

Click on the below file to read the step=by-step guide to add Octopus to your Horizon implementation:

Octopus via Horizon App Manager

Horizon App Manager- 3. Prepare desktop(s) and install/configure the Horizon agent

During the beta of Horizon App Manager 1.5, I created 3 Horizon step-by-step guides for myself;

  1. Step-by-step: Install and configure the Horizon Service-va 1.5
  2. Step-by-step: Install and configure the Horizon Connector 1.5
  3. Step-by-step: Prepare desktop(s) and install/configure the Horizon agent

Because I do get questions about the installation of Horizon App Manager, I will share the guides with you.

Follow the steps in the guides and start with installing the Service, then the Connector and lastly, prepare your desktops and install the Horizon agent. This always has worked for me.

Comments are welcome if you are running into issue.

First, download your copy of Horizon App Manager agents here.

Do read the release notes here.

Also, the official VMware installation guide can be found here.

3. Step by Step; Prepare your Desktop for Horizon

Horizon App Manager- 2. Install and configure the Horizon Connector 1.5

During the beta of Horizon App Manager 1.5, I created 3 Horizon step-by-step guides for myself;

  1. Step-by-step: Install and configure the Horizon Service-va 1.5
  2. Step-by-step: Install and configure the Horizon Connector 1.5
  3. Step-by-step: Prepare desktop(s) and install/configure the Horizon agent

Because I do get questions about the installation of Horizon App Manager, I will share the guides with you.

Follow the steps in the guides and start with installing the Service, then the Connector and lastly, prepare your desktops and install the Horizon agent. This always has worked for me.

Comments are welcome if you are running into issue.

First, download your copy of Horizon App Manager Connector here.

Do read the release notes here.

Also, the official VMware installation guide can be found here.

2. Step by Step; Install and Configure Horizon Connector 1.5

Horizon App Manager- 1. Install and configure the Horizon Service-va 1.5

During the beta of Horizon App Manager 1.5, I created 3 Horizon step-by-step guides for myself;

  1. Step-by-step: Install and configure the Horizon Service-va 1.5
  2. Step-by-step: Install and configure the Horizon Connector 1.5
  3. Step-by-step: Prepare desktop(s) and install/configure the Horizon agent

Because I do get questions about the installation of Horizon App Manager, hereby I will share the guides with you.

Follow the steps in the guides and start with installing the Service, then the Connector and lastly, prepare your desktops and install the Horizon agent. This always has worked for me.

Comments are welcome if you are running into issue.

First, download your copy of Horizon App Manager Service-va here.

Do read the release notes here.

Also, the official VMware installation guide can be found here.

1. Step by Step; Install and Configure Horizon Service-va 1.5

Horizon Application Manager- Overview

On June 13th 2012, Horizon Application Manager 1.5 became general available.

Horizon Application Manager is a cross-platform end-user management solution that unifies, secures and controls access to SaaS, enterprise web and Windows applications across different end-user devices.

That’s a nice sentence (I copied it to be honest), but what does that mean?

I see Horizon App Manager as a services broker, meaning, it can broker different kinds of services. A service can be SaaS applications, Enterprise web apps and ThinApps, to name few. VMware View on the other hand, can only broker VMware View virtual desktops. No matter where I am, I can connect to my View installation and connect to my desktop, which is running somewhere in a datacenter. Great but there are other services as well which can provide applications to end users and which don’t require a full Windows desktop to do so. Think about SaaS applications. Yes, I could logon to my virtual desktop via View and then access that SaaS app but that isn’t the smartest way of doing things, right.

You can access SaaS apps with a browser and every device (laptop, desktop, virtual desktop, smart phone and tablet) has a browser. I can access that SaaS app from every device and from anywhere. That’s cool…. But there are some downsides.

What if a company is using multiple SaaS apps? A user connects to those apps directly. Every SaaS app provider has an account for that user. Let’s assume that user leaves the company. The company’s IT department needs to delete that account with every SaaS provider manually. If they forget an account, the user will still be able to access the company’s resources. I bet the IT department would like to use a method to disable a user at 1 place and that user, from that moment on, cannot use any resource anymore.

Also from a user perspective there are some downsides. Let’s go back to the SaaS app example: To use these SaaS apps, the user needs to logon/authenticate every time he/she wants to use these apps. No Single Sign On. Also, no real overview of which services/apps you can use. Wouldn’t it be great, when you start your working day, to logon to a portal, see all your apps you can use, just click on them and they start without authenticating every time, over and over again!?

This is where Horizon App Manager comes into play. Basically, Horizon App Manager 1.5 is an on-premise solution (it is running in the customer’s environment/behind the firewall). It provides a central place for IT to manage users and apps. IT can entitle groups and users to different apps and also remove these entitlements from 1 place. No more managing accounts which exists at different providers

Horizon also is a user’s central workspace/portal, where he/she can access his/her

applications and services. One central portal you access in the morning and use during the day to access all your resources.

For the record, at this moment Horizon is able to broker SaaS, enterprise web and Windows apps. With Windows apps I mean Windows applications which have been ThinApp’d. Do I think Horizon should also broker other services like XenApp, VMware View, a data service like Octopus (which still is in beta)? Yes, Horizon should! That would make sense, right.

More and more information about Horizon is becoming available. To see a nice video which shows the user’s workspace/app portal side, go here.  Also, attached the official data sheet;

VMware-Horizon-App-Manager-Datasheet

 

User Virtualization in the Post PC-era?

Today I ran into an article which had an interesting quote;

 Persona Management isn’t mature enough yet, and VMware knows it, Dunkin’s Brennan said. The company probably added it just to “check the box”, but he speculated that VMware would get profile management up to speed by making an acquisition

We can have a discussion about the the first part in another article but especially the acquisition part caught my attention.

So, will VMware acquire another company to speed up its profile management? I think that is an interesting question. A different question but related to the first 1 could be; how important will User Virtualization be in, let’s say, 5 years? Yet another question; will you still need User Virtualization in 5 years?

First, let’s take 1 step back for a minute; Once upon a time, there were Windows PC’s and in Windows NT the profiling scheme was introduced. Then there were roaming profiles, mandatory profiles, default user profiles and Group Policies; all mechanisms to control the user, control and save their settings like printers/wallpaper, their permissions to shares and folders, what they are or aren’t allowed to do like accessing Control Panel. Also, store profiles centrally and users will have the same look and feel from any Windows PC. Separate the user from the Operating System.

Third party vendors like RTO, Appsense, RES and LiquidWare got into this space as well to fill gaps and add new features, moving on where standard Microsoft profiles and GPO’s stopped.

But, all the tools have 1 thing in common; Windows. That’s not a bad thing but it isn’t the only platform anymore to run applications. IOS/Android phones/tablets and Macs are out there in the enterprise, even privately owned ones. The world is changing and I believe it is the Post PC-era already.

Management will change. It has to change. Applications and data will be delivered to different devices in different ways; you access ThinApp apps via VMware View from your private Android Tab 1 moment. Next, you access a SaaS app on your corporate iPhone.

Instead of managing most things on a Windows level/device level, you have to take that management up a couple of levels. To me, that’s the user level. It will become more important who is allowed to access which application/data from what device and place. The underlying Operating System and device will become less important. Horizon App Manager will be that Universal Broker where you set those user based rules.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe Windows will be around for a long time as a platform to execute specific applications. But will that platform be considered to be big enough for VMware to invest in a Windows profile management tool? Again, interesting questions.

Do I eat my own dog food?

Customers and partners do ask me what I use on a daily base. Do I use ThinApp, Socialcast, Sliderocket, View etc etc? In other words, do I eat our own dog food?

Well, first of all, the base. My laptop is a personal Mac Book Pro. For the geeks (just like myself); a 2.66Ghz Core i7, 8GB Ram and a 256GB SSD and Snow Leopard. Yeah baby, I love my MBP. It’s quick!

On top of Snow Leopard I have installed VMware Fusion 4. I installed Windows 7 Enterprise inside Fusion. This VM is my VMware Workspace. So my VMware Workspace is completely separated from my personal Mac environment. This way you can apply the “Bring Your Own Device” concept securely.

I don’t have a corporate vDesktop yet. Basically the only reason is I’m offline too much of the time and the current View Client for Mac doesn’t support Local Mode. I do have a vDesktop on our European demo environment though. I can connect to it from my personal Mac side with the Mac View Client and from inside my Windows VM with the Windows View Client.

So, what am I using inside my VM? Of course email. My email resides on a Zimbra backend and I either use Google Chrome (my default browser) or the Zimbra Desktop Client Application to connect to Zimbra. Because there is hardly no difference between the browser and application way of connecting, I use Chrome to connect to Zimbra basically all the time. I can use my email independent of an OS and App and have the same experience every time by using a browser.

For my presentations I do use Sliderocket. I converted my most important PPT’s into Sliderocket and threw away all my presentations. All new presentation I create from scratch in Sliderocket.  Give yourself a bit of time with creating presentations and converting PPT’s. Not everything will go smoothly from the start but I love Sliderocket now. I’m still not a guru but I wasn’t a guru with Powerpoint either. I tried to create a small story here. Just in case I don’t have a connection, I have cached all my presentations into my Sliderocket Player application. You can download it for Windows, Mac and iPad.

Everyday I also use VMware App Manager. Via App Manager I can easily connect to several SaaS applications VMware provides me, like for example VMware Socialcast.  I intensely use Socialcast to collaborate with my colleagues. You can read about my Socialcast experience here. To connect to Socialcast I do use a browser but I have to say the Socialcast App is looking pretty good.

For my data I use Mozy Stash. Stash is in beta at this moment. This new technology keeps my data synced across all my devices. You can compare it with Dropbox. I will elaborate on Stash soon.

Lastly, I use a couple of ThinApp-ed applications, like Google Chrome and Adobe Reader.

I try to use as much VMware End User Computing technology as possible. When new technologies arrive I will continue to try to use them as quickly as possible. I can’t wait to use Horizon Mobile, Appblast and Octopus.