VMware Horizon Mobile- IOS support

I have written several articles on VMware Horizon Mobile. My last article ended with the question if and when Horizon Mobile would move to IOS. During the keynote on day 2 at VMworld 2012 in San Francisco, that question got an answer… Yes, Horizon Mobile is moving to IOS.

The Horizon Mobile team posted a great video of its IOS support on Youtube. Also, Srinivas Krishnamutri posted a great article on this topic and in general why Horizon Mobile is a great solution when you talk about mobile devices, BYOD, data leakage and apps.

First thing I would like to mention here is the difference between Horizon Mobile on Android and Horizon Mobile on IOS.

As you have noticed, with Android devices, a complete virtual phone is pushed on a personal Android device. Inside that virtual phone, you will find your enterprise apps and data.

The IOS approach is different. Via Horizon Mobile you don’t push a virtual IOS phone but in stead, you push IT-managed, secure apps to a personal IOS device. These apps are wrapped in a container in which policies can be set and are isolated from personal apps. Data inside these apps is encrypted and also communication from and to these apps is encrypted. Because IT manages these apps, they can remotely wipe and update them as well.

I like this last approach a lot. At the end, all I want as a user are apps: personal and enterprise apps. That brings me to my last comment: why not use this approach on Android as well? One common way of handling mobile devices. Apparently that’s difficult to do on the Android platform. It is very fragmented. There are many different Android flavours versions, OEM/carriers/Google updating them at different times, for different devices. Creating a virtualization platform will normalize that complexity by giving enterprises a stable and secure version of Android. Maybe a Unity kind of view on Android devices will be an answer. The approach will still be different but the view/experience will be the same as on an IOS device. All that said, it’s great to see Horizon Mobile IOS support.

Project AppShift aka User Interface virtualization- very cool!

A little while ago I saw the first videos of Project AppShift at the office. My first impression: really cool but also very much needed. On day 2 of VMworld 2012 in San Francisco, Project AppShift was demo’d and the video has been posted on Youtube:

AppShift Demo VMworld 2012 

So, what is User Interface virtualization and what challenges does it solve?

Think about this: You take an iPad and you connect to a VMware View Windows desktop. Let’s assume this is your corporate desktop. Now, go to “Start” and then “Documents”, and open a document. How did that go? I always miss a button here and there, and I don’t have very large hands.

Basically, what you are doing here, is presenting a Windows desktop on a non-Windows tablet. You are using Windows, a point and click oriented system on a tablet, a gesture-oriented platform. Windows XP/7 aren’t designed to run on a tablet and my guess is that enterprise users will use Windows 8 like they use Windows XP/7: regular desktop, start button, menu’s and so on. We will have the same challenges with Windows 8 as we have today with Windows XP/7 on tablets.

With Project AppShift, key elements of the Windows and application interface should become more tablet friendly. Gesture is added to the Windows and application interface for the most common tasks: an easy way to access your documents, swipe through all your documents, switching between apps and more. This should increase the adoption of using tablets to connect to a VDI environment.

I know some people say it isn’t about Windows, it is about applications. Applications should be delivered to any device so you don’t have all these Windows issues anymore. Well, in a way that is true but although it is the post pc-era, Windows is and will be around for a long time in the enterprise, just not as the one and only workspace, not as dominant as before. Horizon Suite will help moving away but I’m still happy see cool features like AppShift are developed to solve current challenges.

Zimbra email tip #3

Managing your tags.

Instead of creating folder to store your emails, you can sort your emails by assigning them tags. Create new tags by clicking on the “new tag” icon on the top right of the tags box.

Once you’ve created your tags, organize your email by simply dragging and dropping your emails against the tags. The same email can have multiple tags (it show’s up as a rainbow tag)

Sometimes you may want to delete a tag. Just right click on the tag name and in the overlay that appears – select the delete option.

Several other operations can be done by right-clicking including
1. Creating a new tag
2. Renaming the tag
3. Changing tag color

Zimbra email tip #2

We’ve got a zimlet for that!

The great thing about Zimbra is that it lets users do a lot of customization. There are a lot of features that can be turned on and off based on user preferences. Several features are exposed in the form of “Zimlets” – tiny modules that are designed to do a specific task such as send you a daily summary of your appointments for the day or help you connect to WebEx.

Check which Zimlets are available to you.

Go to Preferences->Zimlets (on the Left Pane). Turn on/off Zimlet of your choice

Zimbra email tip #1

Creating an appointment from an existing appointment.

Sometimes you may want to have the same meeting, with the same people but at a different time/location.

1.Go to your calendar.
2.Right-click on the appointment and select “Create a copy”

This will create a copy of the same appointment, everything will be identical and you can edit the time/location details (as well as pretty much any other field) and send it out.

Please note that any updates on the original appointment will not be reflected in the copy.

VMware Horizon Suite; it’s all coming together- overview

Day 2 of VMworld 2012 in San Francisco. VMware’s CTO Steve Herrod and Vice Preseident Marketing End User Computing Vittorio Viarengo are on stage. They talk about and show the Horizon Suite: an integrated platform for the mobile workforce where they can access their apps and data from any device, any time, anywhere. To review the keynote, click here

Déjà vu! Didn’t you hear that last year as well? So, what is the big news? To me, that is 1 word and what that word is supposed to represent: Suite! To me a suite is a bundle of products, which are all integrated. Last year, VMware showed a bunch of cool products (well, more projects). They were more or less point solutions. With the Horizon Suite, all these point solutions are coming together as 1 integrated platform, and that is a big thing!

During the keynote, specific products were shown and discussed like VMware Mirage and IOS capabilities within Horizon Mobile. I will not discuss these details now because I would like to give you an overview first.

The Horizon Suite, currently is alpha code. During the keynote, Steve Herrod mentioned Horizon Suite will go beta at the end of 2012. That’s quite quick!

So, Horizon Suite is a bundle of products but which ones? The keynote and video mentions the following products:

  • Horizon App Manager: the universal services broker
  • VMware View: VMware’s VDI solution
  • VMware ThinApp: VMware’s application virtualization product
  • Project Appblast: HTML5 remoting of desktops and applications
  • Horizon Data, aka project Octopus: the follow me data solution or as mentioned before, Dropbox for the enterprise
  • Horizon Mobile: VMware’s solution to make BYO mobile devices possible and secure.

So, can you imagine, 1 place, where you can access your data, desktop(s) and apps. One place which is your starting point, every day, your follow me workspace?! Accessible via a browser or native app. Check out the Horizon Suite video on Youtube to get an idea.

Horizon Suite short demo VMworld 2012

We just have seen Horizon Suite from a user perspective in the video. Now, think about the admin side. IT now can deliver IOS, Windows, ThinApps, SaaS and Android apps via 1 central managed way, and add policies to them. Well, apply policies to a user to be more specific. The user is the central figure. Policies should apply on him/her and the device that person is using.

To conclude this article, I believe Horizon Suite is a major step in the right direction and is a huge deal. It isn’t easy to integrate all those products but it is a must do. Yes, just like you I still have very specific questions around the integration of products, like, will I be able to save files to Horizon Data when I working via an app which I access through Appblast technology. When I access my workspace via a Mac, will I still see ThinApp apps or will they be removed because intelligence is build in. Time will tell and I’m very confident.

“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

VMware Zimbra: cloud messaging & collaboration overview

When you think about VMware End User Computing, most people will think of VMware View and ThinApp. That’s great but there is more…. Zimbra!

I noticed that I didn’t write anything about Zimbra so far. Strange, because the fact is, I’m using Zimbra every day, on all my devices and I can say I’m both a happy user and Zimbra admin (although there isn’t much to admin, it really just works).

In this article I want to give you an overview of Zimbra, get you introduced to Zimbra

In January 2010 VMware acquired Zimbra. At that time, Zimbra was part of Yahoo! Yahoo! Mail and Calendar is based on Zimbra technology.  In 2010 Zimbra has 55 million paid mailboxes and 150,000 customers worldwide: Comcast, NTT Communications and University of Pennsylvania to name a few.

VMware CTO Steve Herrod wrote a great blog why VMware acquired Zimbra. Basically, there were 2 reasons:

  1. It is VMware’s mission to simplify IT and removing complexity. With Zimbra, VMware believes it can simplify one of the core services that IT provides to end users: email and collaboration. Zimbra can be downloaded as a virtual appliance. Setup and configuration is very simple and straightforward. Besides that, it is intended for small and large organizations, so, it is very scalable in an easy way. Also, as a customer you have an option how to use Zimbra: on-prem or from the Cloud. Zimbra has proven to be a great Cloud based email and collaboration platform.
  2. The second reason is the vCloud initiative.  An initiative to develop an ecosystem of telecom, hosting and service providers that offer cloud based solutions based on VMware technology. With Zimbra, service providers now can offer email/calendaring/collaboration as a service.

In January 2010, version 6 just shipped. Today, August 2012, Zimbra 8 is in beta. New features in v8 will be the integration of Zimbra with Mitel and Cisco UC solutions: call someone straight from your email client to name an example. Also, the UI looks amazing. Very clean!

The interface is one of the strong points though. On my desktop, laptop and mobile devices I always have the same interface. It doesn’t matter if I use the web interface or the Zimbra Desktop Client. Of course you also could use the native email clients on your IOS/Android device. There even is a Zimbra Client for Android (http://bright-streams.com/?p=348)

Another great feature are Zimlets. Zimlets add functionality to Zimbra and create integration between Zimbra and other tools/applications. For example, I do have a Google Translate Zimlet installed (it sits on the backend, on the Zimbra server).

After activating the Zimlet, a Google Translate button appears in the menu bar. When I receive an email, and it is in a language I don’t understand, I simply click on the Translate button and can chose to which language I want that email to be translated. Other examples are: Salesforce and Webex zimlets.

Zimbra has too many features to discuss during this overview. I do want to mention thought, that Zimbra can be added as a service to Horizon Application Manager. That way, users can access their email and collaboration platform via their Horizon based workspace.

With this article, I just wanted to give you a brief overview on Zimbra. It is a serious email and collaboration platform and for sure worth taking into consideration. Below I will add additional information so you can continue getting to know Zimbra.