View? No thanks, I’ll just use Appblast

The title of this article was one of the statements I heard last week. I also heard another interesting statements: “why use View? I will wait for Horizon”.

Back in February 2012, I published an article about VMware’s End User Computing vision and journey. In my opinion, that vision/journey hasn’t changed and still applies with the recent announcements at VMworld 2012. However, I have the feeling that the vision/journey need to be explained once again and maybe even more often, so people understand the vision and where EUC products fit in that vision/journey.

In a nutshell, VMware’s EUC vision starts with the future platform: The Horizon Suite- The Platform for the Mobile Workforce … applications, data and users in the post-PC era. Be aware that this Suite, or platform, contains multiple products/techniques, which are integrated with each other: View, ThinApp, Horizon Data, Horizon Mobile, Appblast and Horizon App Manager.

I have the idea that some people think they will be able to pick 1 product/technique and standardize on that: “All people will use Appblast for everything. There won’t be any need for VDI anymore”, as an example. That’s not true or even possible in today’s world. There isn’t 1 ultimate vehicle/technique to bring apps and data to any device in a secure and efficient way. A user’s workspace will deliver that user applications and data to any of his/her devices. Different products/techniques will be used to do so, to give that user the best experience to do his/her work on the device of that moment.

VMware calls it the Post-PC era but don’t think the PC, aka Windows is going away soon. Again, Windows won’t be as dominant as before anymore in the enterprise. The desktop (physical and/or virtual) won’t be the only place where users do their work. More devices, different platforms, less OS-dependent apps, but Windows will be there for a long time. That’s the reason for step #1: Optimize. That’s also the reason VMware keeps improving VMware View and introduce cool features like AppShift. Again, although Windows will not be as dominant, it still will be part of an enterprise user’s workspace environment

Now the journey: how do you get to that Post-PC era platform? VMware defined a 3-step journey:

  1. Optimize what you have,
  2. Embrace your/the Cloud,
  3. Escape to your/the Cloud

In my opinion, it doesn’t make sense to skip a step. You cannot “Embrace your/the Cloud until you have “Optimize what you have”. In other words, it doesn’t make sense to get Horizon (Suite and/or App Manager) before you use ThinApp and View. Technically, you could though. You could use Horizon App Manager for SaaS apps, you could use Horizon Data with the Horizon Suite with physical desktops. But, why wouldn’t you “Optimize what you have” first, virtualize applications, virtualize desktops, separate data and apps from physical desktops. Remove silos. Get savings out of that and become more efficient, more agile at the same moment. Then, invest those savings in more Cloud based apps: Saas or web service apps. Use a services broker like Horizon App manager. Distribute ThinApps via Horizon as well. Create a workspace where all techniques come together. Move to the your EUC cloud step-by-step.

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.