VMware: Unified, secure mobile management is on Horizon

VMware, maker of virtualization and cloud infrastructure solutions, recently previewed the alpha version of its VMware Horizon Suite, a new platform offering secure, flexible management of a mobile workforce that increasingly needs anytime/anywhere access from any device.

“Migration to Windows 7 and 8, bring your own device (BYOD) and the cloud are challenging IT organizations with new complexities and risks,” said Boaz Chalamish, VMware's senior vice president and general manager for end-user computing. VMware can help IT organizations "free the desktop, redefine the corporate workspace and embrace a new way of working in the post-PC era,” he said.

In the BYOD world, where employees use a variety of devices to work across platforms and applications, agencies need to find a way to move from managing individual devices to managing user experiences across multiple devices. According to VMware officials, the Horizon Suite platform uses the principles of identity, context and policy to separate personal and business workspaces and enable consistent access to applications and data from any personal device. It will bring together technologies from existing VMware products -- Project Octopus, Project AppBlast, ThinApp, VMware Horizon Application Manager and VMware Horizon Mobile -- into an integrated management platform for the mobile workforce, the company said.

Just as the Horizon Suite will give end users a single place to get access to their apps, data and desktops, it also will give the IT department a single console to manage entitlements, policies and security, the company said.  Horizon Suite will understand a user’s attributes and environment (his device, location and connectivity level) and enforce policies across applications, data and desktops. This will allow IT administrators to deliver "Windows, Android, iOS, Web and SaaS applications in a single workspace and give end-users self-service access to applications and data from anywhere," the company said.

At VMworld in August, Vittorio Viarengo, the company's vice president of product marketing and end-user computing, posted a rough demo of the alpha version from his laptop and iPad, briefly showing the admin console and the user experience.

The beta version of Horizon Suite is expected to be available toward the end of the year.

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