VMware coined the term VDI years ago when its virtual desktop product was so creatively named VMware VDI. Since then, VMware changed the product name to View and has been working hard to take advantage of its strong vSphere footprint inside the data center. Today, VMware announced its latest release of View which is important, but not as interesting as a few other announcements the company slid in.
VMware Horizon Application Manager: When VMware first announced Horizon, it was unclear what the plans were beyond SaaS aggregation. Horizon was initially offered as a hosted managed service and, as anticipated, VMware announced Horizon offered as an on-premises solution to help ease the minds of IT that still want their apps and data within their four walls. Horizon is essentially a broker of application and desktop delivery models. Any company that is thinking through its application and delivery strategy and turning to VMware should watch closely as Horizon matures. VDI is one of many different delivery models and one that Horizon will broker, but VDI should not be considered the only delivery model.
VMware Project Octopus: This is VMware's answer to enterprise online file management. Think Dropbox for the enterprise. Many organizations find themselves with many of their end-users consuming online file management from the cloud and are left in a tough situation when an employee leaves-when that employee stores confidential files in the account, it puts the organization in a race to reel control back in. VMware Octopus has the potential to provide file management as part of Horizon which places it under a common broker and IT control.
So VMware has made some good improvements with View, but the thing to watch is how they start to use Horizon as the control point for multiple application and delivery types. Online file management as well as social enterprise capabilities, which VMware is trying to make a run at with Zimbra and Socialcast, are important when building a desktop and application delivery strategy. This is a big corner VMware is rounding. Gone are the days of VDI-get ready to create a delivery strategy that encompasses multiple application and desktop delivery models to a broad set of device types and form factors.
You can read Mark's other blog entries at Liquefying IT.