VMware Leverages VSAN for Horizon 6 VDI Suite

By Pedro Hernandez

VMware is gunning for Citrix with the latest edition of its cloud-enabled virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) product. The company's includes VMware's recently-launched Virtual SAN technology.

The computer virtualization specialist, a subsidiary of data storage giant EMC, took the wraps off Horizon 6, an integrated suite of desktop management solutions. The new edition, represents "a major product milestone that continues the rapid pace of innovation from VMware," said Sumit Dhawan, VMware Desktop Products vice president and general manager, in a statement. The solution, he boasted, delivers mobile-friendly access to critical enterprise applications at "nearly the same cost as a traditional, physical desktop."

Horizon 6 will place less of a burden on enterprise storage infrastructures, claimed VMware. By providing integration with VMware Virtual SAN, the new edition of Horizon can cut the capital cost of virtual desktops in line with their physical counterparts.

In short, costly SANs needn't stand in the way of cost-effective VDI deployments. "One of the barriers to adoption of on-premise virtual desktops has traditionally been the cost of storage, but with VMware vSAN, [which] also complements solutions from VMware's storage partners, the paradigm completely changes with lower costs, and modernizing desktops and applications becomes a very compelling proposition," stated Dhawan in a company blog post.

Building on VMware's remote desktop technology, Horizon View, Horizon 6 provides centralized management over users, published Windows applications and virtual desktops. The latest version of the Citrix XenDesktop competitor, said Erik Frieberg, VP of Product Marketing for VMware's End-User Computing group, is "designed to deliver desktop and application virtualization through a single platform from any cloud - be it public, private or hybrid - all under a unified, consistent workspace for the end user."

New features include a workspace that grants end users access to practically all types of applications (cloud-delivered and otherwise) and desktops. According to VMware, the tech assembles local, software-as-a-service, Web and RDS applications into a unified, single sign-on on experience. In addition, it supports "published applications from third party platforms, such as Citrix XenApp." Central image management capabilities based on VMware Mirage enable IT administrators to manage physical, virtual and employee-owned PCs.

Finally, the product will support flexible hybrid cloud delivery models. A new client supports apps delivered through the vCloud Hybrid Service as well as private and public clouds, while maintaining snappy performance.

VMware Horizon 6 is scheduled to ship in the second quarter of 2014. Per named or per concurrent user pricing starts at $250. The company is planning three editions, Horizon View Standard Edition, Horizon Advanced Edition with VMware Virtual SAN support and the cloud-friendly Enterprise Edition.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InfoStor. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

This article was originally published on April 10, 2014