Wednesday, August 29, 2012

VMworld 2012: VMware Horizon: Deep Dive and Best Practises

The problem that Horizon attempts to solve is changing from managing devices vs. managing user content. The problem is that the days of telling users what to do are over. We are entering the Post-PC Era. To be clear this does not exclude Windows but it is now a piece of a larger requirement vs. the only way to access content.

We have hit a crossover point in 2011 in which the underlying operating system is nolonger a limiting component restricting applications to pure windows platforms. Now we have iOS, Android, Macs and Windows. We have to come up with a mechanism to service all of these. The market has provided point solutions to provide services to all these environments however this gets complex and costly. This complexity has been compounded by the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) phenomena.

This is where Horizon is targetted. The idea is to have one management point to entitle, build policy and report on accessing applications. Horizon was launched in spring of 2011 to deal with the external SaaS integration challenges. In fall of 2011 VMware integrated ThinApp to deal with Windows applications. In Summer 2012 VMware built an on-premise offering as customers complained about using a SaaS application to manage SaaS.

Horizon is made up a Horizon Application Manager and a Horizon Connector virtual appliance. The connector takes metadata and sends it to the manager to control. There are three roles defined; Administrator, User and a Super Administrator role. As Horizon is multi-tenant friendly the Super Administrator role manages multiple environments or workspaces.

The Horizon Application Manager appliance scales to 100,000 users because it is a true broker. The Horizon Connector support 30,000 users per appliance. RSA is supported and you can also separate connectors for internal and external usage.

There is no LB built in but HA and Cloning are supported. Cloning is recommended because it allows the certificates to be copied. The functional components do not change with the introduction of the Horizon Suite. Competitively, the deployment and integration is very easy compared to other solutions.

In the Horizon Suite VMware now supports Mobile Apps, VMware View, Project Octopus and Citrix Published Applications. VMware constructed it as a vApp to enclose all the pieces and simplify deployment. A Configurator VM manages all the VAs (Virtual Appliances). You simply enable the components you want through the configuration wizard and the Configurator VM spins up and configures the VA. There is a Gateway VA to allow files to be transferred in and out of the environment. There is a rich set of Class of Service rules to ensure what happens in the Horizon is controlled by the policy engine.

VMware Mobile is fully supported to ensure smart phones are a fully integrated and managed client in Horizon. VMware manages the entire catalogue of Horizon Apps through entitlement. It has RabbitMQ built in to provide a message queue or bus. This allows you to automate using things like Remedy and Orchestrator to ensure you can integrate Horizon and leverage your existing workflow tools.

Horizon has built in Reporting and Analytics to track users, resources and files.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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