VMworld: VMware Unveils Bundle For Managing Mobile Desktops, Devices

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A day after unveiling a cloud infrastructure bundle, VMware on Tuesday unveiled a bundle that aims to solve thorny IT issues arising from the flooding of personal devices into the workplace.

VMware's Horizon Suite, currently in alpha and slated to enter beta by the end of the year, lets IT departments manage and set policies for the data and apps that end users access from notebooks, tablets and smartphones while they're outside the firewall. Using a Web console, IT managers can build a service catalog for all of its data and applications.

In a keynote at VMworld 2012 in San Francisco, VMware CTO Steve Herrod described Horizon Suite as a "multidevice workspace" designed to replace the "hodgepodge of tools" that IT departments have been using to deal with the different use cases brought about by the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend.

[Related: VMworld: VMware Prepping Cloud Foundry PaaS For Business Customers]

Horizon Suite can now manage Android and iOS apps, and it can also keep personal and corporate apps separated on a device. IT can set policies for corporate data, preventing corporate data from being copied onto the personal side.

"We're recognizing that there are different containerization technologies. This is intended to keep apps safe when mixing personal and work lives," Herrod said.

In contrast to outgoing VMware CEO Paul Maritz, who often talks about the "post PC era," Herrod insisted that the PC still occupies a high-profile position in businesses. "It's not a post-PC world -- the PC is alive and well. It's more like a multidevice world," Herrod said in the keynote.

Horizon Suite includes technology from Project Octopus, VMware's enterprise-focused answer to Dropbox; Project AppBlast, which lets users access Windows and Mac apps on any device with an HTML5 browser; and Horizon Mobile, which separates the work and personal apps and data on mobile devices.

Through Horizon Suite, VMware will initially use AppBlast to deliver desktops to any device using virtual desktop infrastructure. Horizon Suite can also manage and deploy XenApp published applications, Herrod said.

Herrod explained how VMware plans to use the technology it gained from Wanova, the desktop virtualization startup it acquired in May.

Wanova brings the ability to manage offline devices and will help VMware take advantage of newer, more powerful notebook GPUs and CPUs, Herrod said. The combination of VMware and Mirage, Wanova's flagship product, will speed Windows XP to 7 migrations and allow for better disaster recovery and high availability, according to Herrod.

"You're going to see us pull these together and use the best parts of both of them," Herrod said.


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