VMware announces Horizon 7 and Horizon Air

New VMware Horizon 7

VMware has announced new versions of VMware Horizon products. VMware Horizon 7 will deliver better personalized virtual applications and desktops than previous Horizon versions. It will also offer better cloud economics and a new cloud-optimized display protocol. A new hybrid-mode capability will be available in VMware Horizon Air to simplify application and desktop delivery by combining the benefits of hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) and Virtual SAN Ready Nodes with a single, cloud-based plane to manage on-premises and cloud deploymentsWith these advancements, VMware Horizon will offer the industry’s most comprehensive application and desktop virtualization portfolio with options for on-premises, off-premises or hybrid deployments.

According to Sumit Dhawan, senior vice president and general manager, Desktop Products, End-User Computing at VMware, “VMware are continuing to drive new innovations and redefine the delivery and management of virtual applications and desktops to a new level of simplicity, speed and affordability”. “Increasingly, businesses have a cloud-first mentality and want to deliver anytime, anywhere access to all applications, services and resources across devices. Along with an ecosystem of technology partners that includes Dell, EMC, Fujitsu, HPE, IGEL, NVIDIA and Sphere 3D, among others, VMware Horizon enables a first class digital workspace with the flexibility to choose any delivery model.”

VMware Horizon 7 and Horizon Air — Application and Desktop Virtualization Reimagined
VMware Horizon 7 and VMware Horizon Air will radically transform traditional application and desktop virtualization by using a platform that is ready for hybrid deployments that can support workloads that live in the cloud or on-premises.

Also, NVIDIA and VMware have been working together for years to improve the virtualized computing user experience and enable a whole new class of virtual use cases. Now, using the new Blast Extreme protocol, NVIDIA GRID offloads encoding from the CPU to the GPU. This frees up resources and lowers the demand on network infrastructure, which lets organizations reach more remote users. In tests of key applications like ESRI ArcGIS Pro, scalability increased by up to 18 percent. That’s without investing in new hardware.

An additional benefit of Blast Extreme is how it’s further optimized for workloads running on NVIDIA GRID.  The combination of these technologies delivers a 1+1=3 effect. By leveraging NVIDIA GRID to offload encoding from the CPU and move it to the GPU, it frees up the CPU resources to run additional users per server with while simultaneously improving performance. In testing conducted by NVIDIA’s GRID Performance Engineering team, using ESRI ArcGIS Pro 1.1, 18% higher user density was achieved, along with a 6-13% increase in frame rate, with up to 51ms reduction in latency, and anywhere from 48-89% reduction in TCP bandwidth.  Clearly the combination of Blast Extreme with NVIDIA GRID is delivering better scalability, reduced TCO, and a high-performance user experience.


What’s new in VMware Horizon 7 and VMware Horizon Air:

  • Just in Time Delivery – Built on VMware Instant Clone Technology (formerly Project Fargo), the provisioning of full-featured, personalized digital workspaces will be dramatically accelerated with the ability to provision 2,000 desktops in under 20 minutes while offering the attractive economics of non-persistent, virtual applications and desktops delivered on-demand.1 Desktops will be disposed upon logout with application and OS patches applied between sessions without disruption. Altogether, Just-in-Time Delivery offers enhanced management, maintenance and security.
  • Blast Extreme – A new display protocol purpose-built and optimized for mobile cloud networks will offer GPU off-load to increase scale and mobile network support for the broadest range of H.264 capable devices including the industry’s lowest cost endpoints. Performance and flexibility will be available with the choice of Blast Extreme or PCoIP, built on a comprehensive suite of user experience features and the widest possible array of client device options.
  • Application Lifecycle Management – Included in the solution is the latest VMware App Volumes solution. VMware App Volumes 3.0 will deliver a modern approach to application lifecycle management that simplifies the creation, deployment and management of applications. Unlike other technologies that force management of each application layer, this latest release of VMware App Volumes enables lifecycle management at an application level while still delivering the benefits of application layering. It will offer key capabilities around application lifecycle management such as automation, flexible delivery and monitoring, integrated end-user management, and unified administration. Together, they will provide radically faster application delivery, unified application and user environment management, while reducing storage and operational costs by up to 70 percent2 and decrease time spent on managing images by up to 95 percent3.
  • Smart Policies (VMware Horizon 7 only) – Organizational IT security will be improved through a real-time, policy-based solution with contextual and role-based management with capabilities such as USB and clipboard control, drive redirection and protocol settings. With Single Sign-On from VMware Identity Manager seamlessly integrated, mobile-end users will gain password-free access to a Windows desktop for a consumer simple experience.
  • Integration with VMware Workspace ONE – For organizations with the need to manage employees with mobile devices and virtual applications and desktops, VMware Horizon will be integrated and available through VMware Workspace ONE. VMware Workspace ONE delivers a digital workspace that integrates EMM, VDI and identity management technologies to offer combined benefits on a single mobile platform to enable secure management and delivery of business critical resources to employees for corporate IT, and consumer simple access for end-users.

VMware Horizon Air with Hybrid-Mode (formerly Project Enzo)
VMware Horizon Air with Hybrid-mode will be a new cloud-scale architecture designed to combine the economic benefits of cloud-based VMware virtual application and desktop technology, with the simplicity of hyper-converged infrastructure and Virtual SAN Ready Nodes. It will represent a new approach to building, delivering and managing virtual workspaces — offering customers the choice of a full cloud-hosted service or hybrid service. It will consist of two main components — a unified Cloud-Control Plane and Horizon Node technology that works with VMware Horizon Air ready infrastructure.

The Cloud Control Plane is a cloud-based management layer hosted on VMware vCloud® Air™ that will offer IT administrators a single view to manage and deliver new hyper-converged infrastructure and Virtual SAN Ready Nodes. The Horizon Node Technology that resides on hyper-converged infrastructure will be connected, managed and controlled from the Cloud Control Plane and will provide intelligent orchestration, delivery and management of workloads running on the hyper-converged infrastructure appliances and racks.

Benefits of VMware Horizon Air with Hybrid-mode will include:

  • Simple Out of the Box Set-Up – VMware Horizon Air enabled hyper-converged appliances will offer plug-and-play simplicity so virtual applications and desktops can be up and running in less than an hour.
  • Create and Scale Desktops at Cloud Speed – VMware Instant Clone technology integrated with VMware App Volumes and VMware User Environment Management™ technologies will allow IT administrators to create and scale desktops at cloud speed — allowing up to 2,000 virtual desktops to be created in under 20 minutes.
  • Eliminate Maintenance Windows and Software Updates Seamlessly – Maintenance windows will be eliminated with seamless software updates that can be applied instantly to Windows images and applications. New platform features and enhancements will also be made available for easy updates via the Cloud Control Plane.
  • Hybrid Cloud Flexibility – Application and desktop workloads will be able to be moved back and forth from on-premises data centers to the cloud, all managed from a consistent Cloud Control Plane along with the flexibility of using the cloud as a primary use case for everyday work, or secondary use case for desktop bursting or disaster recovery.

“VMware Horizon Air will provide our team with the opportunity to scale desktops on an as needed basis with access to VMware’s public cloud in both Europe and the United States,” Jason Bullock, executive director of IT global infrastructure & support, BDP International. “Providing this access internationally will enable our employees to execute day to day business and take advantage of all regional internet response time capabilities rather than haul traffic sessions back to the United States. By reducing this time, we expect an uptick in performance and also expect operational users to become more productive and do more for our customers.”

Availability and Pricing
VMware Horizon 7 and VMware Horizon Air with Hybrid-mode are expected to be generally available this quarter. VMware Horizon 7 pricing starts at $250 per user for on-premises perpetual licenses. VMware Horizon Air Hybrid-mode cloud subscription pricing starts at $16 per user per month for named users and $26 per user per month for concurrent connections. For more information, contact VMware Sales or a VMware partner.