VMware Horizon FLEX

VMware Horizon FLEX is a desktop virtualization tool that delivers locally run virtual desktops to Mac and Windows PC users.

FLEX combines VMware Fusion Pro, Player Pro, Horizon Mirage and the Horizon FLEX Policy Server to provide centralized provisioning, management and policy assignment for containerized virtual machines that live locally on end users' devices. Horizon FLEX works well in bring-your-own-device environments or when an organization has a lot of contract workers who need access to virtual desktops for a specific amount of time -- particularly because the virtual desktops can function offline.

Horizon Mirage, a technology that presents desktop and app images as layers, powers the centralized management console in Horizon FLEX. That allows admins to update specific parts of the desktop without compromising end user data or personalization.

Admins can keep track of how virtual machines (VMs) interact with the host server with the combination of the FLEX Policy Server and FLEX Client. The Policy Server allows admins to create and manage VMs, remotely disable them, or assign VMs to groups or individual virtual desktop users through the Active Directory. For each VM, admins can set an expiration date, permit or limit USB device usage, and manage file copying between the host server and the VM. The FLEX Client is located on the actual endpoint and downloads VMs and policies by communicating with the FLEX Policy Server.

Citrix's DesktopPlayer is VMware's top competition in the market.

This was last updated in February 2016

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