VMware updates Horizon Cloud to reduce infrastructure needs

VMware has improved Horizon Cloud and added features to Workspace One UEM. It also plans to launch a managed virtual desktop product to support the various needs of hybrid work.

VMware has released updates to Horizon Cloud to make the offering easier for companies to manage and scale.

The company launched an improved version of Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure Tuesday at VMware Explore in San Francisco. The new architecture enables the desktop as a service (DaaS) product to support more users and makes it simpler to control.

The changes, available to Horizon subscribers for no additional charge, help companies support large numbers of hybrid workers without increasing infrastructure costs or imposing a greater burden on IT, VMware executives said.

Renu Upadhyay, vice president, VMwareRenu Upadhyay

"It's a modern architecture that's designed around simplification, from an IT management perspective," VMware vice president Renu Upadhyay said during a pre-show briefing.

As a result of the revised architecture, Horizon Cloud can scale better, according to company representatives. The service can support up to 20,000 users per Azure cloud subscription -- well above the 2,000-user limit imposed by previous versions. As a result, companies can accommodate more workers with fewer Azure subscriptions.

VMware built the updated Horizon Cloud around APIs that provide greater customization. Using the APIs, software vendors and VMware customers can develop their tools for Horizon, enabling them to automate repetitive IT tasks.

The Horizon improvements went into limited availability in February. Although the updated Horizon Cloud launched on Azure, VMware plans to eventually bring the capabilities to other cloud providers.

The DaaS market will grow from $4.2 billion in 2021 to $18.7 billion in 2030, according to a report from Verified Market Research. The need for workers to remotely access company files in a fast and secure way will drive the expansion, the research firm said. VMware faces stiff competition in the space, notably from Microsoft's Windows 365 and Azure Virtual Desktop services.

In other news, VMware plans to release a virtual desktop product that takes many administration tasks off IT's plate. With Horizon Managed Desktop, VMware will handle virtual desktop onboarding, maintenance and tech support. Companies can deploy the product on premises as well as on a hybrid or public cloud. VMware did not say when it would launch the offering.

VMware has also improved its Workspace One unified endpoint management product. Workspace One's low-code automation tool, Freestyle Orchestrator, supports third-party apps and iOS and Android devices. The company said this would allow IT to ease its workload by automating tasks like onboarding and software patching.

Another Workspace One feature supports multiple workers on a single Windows device. The company said this would be useful for frontline work, in-office loaner devices and hybrid work offices that use shared desks. The feature has launched for Azure Active Directory-based deployments, while companies using on-premises Active Directory will be able to use it later this year.

Mike Gleason is a reporter covering unified communications and collaboration tools. He previously covered communities in the MetroWest region of Massachusetts for the Milford Daily News, Walpole Times, Sharon Advocate and Medfield Press. He has also worked for newspapers in central Massachusetts and southwestern Vermont and served as a local editor for Patch. He can be found on Twitter at @MGleason_TT.

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