Whilst browsing through the Apple AppStore with my iPad I noticed that VMware have released the Horizon Workspace App, which is available for free download on both the iPhone and iPad. The Horizon Workspace App is part of the VMware Horizon Suite and for those of you not familiar with VMware’s Horizon Suite, it brings together the areas of applications, data and virtual desktop access into a single integrated end user computing (EUC) offering. It provide users with a one-stop-shop to access Windows, Android, iOS, web and SaaS applications, along with their files & access to their virtual desktop all from a single workspace on their work or personal device. By using the VMware Horizon Workspace application users will have the ability to use their own devices with self-service access to applications, virtual desktop and data on a range of popular devices such as the iPhone, Andriod based phones and tablets such as Apple’s iPad.
What are the core Horizon Suite Components?
The VMware Horizon Suite is made up of the following major components/tools:
- Horizon Application Manager – Centralised application management which provides the secure delivery of applications (ie: SaaS, web and MS Windows based) to end-user devices, using the convenience of an application catalog so users can have on-demand access to their apps from their device of choice.
- Horizon Data (previously Project Octopus) – Centralised and synchronised data (think similar to DropBox).
- Horizon Mobile for Andriod & iOS – Uses application wrapper type technology to maintain separation between a users personal and business related content (ie: data and applications, etc). This separation addresses most of the security threats and implications with users using their own devices access work related content. Horizon Mobile enables the ability for businesses to offer a “bring your own device” (BYOD) option to their users, the demand for which is increasing among many business users. The VMware Horizon Workspace App. falls under this title.
All of these components are managed via a central Web management console, where IT teams can customize services catalogs relating to company applications and data via policies.
The VMware Horizon Workspace App.
Here are a list of the “Features” of the Horizon Workspace App:
- View all your files from your other computers and devices.
- Collaborate with people within or external to your organization.
- Upload new and manage your files and folders.
- View files even when offline.
- Access your enterprise application from anywhere.
- Once device is authorized, no need to remember extra passwords.
- Easily manage your device and data, including the ability to remote wipe from a central web console.
What Devices is the VMware Horizon Workspace App available on?
The VMware Horizon Workspace App is available for both Apple iOS and Android devices, see the bottom of this post for links to the relevant device stores.
Notice the tool bar along the bottom that provide access to the three key areas mentioned at the start of this post: Files (Data), Applications and Computers (Virtual Desktop).
The screenshot below shows the view when looking at your available files – it’s good to see it show the application specific icons (eg: Excel, PDF, etc) which will no doubt help when searching through directories of files.
Clicking on a file provides a view in the right hand side of the screen.
Clicking on the “Applications” icons provides a view of the available applications made available to the user via the Horizon Application Manager service catalog. These applications could be Windows based, SaaS, web or a device specific app – as you can see much flexibility is to be had.
The following links are to the Android and Apple iOS stores where screenshots and a download link can be found:
- Android (Google Play) – VMware Horizon Workspace
- Apple iOS (Apple AppStore) – VMware Horizon Workspace
- At the present time the Horizon Workspace is intended for use with a business’s internally run VMware Horizon Suite implementation, though I suspect we could see such a service offering being made available in the future via the Cloud by VMware Partners.
- With the functionality provided by the Horizon Suite being talked about by VMware (with the occasional VMworld demo) over the last couple of years it is good to finally see it make it to market. With the widespread uptake of VDI by businesses being slower than anticipated (will 2013 be the year of VDI?
- ), it’ll be interesting to see if the functionality and features of the VMware Horizon Suite is enough to tempt IT decision makers over to this new wave of end user computing.