VMware aims to transform 'legacy into a service' with mobile workforce platforms

VMware's CTO asserts the days of telling users what to do are over.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

SAN FRANCISCO -- Migration has been a common theme at VMworld 2012 since it started earlier this week, as VMware's chief technology officer Steve Herrod specified in Tuesday's morning keynote that will be a major focus at VMware going into 2013.

Herrod started off by describing that we used to live in a simple world where we typically each had one device: the desktop.

"The PC world is alive and well, and it will be for a long time," Herrod assured. "But really it's become a multi-device world."

Even more so, Herrod asserted that the days of telling users what to do are over too. That is primarily in reference to the bring-your-own-device trend, which Herrod briefly addressed some pros and cons related to this. For example, if customers can't use the devices they want for work, they might not be as productive.

But on the other hand, Herrod suggested how hard things have become for the desktop administrator, explaining that with all of those additional devices come more point solutions for managing them, turning into a hodgepodge -- or even just a mess -- of management platforms for regulating those devices on a network.

Thus, for VMware, the starting point is transforming legacy into a service. But Herrod pointed out that once you move some of these things into services, you need to change the way you manage them. After everything is in place, you can deliver a better user experience with a multi-device workplace.

VMware's announcements on Tuesday had to do with just that by introducing new ways to deliver the desktop -- primarily to the mobile workforce.

The first introduction was the alpha version of Horizon Suite, VMware's platform for the mobile workforce, which Herrod boasted is truly the "first ever platform" for addressing all aspects of workforce mobility.

Integrating solutions from a host of other products (i.e. Project Octopus, Project AppBlast, ThinApp, Horizon Application Manager and Horizon Mobile), the suite is touted to offer a flexible corporate, cloud-based workspace for mobile workers for connecting from anywhere using any device.

Horizon Suite is supposed to identify and remember a user’s attributes and environment (i.e. device, location and connectivity level) while enforcing IT-set policies across applications, data and desktops. Therefore, IT can deliver both legacy and new platforms (such as Windows, Android, iOS, Web and SaaS applications) in a single workspace.

On the IT end, Horizon Suite features a centralized web management console, which should enable IT managers to be able to customize a service catalog for all company data and applications.

Furthermore, building upon the recent acquisition of Wanova, VMware is bringing together Wanova Mirage and VMware View to create centralized desktop management solutions for transforming legacy Windows desktops into a service and deliver the traditional Windows desktop anywhere.

Essentially, VMware View is responsible for hosting desktops in the datacenter. Wanova Mirage extends that by allowing local system execution on physical desktops and laptops while cloning the images of the endpoints in the datacenter to run them locally.

Thus, customers should be able to expect "all the benefits of centralized management and recovery while allowing users to work offline and preserve an uncompromised user experience."

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