VMware has announced the Horizon App Manager, a new solution with the intention of streamlining access to both personal and business-related cloud-based applications.
Basically, the portal looks like your basic app user interface, which can be accessed from "almost all major Internet browsers" (i.e. Safari, Firefox and Internet Explorer 7). The manager offers a single login and password entry that grants access to multiple work and personal apps. Some examples include SalesForce.com, Facebook, Google, and WebEx.
Such a program would come in handy for employees on-the-go who need to access files and accounts easily and quickly from mobile devices. IT administrators would be able to add more third-party apps with provisioning-ready APIs when needed, and they can also monitor entitlement to almost any cloud application using a centralized application catalog.
Furthermore, usage of the Horizon App Manager shouldn't cost more than the subscription fee of $30.00 per year/per user as the platform uses the existing on-premise identity infrastructure.
Naturally, most questions around cloud-based applications and managers revolve around security. Included with the Horizon App Manager is the Enterprise Connector, which syncs up users and groups from the Microsoft Active Directory (or other directory options) and pushes basic account info to the cloud. However, passwords are not included in this information, but rather just credentials to determine if the user account is valid.
VMware has implemented some other security measures as well, including Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) and Open Authentication (Oauth). Additionally, IT managers can add other security technologies on top of this.
The Horizon App Manager is available now to select early access customers in North America and the Asia/Pacific region.
Related coverage on ZDNet:
- VMware moves up SMB stack, buys Shavlik Technologies
- What IBM has to say about virtualization and cloud computing
- Red Hat's Virtualization Server 3 beta due this summer, to ship in late 2011
- HP's cloud coming into focus via LinkedIn profile?
- VMware acquires SlideRocket to complement Zimbra