VMware's Horizon Workspace 1.5: Where does it fit in a BYOD strategy?

There are many approaches to delivering corporate applications and data to staff-owned devices. VMware recently updated one of its products that addresses this need.
Written by Dan Kusnetzky, Contributor

VMware introduced Horizon Workspace™ 1.5 . It is worth considering where this product offering fits in the approaches to supporting BYOD programs. As mentioned in the recent post The BYOD dilemma - accessing corporate applications, there are a number of different approaches to allowing staff members to access corporate applications and data from their own devices.

VMware presents Horizon Worksapce as a tool that creates a single workspace for applications and data, that allows corporate and personal data to be separated and controlled, allows administrators to manage users rather than devices, help secure corporate applications and data, and to allow staff to share files.

Here's what VMware has to say about VMware Horizon Workspace 1.5.

How VMware describes Horizon Workspace 1.5


VMware® Horizon Workspace™ gives end-users easy access to all their business apps and files from a single workspace on any device. Moreover, it gives IT a scalable, policy-based management platform to centrally govern and secure these assets across devices.

VMware is making it easier to support the mobile workforce by introducing the general availability of VMware Horizon Workspace™ 1.5, which offers a highly integrated mobile management platform. This release simplifies the experience for both the end user and the IT administrator who must support the mobile worker. Adding to the single, aggregated workspace that combines data, applications and desktops are features such as:

  1. A single integrated management interface to support Android devices alongside all other components of the workspace with the integration of VMware Horizon Mobile™
  2. Support for mobile applications to allow admins to entitle and manage applications
  3. Policy management engine to consolidate, model, and rationalize policies across all components
  4. Support for the Oracle database
  5. Revised iOS applications – files and applications in two separate applications
  6. Localization in French, German, Japanese and simplified Chinese
  7. Performance improvements and fixes

The variety of mobile device models, operating systems and applications brought into the enterprise by users can create a management nightmare for IT. Specifically, Android is a difficult platform to manage due to the large number of device-specific operating systems. Horizon Workspace helps IT standardize the management of Android devices using a single, integrated management platform to easily apply and enforce corporate security policies across all devices using a single solution.

Snapshot analysis

The typical approaches to allowing staff members to access corporate applications and data fall into one of the following categories:

  1. Delivering the workload to the remote device using application virtualization
  2. Using a custom Web-based interface that allows access to centalized applications
  3. Using a custom App that allows access to centralized applications
  4. Using access virtualization  to access centralized applications
  5. Using processing virtualization combined with virtual machine migration technology to run the encapsulated application locally. This approach can be combined with access virtualization to allow access to an encapsulated workload that is executing somewhere else (departmental server, business unit server, corporate server or cloud-based server)

VMware, for the most part, focuses on approaches 4 and 5. Furthermore, VMware’s approach is based upon the assumption that its virtual machine software is being used.

Microsoft offers products that support approaches 1, 4 and 5. It supports its own virtual machine software.

Citrix, on the other hand, offers products that support approaches 1, 4, and 5 and supports  many different virtual machine software products.

If a company is focused on using VMware’s approach, Horizon Workspace 1.5 is a valuable addition to its software portfolio. If the company focuses on Microsoft's Hyper-V, then it would be wise to use Microsoft's approach. If a company has standardized on another virtual machine software product or has a mix of virtual machines in its IT infrastructure other approaches may be a better choice.

In the end, using a mix of desktop virtualization technologies could be very beneficial to a company looking for ways to reduce their overall costs of computing by reducing operations and administration expects by centralizing control of desktops and desktop applications.

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