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VMware Horizon VDI, DaaS Extend to Azure; Counters Windows 365


VMware is adding new capabilities to its Horizon virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) platform -- including Microsoft Azure cloud support. The VMware Horizon updates are particularly timely, considering Microsoft just launched a DaaS service called Windows 365.

VMware says the enhancements will make it easier to manage Horizon deployments wherever they may be, on-premises or in the cloud.  VMware Horizon is part of the VMware Workspace ONE platform that allows users to unify management of devices, apps and desktops across multiple clouds. Extending beyond Amazon Web Services (AWS), Horizon now supports Microsoft Azure environments.

VMware Horizon Supports Microsoft Azure & More

In addition to support for on-premises deployments, several Horizon Control Plane services are now available on additional cloud providers. Key feature updates and capabilities include:

  • Universal Broker connects employees to their virtual desktops and apps through the Horizon Pod or via the cloud based on available capacity, location, preference and more. In addition to supporting on-premises deployments, VMware Horizon on VMware Cloud on AWS, and Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure, this service is now available for VMware Horizon on Azure VMware Solution (AVS) environments.
  • Image Management Service which centrally manages and distributes desktop images across Horizon deployments is now available for VMware Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure. 
  • Application Management, powered by VMware App Volumes, packages apps once and deploys them across Horizon environments in real-time. By using DaaS with VMware Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure, customers can automate application packaging without additional infrastructure. 
  • Cloud Monitoring Service real-time performance monitoring of the user session, virtual desktops and apps across Horizon environments is now available for VMware Horizon for Azure VMware Solution (AVS) environments.
  • Lifecycle Management, enabled through DaaS with VMware Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure, simplifies initial onboarding and continuous configuration by enabling automatic install, upgrade and scaling of Horizon infrastructure.

VMware Horizon: Improve Scalability

In addition, Horizon now supports PostgreSQL and can connect up to 20,000 desktops and sessions per pod for increased scalability, according to the statement.

Finally, VMware said it is making ongoing improvements to its Blast protocol to support for higher resolution client displays like 8K monitors, support for the latest NVIDIA Ampere GPUs and High Dynamic Range (HDR) encoding for improved user experience, according to the statement. 

The VMWare Horizon updates arrive just as Microsoft announces pricing for Windows 365 – a new DaaS offering that costs from $20 per user per month to $162 per user per month. Microsoft unveiled Windows 365 in July 2021. Early Windows 365 partners include ServiceNow and Nerdio. The cloud design of Windows 365 may further protect customers from ransomware attacks, Nerdio believes.