VMware Horizon VDI Now Available on Microsoft’s Azure Cloud

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Microsoft’s Azure cloud is going to host a significant portion of VMware’s Horizon virtual desktop (VDI) architecture. The Horizon VDI service was previously only available on AWS infrastructure.

The addition of Microsoft Azure to its underlying cloud infrastructure is part of VMware’s larger effort to further extend its end-user computing footprint in the aftermath of COVID-19, which has seen a surge in the use of work-from-home agreements. VMware already put effort in improving its Workspace ONE endpoint management solution in January this year to serve remote workforces better.

“Apps are moving to the cloud and employees are accessing them from everywhere, creating a more complex environment for IT to manage,” said Shankar Iyer, senior vice president and general manager, End-User Computing, VMware. “VMware Horizon is a modern platform built to reduce this complexity, increase management efficiency, and improve employee productivity regardless of whether the desktop and application workloads are on-premises, in the cloud, or a hybrid of both.”

The VMware Horizon Control Plane, which is hosted in the cloud, allows IT teams to install, manage, and expand virtual desktops and apps across private and public cloud environments. IT professionals would get the best of both worlds with hybrid delivery and control of virtual apps and desktops. They may leverage the cloud to achieve management efficiency for their on-premises infrastructure and then migrate use cases and capacity to the cloud when they’re ready. The VMware Horizon Control Plane would simplify things.

Horizon Control Plane services are now also accessible on Microsoft Azure, giving users more options for cloud scaling their desktops and apps. Among the services provided are:

  • Universal Broker – Based on available capacity, geography, choice, and other factors, employees are connected to their virtual desktops and apps through the Horizon Pod or the cloud. This service now supports VMware Horizon on Azure VMware Solution (AVS) environments, in addition to on-premises installations, VMware Horizon on VMware Cloud on AWS, and Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure.
  • Image Management Service – By centrally maintaining and distributing desktop images across Horizon installations, image maintenance time and expenses are reduced. This service is now available for VMware Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure, in addition to on-premises deployments.
  • Application Management – It streamlines application delivery by packaging apps once and delivering them across Horizon environments in real-time, thanks to VMware App Volumes. IT can decrease image sprawl by isolating app administration from the desktop image, making the app maintenance process easier and faster. Clients may also automate application packaging without extra equipment by combining Desktop-as-a-Service with VMware Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure.
  • Cloud Monitoring Service – Reduces downtime by monitoring the user session, virtual desktops, and apps in real time across Horizon environments. For VMware Horizon for Azure VMware Solution (AVS) installations, this service is now accessible.
  • Lifecycle Management – Desktop-as-a-Service with VMware Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure streamlines initial onboarding and continual configuration by allowing Horizon infrastructure to be installed, upgraded, and scaled automatically.

Antwerp (Belgium) Police Department’s deputy director of ICT, Stijn Haemhouts, detailed how the department utilizes VMware Horizon to deliver police the information and tools they need in the field. The full case study can be found here.

“With VMware Horizon, we’ve essentially turned our police vans into a mobile workplace,” said Stijn Haemhouts. “Thanks to VMware Horizon we can now deliver all necessary information via our FOCUS platform to the agents in the field. As a result, it now takes barely three minutes to be on the crime scene while it used to be six and more.”

VMware Horizon Innovations

Because various clouds have distinct infrastructure foundations and maintenance requirements, a multi-cloud desktop and app delivery strategy might be complicated. This might result in increased management expenses. Horizon’s recent innovations targeted at simplifying these difficulties and assisting IT in saving time and money include:

  • Clients may connect workers to public vSphere-based cloud environments like Horizon on Azure VMware Solution and Horizon on VMware Cloud on AWS using existing on-premises Horizon infrastructure, such as Horizon Connection Servers.
  • Horizon now supports PostgreSQL, allowing IT to use an open-source database for Horizon events if necessary. Large businesses may now connect up to 20,000 PCs and sessions per pod for scalability, decreasing the number of pods required in a Horizon deployment.
  • Blast protocol is still being improved, which is helping to boost staff productivity. Support for higher resolution client displays, such as 8K monitors, as well as the newest NVIDIA Ampere GPUs and High Dynamic Range (HDR) encoding for a better user experience, have also been included.