VMworld Europe: Horizon Suite to help IT manage corporate assets on Apple iOS

VMware is launching a suite of products to help IT executives manage workspace apps on consumers’ mobile devices including on Apple iPhones securely

VMware is launching a suite of products to help IT executives manage workspace apps on consumers’ mobile devices – including Apple iPhones – securely. 

This will help enterprises regain control of IT amid growing consumerisation and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trends.

VMware’s chief technology officer (CTO), Steve Herrod, announced the launch of Horizon Suite at VMworld Europe 2012 event in Barcelona. Horizon Suite, to be released later this year, pulls data, apps and end-user computing (EUC) in general together.

The suite includes tools such as Horizon Application Manager, Horizon Data (previously called Project Octopus) and Horizon Mobile for iOS as its major components.

The application manager tool takes applications of different types and puts them in a single catalogue, helping IT manage them easily and securely. The Horizon Data tool helps IT centralise and synchronise data so users can access the data and share it from a device of their choice.

The Horizon Mobile for iOS uses application wrapping technology to separate personal and corporate assets on the same device and help IT manage the corporate data on popular Apple devices.

“The days of telling end-users what to do are over,” said Herrod. In this post-PC era, users bring a range of personal devices to work and IT has been playing catch-up, but it is time enterprises used a new way to beat IT consumerisation challenges, he said.

The Horizon Suite is the first integrated platform to enable workforce mobility, Herrod added.

Through a central web management console, it enables IT to customise a service catalogue for all company data and applications.

“It understands a user’s attributes and environment (device, location and connectivity level) and then enforces policies across applications, data, and devices,” said Ben Goodman, Horizon lead evangelist, end-user computing at VMware. “This makes it possible for IT to deliver Windows, Android, iOS, web and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications in a single workspace and give their users self-service access to applications and data from anywhere.

Enterprises are predominantly using Windows, but other ecosystems such as Android and iOS are entering the workplace and IT needs tools to manage them, Herrod said.

Horizon Suite displays all the applications on the management dashboard allowing IT executives to manage not just basic web applications but also mobile applications (such as Android and iOS), and services (such as data and published apps including Citrix XenApp).

VMware demonstrated the suite at VMworld Europe 2012 event on day two. The demo showcased how IT managers can group all work-based applications into a single group on a user’s device with an identifiable tag. The tag helps users differentiate between their work and personal assets on their devices, as well as ensures that the data on apps with the tags are not transferable.

“The Horizon Mobile does not allow users to copy workspace data and paste it outside of it. Even if users forget the security protocol and look to copy the data outside of the application, it will not allow them to do it,” Goodman said.

The suite combines several VMware technologies such as Project Octopus, Project AppBlast, ThinApp, VMware Horizon Application Manager, VMware Horizon Mobile, as well as the management of VMware View.

This not only includes VMware technologies, but also software that runs on Windows and applications delivered via Citrix XenApp, for example, Goodman said. “Think about this: for the first time ever end users can launch and run XenApp applications right next to their ThinApp applications,” he said.

AppBlast will be seen in Horizon Suite and will provide VMware View desktop access via HTML5.

“It will help IT embrace consumerisation and heterogeneous environment for business benefits without worrying about security,” Herrod said.

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