Common questions on VMware EUC technology

VMware's end-user computing (EUC) suite includes but is not limited to virtual desktop infrastructure tools. Get the facts on Horizon Suite.

VMware's focus on end-user computing pulls together enterprise desktop management with virtual desktop infrastructure and bring your own device computing. Admins familiar with only separate pieces of this EUC puzzle have some questions.

End-user computing became a core focus area for VMware in 2013. To support its EUC vision, VMware released the Horizon Suite, which includes Horizon View, Horizon Mirage and Horizon Workspace. These three VMware EUC technologies aim to address the desktops that can be virtualized, those that cannot and the admin that must support them all.

What changed in VMware View when it became part of Horizon?

Horizon View is simply a renamed version of VMware View, with minor changes. View is VMware's well-known virtual desktop infrastructure deployment and management product. Designed to centralize the desktop environment in the data center, View always had a strong message around security and operational efficiency. By creating desktops completely encapsulated within software, IT can easily manipulate the end users' desktops. Centralizing the desktop in the data center greatly reduces the risk of lost data.

What does Mirage do?

Horizon Mirage is a VMware product acquired in May 2012 that is designed for imaging and backing up physical desktops and laptops. It creates operational efficiency by centralizing the operating system image and, combined with layering technology, allowing an IT administrator to manipulate one part of the image (e.g., the operating system) without affecting any other part (e.g., applications and user data). It also makes remote office and field operations easier to manage with WAN optimization technology for deploying images to distributed end-user devices. To protect data from lost or damaged devices, Mirage will create regular backups of each user's desktop image and replicate the backups back to the data center for safekeeping.

Is Mirage a virtual desktop tool?

Mirage is not a virtual desktop product, although in certain cases Mirage can enhance View's operation. By introducing Mirage, VMware admits that there are many use cases where virtual desktops are not effective. VMware's aim is to have Mirage cover the bases that View cannot -- after all, VMware is a virtualization company.

Which workers should be on a Mirage desktop and which on VMware View?

The Horizon View use case is great for task-based workers who are constantly connected to the data center and have very few needs that vary from the standard corporate desktop image.

Consider the power users who need to heavily modify their own desktop environment, as well as the road warriors who often work disconnected from the company's network. These are Mirage's target end-users.

Is there a VMware EUC product for BYOD?

Horizon Workspace has its roots in the Horizon Application Manager, adding centralized access to both applications and View virtual desktops. It also incorporates two long-awaited VMware products: Horizon Data and Horizon Mobile.

Horizon Data, which was known as Project Octopus while in beta testing, brings distributed file storage capabilities, similar to an on-premise version of Dropbox. Built into this platform are extensive file collaboration capabilities, including document sharing and document versioning.

Horizon Mobile introduces some features for mobile application management on Apple iOS- and Android-based devices. Horizon Workspace features help ease the burden of managing applications and providing access across multiple different devices.

VMware intends to change how IT manages end-user desktops. Because all three EUC products are packaged together in one suite, VMware hopes customers will easily license this vision for a multi-device, multi-endpoint workspace.

This was first published in May 2013

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