Desktop and application virtualization provides employees and guests with a single uniform endpoint desktop experience, which can be accessed anytime from a growing array of endpoint devices. This flexibility can improve productivity and mobility, while allowing a greater level of corporate control over the virtual desktop's content. Although desktop virtualization and application virtualization are not new, developers such as VMware continue to refine the technology and add enterprise-class features.
Horizon 6 is VMware's endpoint virtualization product that delivers a virtual desktop workspace or virtual applications to devices located anywhere Internet or LAN access is available. For mobile workers who are on Android and iOS devices, the native Horizon View clients deliver access to virtual desktops. Other devices rely on HTML5 and VMware Blast.
Applications and desktop images remain centralized on corporate servers where content can be patched, configured, backed up and secured in a uniform manner. Horizon 6 can handle complete desktop instances through virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and deliver applications such as hosted remote desktop session (RDS) applications, software as a service (SaaS) applications, applications packaged with ThinApp, and applications virtualized with Citrix XenApp.
Currently, three VMware Horizon 6 editions are available: standard, advanced and enterprise. The standard edition provides support for desktop virtualization and VMware ThinApp application packages only. The advanced edition builds on this to add desktop image management, support for RDS and SaaS applications, and a virtual SAN. The enterprise edition provides a full suite of features, including support for cloud automation, management and analytics.
One principal emphasis in Horizon 6 advanced and enterprise editions is the concept of a "unified workspace." The idea is to provide a common or uniform front end that can allow users to access their complete range of desktops and applications, including RDS, ThinApp, XenApp, SaaS and VDI instances. Horizon's unified workspace also supports central management on the server side for reporting, policy administration and delivery preferences.
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