A Look At The Horizon

One of the cool things about attending VMworld every year is seeing what is new on the horizon and this year, ironically, there is something called Project Horizon and the first milestone of that project called VMware Horizon Application Manager.  Horizon is a hosted or in-house service that will centrally manage the provisioning, access and usage of software-as-a-server (SaaS) applications while at the same time applying the companies standardized security and access controls. This will give the end users of the application the ability to use the applications via VMware ThinApp or View products to stream the application across multiple devices all with a single login. The end users will also have self-service access to a corporate store for their SaaS and Web-based applications. Managing these applications will be completely user based with no need to worry about the underlying device the software or application is running on.

Imagine this scenario… You can start working on a Microsoft Office application on your desktop at the office and then leave and continue working on the document via a pad or other mobile device.  VMware’s vision moves past the desktop with the idea being that moving forward into the future, mobile devices will be king.

But wait, there is more mobile on the horizon to talk about. VMware has also announced VMware Horizon Mobile. Horizon Mobile is based on VMware Mobile Virtualization Platform (MVP) technology and will enable an enterprise to establish and securely manage an employee’s connected mobile workspace in isolation as a virtual machine running on top of the user’s personal mobile environment or in other words you can take your personal PDA currently running an Android OS and have your corporate cell phone running on the same device that is closely managed, secured and controlled by the companies themselves. Think of it this way, running VMware Workstation on and for a mobile OS. Although VMware is working on the idea of having both personal and business phones on one device, there is no reason why there could not be even more than a single vMobile OS running on the device.  As long as the PDA had the horsepower to handle the load, multiple virtual machines could be running on the host device itself.

I have seen the mobile demo and was pretty impressed with it and the concept.  I would really love to be to see a version to run on the iPhone but, I really do not believe Apple will end up going along with that, but hey, we can all dream big right?  I think the weak link in VMware’s master plan is still VMware View.  I do not think VMware View took off as well as VMware wanted but it is still a work in progress.  Citrix and XenDesktop are leading the pack for VDI currently, in my humble opinion, but VMware is making progress with each release.  Time will tell how that goes but for now VMware is establishing the foundation and framework to further push VMware vSphere and Cloud Computing.  I am excited to see the direction mobile will go in the near future and as a firm believer that the desktop as king is on its way down as the mobile device starts to take over.