VMware Horizon Cloud
The power in modern computing is with the end user. The majority of the workforce will increasingly work remotely from anywhere, on any device and no longer in the traditional office. Consumerisation of IT, where a younger, mobile workforce uses business and personal IT technology side by side and interchangeably and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies have become mainstream. Organisations have gone along with it by providing anytime, anywhere access to company data and applications across multiple devices. That is one of the biggest challenges for many service providers today: how can they ensure that they meet the demands of mobile workers while at the same time maintaining compliance and minimising risks?
In this article we elaborate on how VMware Horizon Cloud responds to the challenge of the End User Compute (EUC) market with flexible delivery options on either a hosted infrastructure, on-premises infrastructure or the public cloud. What is it? What’s unique about Horizon Cloud? What are typical use cases and how can service providers be successful with Horizon Cloud?
Horizon Cloud for service providers
VMware Horizon Cloud enables the delivery of cloud-hosted virtual desktops and apps on any device, anywhere, from a single cloud control plane. For service providers delivering virtual desktops from their own infrastructure as their core business, Horizon Cloud opens up new perspectives, especially for four main reasons: multi-tenancy, cross-cloud architecture, premium end-user experience and lower operational costs. And because Horizon Cloud is available as a ‘bring your own’ public cloud infrastructure or as a cloud-hosted infrastructure from VMware, Horizon Cloud is always available and secure, with guaranteed SLAs and built-in security.
Horizon Cloud is a multi-tenant solution. Once the Desktop MSP Contract has been created, a notification will be sent and VMware will create an isolated multi-tenant partner environment for the account to manage customer accounts and organisations. After the first deployment service providers can easily replicate it and deploy it to make an offering across their entire customer base.
Cross-cloud or multi-cloud architecture is unique in the business and a key take-away for service providers. It means that service providers can take the deployment and implement that on premise on existing customer hardware, have it on premise on their own hardware or implement it on any public cloud (Azure, AWS) or VMware managed infrastructure with IBM cloud. The multi-cloud option is further enhanced with a very easy lift-and-shift functionality between cloud offerings with a single SKU coming soon; another unique feature. This enables service providers to shift from the on-premise deployment to deployment in the cloud or between cloud providers with minimum modifications.
Premium end-user experience
Service providers have a competitive benefit for their customers by delivering premium end-user experience. Employees have access to company data and applications in their digital workspace anytime, anywhere and from any device, while still offering enterprise-grade security.
Lower operational costs
Service providers can deliver virtual desktops with less resources than they had to use in the past, since the infrastructure is no longer managed by the service provider, and new desktops can be provisioned in minuets For example, time-to-market is shorter, just as problem solving occurs centrally, which means that service providers can assign valuable management and monitoring time to other business goals.
… and more pro’s
Horizon Cloud has more to offer for simple, manageable, scalable and therefore cost-efficient IT delivery.
VMware Workspace ONE
Workspace ONE is an enterprise-grade management platform - automatically configured - that easily delivers any application, web app or SaaS service to any device: in the cloud or on premises. This gives service providers centralised access control, increased security and automated employee onboarding and offboarding through a single pane of glass.
The Horizon Cloud license also includes a monitoring solution to manage resource usage when parameters such as CPU usage, memory usage, or disk latency are at or above a set threshold value.
Scalability for costs and performance
Built-in scalability functions make cost control and guaranteed performance easy. For example, by applying working hours schedules instead of running workloads 24/7, or guaranteeing performance by automatically scaling up and down depending on resource consumption, such as CPU and RAM allocation.
Security in the cloud can be pretty challenging. End users and end-user devices are increasingly becoming the starting point for phishing and other cyberattacks. Robust security therefore begins with the end user and the virtual desktop environment. VMware NSX Cloud helps secure virtual desktops and applications deployed by Horizon Cloud by providing network and security features for applications that run natively in public cloud environments such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS.
NSX Cloud offers micro-segmentation to reduce the risk level by securing traffic between each VDI system (east-west traffic) and providing isolation for desktop pools.
Automated, adaptive end-user policies
Service providers can also set automatic policies that adapt to the end-user's computing environment based on role, logical grouping, desktop operating system, independent of the underlying network infrastructure.
Four deployment options, various use cases
VMware Horizon Cloud has four different deployment options:
- Horizon Cloud on premises
- Horizon Cloud on AWS cloud
- Horizon Cloud on Azure cloud
- Horizon Cloud on VMware hosted infrastructure on IBM cloud
It comes with two different types of licensing: per named user or per concurrent user, depending on the workload that is deployed. If licensing applies to a university, for example, then licensing per named user is not the best option, because students come in and out. Licensing per named user is a common option for private companies with a fixed set of users.
Horizon Cloud Service supports multiple use cases, depending on specific applications, unique business and technical requirements, and different business objectives. Use cases include:
- Desktop transformation to simplify desktop software management and lower costs, while giving access to corporate data and applications and maintain compliance.
- Remote offices to deliver consistency in desktop and access to user applications with requiring local IT departments or local infrastructure.
- Temporary employees or seasonal businesses to rapidly scale desktops and applications for unique or one-off tasks, e.g. for building and testing applications.
Growing interest for EUC in the market
At Insight, we also see a big interest in EUC among our partners, especially with the availability of Horizon Cloud, the EUC offering by VMware. Service providers are aware of the commercial benefits they can achieve, when leaving their own hardware and deploying their IT infrastructure with Horizon Cloud in a managed cloud by VMware or in the public cloud. They see that they can lower their resources and costs on infrastructure support, because it is taken care of in the cloud. Besides, they benefit from many other advantages which are leveraged by the cloud in general, such as scalability, availability, built-in security and identity management.
Pricing and sizing
With different deployment options and a plethora of scenarios, planning and preparation are the most important success factors for the deployment of Horizon Cloud. The better prepared service providers are, the smoother and faster they can onboard the Horizon Cloud Service platform. What we often see in conversations with partners, is that they have difficulty defining the right pricing and sizing for the cloud offering of their choice. In the hosted infrastructure option, all costs are managed and pre-calculated into the design. This gives a rather accurate pricing structure. However, when bringing your own public cloud, pricing becomes more complicated. ‘Hidden’ costs such as for networking or connectivity and egress are easily overlooked. The same goes for sizing. If service providers are not familiar with sizing, they might easily come up with a solution that is not working for the end users.
Insight has a team of experienced solution architects to help partners plan and prepare all the aspects around their Horizon Cloud deployment. Because every partner’s situation is unique and everyone’s workloads are unique, we engage with partners to do a qualification meeting, discuss their requirements, evaluate various scenarios, the number of users they want to deploy for, licensing. pricing in line with what is needed for themselves, their customers and the end users.
Winning the business or not
Designed to work in the cloud from day one, VMware Horizon Cloud is a mature, flexible, scalable VDI offering to deliver desktops and applications anywhere, anytime, securely to end users on any device, without worrying about GDPR or data leaks. The unique feature for service providers is that it is a multi-tenant, multi-cloud solution that can be used across the entire customer base and on different cloud platforms. With the end user compute (EUC) market expected to double in growth from 2017 to 2023 from USD 5.51 billion in 2017 to USD 11.17 billion.
Horizon Cloud can be an important part of the service provider's offering, when they have to renew their current desktop infrastructure and no doubt look at EUC and Digital Workspace options. Getting on board timely can really make the difference in winning the business or the business going elsewhere to parties who do offer secure and flexible EUC solutions. And good to know: in all cases and for all scenarios imaginable, Insight is the trusted advisor to ensure a smooth and successful deployment of Horizon Cloud.
Do you want your business to be successful with VMware Horizon Cloud? Then contact your Account Manager or VMware specialist at Insight to request a demo or lab session.
Want to know more about VMware’s Horizon Cloud? Then watch our Webinar.