by Harley Stagner

This is the Live Blog of the VMworld 2012 General Session Day 2. You’ll find my recap of the session below.

Steve Herrod, CTO, VMware, Inc. is on the stage now. He’s recapping the general session from yesterday about VMware’s strategic direction towards true cloud infrastructure. Today he is talking about end user computing and access to data in new and different ways.

“The days of telling users what to do are over.”

Three phases of transforming end user computing

  • Transform legacy applications into a service that can be consumed by users
  • Broker services
  • Mobile Users


VMware View is a big component of this transformation. With View 5.1 there are more clients for more devices. The user experience is vastly improved. There was even a 3D-Gaming experience running on View desktops in the Hands on Labs. He is announcing a partner ecosystem of appliances like the Cisco ISR G2 plus VMware View for branch office View deployments.

Up next is Mirage. This is a technology that is brought to us by a recent VMware acquisition. Mirage helps to break apart the desktop into distinct components and allows offline access from a managed physical or virtual desktop. Mirage allows in place upgrade to Windows 7 in the background while a snapshot is taken of the machine. After the upgrade, the user reboots and they have windows 7. Mirage also has a copy of a user’s devices and can restore them as a virtual machine. Demo recap.

  • User starts with Windows XP
  • Mirage does in place upgrade of Windows 7 on the user’s laptop
  • User breaks / loses laptop and Mirage deploys a virtual desktop utilizing the image of his laptop that was saved using Mirage
  • The user switches to a Macbook Air and a VM is deployed into VMware Fusion for offline access

Up next is the tablet experience that VMware R&D is working on. This is being called AppShift. Copy / Paste from windows virtual desktop to tablet. iTunes-like thumbnail flipping through applications on tablet and windows virtual desktop looks pretty cool.

Broker Services

Apps, Desktop, and Data must all be handled and orchestrated by the Broker. Steve Herrod is now talking about Horizon. Today VMware is announcing the Horizon Suite. It is in alpha now and will be in beta by the end of the year. Horizon Suite will give users access to applications, data, and now broker desktops.

View is integrated to Horizon and will utilize AppBlast to deliver them through any HTML-5 browser. Now he is jumping into a day in the life of a Horizon Suite administrator.

The dashboard shows the status of all the running services. Horizon will be deployed as a vApp. Application management:

  • SaaS
  • Thinapp
  • Mobile Apps (e.g. IOS)
  • Xenapp applications – This is huge. Horizon will be able to manage Citrix Xenapp applications that are presented via Xenapp.
  • Application Services

Admins can upload applications, connect to SaaS, or choose a mobile app store such as iTunes or Google Play. Once the application is in the catalog, the user is then entitled to the application. Horizon will clearly be VMware’s single point of management for end user computing.

Mobile Users

Up next are mobile applications. They are announcing iOS solutions. VMware is talking about an iOS container for enterprise applications. The applications managed by Horizon Mobile have a badge to denote that management. Once an application is added to the app catalog, the application can be automatically deployed to the iOS device. For enterprise applications, the user is prompted for a password before launching the app. Horizon also locks the user from things like copying and pasting between apps in the Horizon workspace and pasting them into a personal application.

VMworld Challenge 2012

VMware vendor partners are invited on stage to present how they are using technology to make a real impact on businesses / admins / users. My favorite was Cisco’s presentation on Location ID Separation Protocol (LISP). This allows VM mobility between datacenters by maintaining IP address space while choosing the most efficient path for a VM should it move from its primary datacenter. Cisco was playing for a charity that builds playgrounds for kids in neighborhoods where they might not otherwise exist.

That wraps up the general session from VMworld day 2. I’ll be posting details from my other sessions throughout the day. Thanks again for reading.


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