Arraya Insights | February 17, 2014
I was at VMware Partner Exchange last week and as usual there were several announcements that continue to shape VMware’s vision of a “New Reality”. It was also a good chance to catch up with the various teams and hear more about the direction for products like VSAN, as well as their Cloud and End User Computing strategy.
The biggest announcement was a partnership with Google. VMware and Google are teaming up to ensure you can deliver Windows applications and desktops to Chromebooks. Of course you will have to be connected, but they are working to ensure the user experience is great and I know there are a number of educational institutions that will be glad to see broader support for View in a Chromebook. The low cost of Chromebooks and the expanding use of Google apps in education has made them very popular. This partnership should bring a much better experience to these and other Chromebook users. All of this is delivered via HTML 5 and VMware’s Blast technology which performs very well for HTML. I have used this successfully on a number of devices and while it isn’t PCoIP, it provides a great experience with no client to install.
Of course the real focus at PEX was AirWatch. This was a huge addition to VMware’s End User Computing strategy and I for one am looking forward to seeing how this product will be integrated into the EUC stack. Given the newness of the purchase, there wasn’t a lot of new information about the direction for AirWatch, but there was definitely a general sense that it will replace some or all of the current Workspace product.
I wasn’t very familiar with AirWatch before this past week. Although I knew it was the market leader according to Gartner in the MDM space, I didn’t know that they offered more than just MDM. I now see that it appears to be a great solution for delivering secure content and applications to all devices regardless of operating system. The Content Locker features offer integration with many existing enterprise data systems, including SharePoint, Office365, and Google. Content Locker provides secure access to document libraries from any device and provides a way for the enterprise to control the contents and data in the devices. It integrates into Active Directory to keep policy centralized and to make it simple for IT to administer. Like all VMware products, AirWatch captures the ability to deliver simple solutions to complex problems.
I am really excited to see how VMware delivers on what seems to be a complete vision for End User Computing. This is an increasingly important part of enterprise growth and it is a poorly addressed space with many disjointed solutions that require 3rd party applications to fill major gaps. With AirWatch added to the EUC suite we should see a very complete solution from VMware.
While “Mastering the New Reality” (the theme of the event), storage will definitely be part of your conversation. VMware announced VSAN last year at VMworld, and now is adding certified support from pretty much every hardware vendor in your compute platform. With certified support from Cisco, Dell, HP, IBM and others, you will be hard pressed to find a vendor that will not support their virtual storage platform. There are still some concerns over HA with this solution, but as it continues to mature I am certain we will see VMware deliver on simplicity and performance as they have with their other primary focuses. VSAN will be a good option for those small storage needs, or for a cheap place to store your VDP data. The pros and cons of this solution are still being worked out, but there is no doubt we will see a lot more virtual SAN technology continue to develop and mature over the coming years as the industry looks to attack this major datacenter cost point. Keep an eye on other technologies, as well as VSAN, like EMC’s ScaleIO to see how this market matures.
VMware continues to establish itself as a market leader in the EUC space and with their continued focus on datacenter technologies like storage and networking, they are well placed to enter the new reality of cloud datacenters. I am looking forward to more exciting announcements from VMware this year in the EUC and Cloud spaces and hope to have many opportunities to help my clients “Master the New Reality”.