VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW), the global leader in virtualization and cloud infrastructure, today announced a new release of VMware Horizon® 6 featuring advanced capabilities for application publishing, 3D application support through high-performance virtual desktops, enhanced Chromebook support, software-defined data center optimizations including network virtualization benefits from VMware NSX™, and new features for U.S federal government customers. VMware Horizon 6 is the industry’s most comprehensive desktop and application virtualization solution to deliver and manage any type of enterprise application and desktop, including physical desktops and laptops, virtual desktops and applications, and employee-owned PCs.

“VMware disrupted the industry when it offered a compelling option to application publishing with VMware Horizon 6, and we are pushing the innovation envelope again with new application and desktop virtualization capabilities in this latest release,” said Sumit Dhawan, senior vice president and general manager, desktop products, End-User Computing, VMware. “Customers can benefit from capabilities that are unique to VMware’s unified platform that will help transform their desktops into more secure virtual workspaces, as we leverage the power of virtualization to flexibly deliver any application to any device, anywhere with security and management that is simple and unified. In addition to the advanced capabilities in Horizon 6, the technology previews offer a sneak peek at possible new capabilities to come and represent our relentless focus on delivering value and innovation to customers.”

Transforming Desktops and Applications On the Journey to Business Mobility
This release of VMware Horizon 6 introduces new capabilities integrated into a single solution that can empower IT with a streamlined approach for managing Windows applications and desktops. Innovations in application publishing, device support, application and desktop management, and storage and network support can help make managing mobile end-users easier and more cost-effective. Customers can use VMware Horizon 6 to leverage the power of virtualization and transform their desktops into secure virtual workspaces on their way to embracing business mobility.

Key enhancements within VMware Horizon 6 include:

  • Application Publishing and 3D Graphics Support – VMware Horizon 6 offers comprehensive support for applications, from simple to complex. Port level redirection of local USB storage devices enables access to files through published applications and virtual desktops. NVIDIA GRID™ vGPU™ technology, VMware vSphere® 6 and Horizon 6 combined can deliver a great end-user experience for rich, 3D graphics on high performance virtual desktops for the most demanding end-users and scalability that IT teams require.

    “Our experience with NVIDIA GRID vGPU and VMware Horizon on vSphere has been incredibly positive,” said Michael S. Goay, executive director, Information Technology, USC Viterbi School of Engineering, University of Southern California. “We look forward to sharing a single GPU across multiple users without any sacrifice in compatibility or user experience. Plus, we’ll be able to better allocate computer resources to drive higher user density on each vSphere host.”

  • Software-Defined Data Center Optimizations with VMware vSphere 6, VMware NSX, and VMware Virtual SAN™ 6 for Enhanced Security and Lower Costs – Innovations within VMware’s unified platform for virtualized compute, networking and storage for the hybrid cloud can help drive down costs, reduce complexities and increase the scalability of virtual applications and desktops using VMware Horizon 6.

    VMware NSX, when deployed with VMware Horizon 6, will bring push-button simplicity for networking and security to VDI deployments. Within seconds, IT administrators can create networking and security policies that dynamically follow Horizon 6 virtual desktops and applications. VMware NSX will eliminate the need for manual network and security configuration to support VDI, which is time-consuming and prone to errors. Through micro-segmentation and integration with leading third party security solutions, Horizon 6 combined with VMware NSX can extend security policy from within the data center all the way to the device.

    The combination of VMware Virtual SAN 6 hyper-converged storage with Horizon 6 offers out of the box integration and enables increased scale and lower total cost of ownership (TCO) for virtual desktops. Horizon 6 has been validated to support up to 4,000 desktops per cluster on a 20-node cluster.

    Enhancements to the VMware Horizon 6 cloud pod architecture enables IT administrators to federate desktop deployments across multiple data centers and geographies using a single interface for management and monitoring. Lastly, support for Windows Server 2012 R2 provides an affordable choice for virtual desktops to help further drive down TCO.

  • New Features for U.S. Federal Government Customers – Support for the IPv6 network address protocol enables government agencies to integrate VMware Horizon 6 into an updated network or seamlessly transition existing Horizon deployments from an IPv4 to IPv6 network. Common Access Card (CAC) support offers simple and secure access to virtual desktops and applications for uniformed service personnel, and efforts to achieve Common Criteria certification are underway. These new features enable VMware Horizon 6 to assist customers with compliance to strict security and privacy standards of the U.S. Federal Government.

VMware Horizon for Linux Early Access Program
VMware also announced today an early access program for its VMware Horizon for Linux virtual desktop solution. Committed to customer choice, VMware is expanding its virtual desktop capabilities to include support for Red Hat and Ubuntu based Linux desktops. This will enable customers to simplify desktop management using the VMware Horizon platform to access Windows and Linux applications. In addition to centralized management capabilities and 3D graphics acceleration, this solution will allow end-users to remotely access Linux desktops and applications from mobile devices without compromising security while fostering collaboration. To participate in the early access program, register here.

Technology Preview: Enhancing Speed and Flexibility for Application Delivery Including Enhanced Chromebook Support
Demonstrating continued commitment to application and desktop innovations, VMware revealed today two new technology previews — Project Local and Project Ark. Project Local showcases the ability to deliver greater speed and efficiency for application delivery to end-users by providing virtual applications access to files on local hard drives and folders. Project Ark demonstrates the flexible delivery of published applications to Google Chromebooks through two separate methodologies — a clientless approach via an HTML5 browser and a client approach using a new lightweight Chrome client.

“Advancements in application publishing and virtual desktops are offering compelling reasons for organizations to switch from physical to virtual systems,” said Robert Young, Research Manager at IDC. “VMware offers more than just new features in their new release of VMware Horizon 6 with additional benefits coming from integration with its software-defined data center solutions. This can be an important decision-making factor for customers.”

Availability and Pricing
The new release of VMware Horizon 6 is expected to be generally available this week. Contact VMware sales or a local VMware partner for pricing. A free trial is available for download by visiting the VMware website.