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VMware Updates Horizon Suite, Intros Socialcast

By - Source: VMware Press Release

On Tuesday during VMworld 2013 in Barcelona, VMware revealed updates to its Horizon family of desktop virtualization and mobile computing products, and introduced VMware Socialcast, a private social network for business. The updated VMware Horizon family includes Horizon View 5.3, Horizon Mirage 4.3, and new VMware Ready devices.

According to the company, VMware Horizon View 5.3 offers a "true" workstation replacement option with workstation class 3D graphics using Virtual Dedicated Graphics Acceleration (vDGA) enabled by Nvidia GRID technology to support high-performance graphics and compute workloads. This updated version also provides streamlined management, reduced total cost of ownership (TCO), and a new route to market for virtual desktops. There's also an optional Horizon View Agent Direct-Connect plugin that will allow for secure remote connections to a virtual desktop even if the Horizon View connection server is unavailable.

According to VMware, the new Horizon Mirage 4.3 combined with Horizon View gives IT administrators greater flexibility and performance in managing mobile and distributed desktops for different user groups within an organization. This updated solution will also support in-place Windows 7 operating system migration and hardware refresh. It also adds a new protection manager role that helps IT manage mobile and distributed PCs from a single pane of glass, providing information such as endpoint centralization status, trends, and errors in a dashboard view.

The company also said that Sony's Xperia Z1 and Xperia Z Ultra smartphones are the latest additions to VMware's growing list of Android phones that support the dual persona capability offered by Horizon Workspace. There are now 12 popular consumer smartphones that fall within the company's VMware Ready classification. Others already on the list include the Motorola DROID Maxx, Motorola DROID Ultra and Motorola DROID Mini, the HTC One, the LG G2 and more.

As mentioned earlier, the company also introduced a new private social network for business called VMware Socialcast. The company said that this solution "brings social networking to the enterprise, delivering a single, unified workspace with everything you need to connect with people, find information, work on projects and focus on what matters." Users can use the REST APIs to customize Soacialcast to make the community more "engaging and meaningful", and even embed social collaboration directly within their intranet, Microsoft SharePoint or other CRM, Help Desk, or HR business tools.

"The innovations we are introducing around cost, management and performance of our products make a compelling case to companies searching for a modern approach to supporting their mobile workforces," said Sanjay Poonen, executive vice president and general manager, End-User Computing, VMware. "We believe customers get the best technology, practical innovations, superior customer support and the most value from VMware compared to our competitors."

Updates to VMware Horizon Suite, Socialcast and VMware Ready smartphones are expected to be available later in Q4 2013. The public beta of VMware Virtual SAN for Horizon View is available now through the VMware website. 

Kevin Parrish is a contributing editor and writer for Tom's Hardware, Tom's Games, Tom's Guide and Tom’s IT Pro. He's also a graphic artist, CAD operator and network administrator.

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