VMware moves Horizon VDI to the Azure cloud

VMware Inc. today announced that it will make nearly all of its VMware Horizon virtual desktop infrastructure available on Microsoft Corp’s Azure cloud. Previously, the service was only available on the Amazon Web Services Inc infrastructure.

The move is part of a larger VMware initiative to expand its IT footprint for end users to take advantage of the increased adoption of work-from-home modalities in the wake of COVID-19. In January, the company improved its Workspace ONE device management technology to improve support for distributed workforce.

VDI is a technology that delivers the equivalent of a fully functional desktop computer to an end user device. Because applications and data reside on a server, the security risk is reduced and IT can fully control the workstation configuration.

VMware said it is agnostic about where customers choose to deploy their desktops. “Some customers have on-premises infrastructure and others want a pure cloud model,” said Sachin Sharma, director of product marketing in VMware’s end-user IT unit. “The sweet spot is in the middle: subscription licensing and cloud management of on-premises workloads are. It is up to the client to decide what he wants and does not want to manage.

Horizon supports multi-cloud deployment and zero-trust security using technology acquired with the purchase of Carbon Black Inc. two years ago. Carbon Black uses behavioral analysis technology to detect endpoint attacks.

Among the features of the VMware service is a Universal Brokerage feature that connects employees to the most suitable cloud or pod based on available capacity, location, preferences, and other factors. An image management service reduces maintenance by centrally storing and distributing images in Horizon environments.

An application management function pre-packages applications once and deploys them to multiple horizon desktops in real time. A cloud monitoring service keeps track of user sessions and balances performance accordingly. Lifecycle management enables automatic installation, upgrade, and scaling of the Horizon infrastructure.

Additionally, VMware is announcing support for the PostgreSQL relational database management system, which is the world’s fourth most popular RDBMS, according to DB-Engines.com. The company has supported PostgreSQL for some time, but only publicly announces it now, Sharma. Previously, support was limited to Microsoft’s SQL Server.

The company is also making some improvements to the Blast protocol which is used to provide remote screen displays. Improvements include support for higher resolution displays, the latest generation of graphics processing units from Nvidia Corp. and high dynamic range encoding for improved performance.

Image: Pixabay

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