Posted by: mobilitycloud | May 19, 2011

VMware Launches Horizon App Manager For Cloud Delivery Of Apps On Mobile Devices

VMware Launches Horizon App Manager For Cloud Delivery Of Apps On Mobile Devices

Posted by Robert Mullins
May 18, 2011


Channel: Cloud Computing, Security, Wireless

VMware introduced Horizon App Manager Tuesday, which is designed to deliver and manage enterprise applications in the cloud for use on mobile devices, while maintaining IT control over access to, and use of, those applications.  VMware says the platform is needed at enterprises whose work forces increasingly use mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers to do their jobs.

Horizon App Manager integrates with IT system directory programs, such as Microsoft’s Active Directory, to determine access privileges for employees based on their role in the organization. In order to provide remote access but maintain security, end users don’t actually enter their username and password on their portable device, Noah Wasmer, director of advanced development for VMware, explained.

Instead, when an end user requests access to a software-as-a-service-delivered application, a VMware secure token service will ask whether the requester is a valid user and, if he or she shows up in the directory, they are granted a token, written in Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) and provided access. “We think there’s an aggressive new way to do this as a cloud service while still keeping passwords and security behind the firewall,” said Wasmer.

Horizon also enables administrators to provision accounts for a growing number of cloud-based applications including, Google,, SlideRocket, VMware Zimbra, WebEx and others. SlideRocket is a recent VMware acquisition that allows workers to collaborate remotely to create a slide presentation a la PowerPoint.

Because it’s all in the cloud, Horizon App Manager makes it easier and less expensive to provide remote application access than some on-premise solutions that take weeks of preparation, require custom coding and cost tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in hardware and other setup costs, said Wasmer. He mentioned one Fortune 100 company that is juggling 400 SaaS applications for 100,000 end users, which he said is unusually high but illustrates the complexity.

Horizon, by contrast, costs $30 per end user per year for an unlimited number of applications. Horizon is designed to solve a growing challenge for enterprises, in which more widely distributed work forces are increasingly doing their work on mobile devices connected wirelessly to the corporate network, such as on smartphones and tablet computers, he said.

“The challenge that we’re hearing from CIOs is that they say ‘this moves my data from out beyond my
control. I don’t know where it’s going. How we are protecting it and what happens if the device gets lost?'” said Wasmer. “They’re really trying to find this balance between security and control and at the same time end user freedom
and flexibility.

Among the other features of Horizon App Manager is  Dropbox, a container into which an IT administrator can place a virtual desktop including an operating system, applications and other components, allowing an end user to access that virtual desktop on an Apple iPad tablet computer.


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