VMware Releases VMware View 3 For Virtual Desktop Environments

VMware today announced the general availability of VMware View 3. With VMware View 3, IT organizations can “decouple” a desktop from specific physical devices or locations to create a personalized view of a user’s desktop, applications, and data – called “myView” – that is securely accessible from almost any device, at any time. By hosting these virtual desktop images in the datacenter using the industry-leading virtualization and management platform, VMware Infrastructure 3, VMware View 3 enables IT personnel to provision and manage thousands of virtual desktops simply, securely, and with substantially lower operating costs.

VMware View 3 is a major step in VMware’s vClient Initiative, announced at VMworld 2008 in September, to solve the “desktop dilemma.” As described by VMware President and CEO Paul Maritz, the desktop dilemma is the business choice of whether to provide thick or thin clients for employees. Thick clients, or fully loaded PCs, give employees a rich set of applications in their desktop environment, but are a management nightmare because applications can be distributed across thousands of PCs that must be provisioned, updated, patched and secured individually.

Thin clients are cheaper, more secure, and more cost-effective to manage, but traditionally have not been able to deliver the richness, flexibility, or compatibility of a thick client. Most businesses provide thin clients only for employees such as call center staff who can be productive in a more stripped-down environment. VMware View 3 solves this dilemma by combining the benefits of both approaches – delivering rich, personalized virtual desktops to any device (whether thick or thin), while simplifying management and securing endpoints with virtual desktops hosted in the datacenter.

VMware View 3 is a family of products available in two editions:

  • VMware View 3, Enterprise Edition: includes VMware Infrastructure Enterprise Edition and VMware View Manager 3, a flexible desktop management server enabling IT administrators to quickly provision and tightly control user access.
  • VMware View 3, Premier Edition: includes VMware Infrastructure Enterprise Edition, VMware View Manager 3, VMware ThinApp for agentless application virtualization and VMware View Composer, a new product that enables IT staff to create multiple virtual desktops from a single image, increasing the speed of provisioning desktops and reducing storage requirements.

With the following new products and technologies, VMware View 3 is the only enterprise-class solution that delivers simple, end-to-end management of virtual desktops and virtual applications from the datacenter to the client:

  • VMware View Composer is a new product that uses Linked Clone technology to create virtual desktops rapidly from a master image while consuming up to 70 percent less storage space. Automated image preparation and provisioning take only seconds and are centrally controlled by View Manager. In addition, View Composer can reduce management costs by enabling IT to update thousands of individual virtual desktops by simply updating the master image with a patch or application update and then applying the changes to each desktop cloned from the master image. View Composer provides this one-to-many image updating while preserving user data, settings, and preferences so patching is seamless to end users.
  • VMware ThinApp is bundled with VMware View 3 to enable simplified application packaging and deployment to a virtual desktop environment. ThinApp and View Composer work together to provide streamlined virtual desktop image creation and updating. ThinApp enables applications to run independently of the host operating system version or patch level. This simplifies updating and patching applications, and provides additional storage reduction for virtual desktops by centralizing and compressing applications. ThinApp’s unique architecture does not require an agent on the user’s desktop, a major advantage compared to other techniques for virtualization applications.
  • Offline Desktop, an experimental feature, provides the flexibility to intelligently and securely move virtual desktops between the datacenter and a local laptop or desktop, increasing user productivity while providing secure mobility. Users can “check out” a virtual desktop onto an ordinary PC, such as a laptop, run the virtual desktop locally and then check it back in to the datacenter. Offline Desktop allows a user to keep using his virtual desktop when no network is available, or simply to take advantage of local resources for the best virtual desktop user experience available.
  • Unified Access, a new feature of VMware View Manager 3, provides desktop administrators with a single management platform for multiple types of sessions. VMware View Manager 3 connects to desktop environments hosted on VMware Infrastructure, or user sessions running on Windows Terminal Servers or even physical PCs such as a blade PC. Individuals have a single point of access to seamlessly connect to their desktop environment, while administrators have a single point of administration.
  • Virtual Printing provides end users the ability to print to any local or network printer without installing specific printer drivers. Virtual Printing technology provides compression for print jobs and auto detection of local printers from the client. This eliminates printer driver issues and the need for printer configuration. End users get high quality printing with enhanced performance across the WAN.
  • Multimedia Redirection improves the user experience with rich multimedia playback capabilities. The multimedia processing tasks are intelligently redirected from the server to the end user device where the multimedia stream is decoded, taking advantage of the local processing power.

VMware View 3 is available immediately through VMware sales and the company’s extensive network of OEM partners and more than 20,000 channel partners. VMware View 3 Enterprise Edition is priced at $150 per concurrent connection and the VMware View 3 Premier Edition is priced at $250 per concurrent connection.

About the author

I'm a blogger, entrepreneur, conference organizer, social media consultant, startup advisor and allround web addict, based in Belgium, Europe. I'm a writer at TechCrunch and managing editor of Virtualization.com.

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