22 Apr

VMware Launches Horizon DaaS for Cloud Desktop

VMware (VMW) has launched VMware Horizon DaaS, a cloud-based desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) offering that the company noted provides cost-effective, enterprise-class virtual desktops running on the VMware vCloud Hybrid Service.

Over the last few months, VMware has been bolstering its seven-year-old DaaS business, including acquiring DaaS provider Desktone in October 2013. But with Horizon DaaS, VMware is providing customers with what it’s calling “hybrid DaaS.” Horizon gives customers the ability to blend public cloud desktops and on-premise Horizon View private cloud desktops.

“Our experience working with customers deploying DaaS the last several years have shown that the majority prefers a blended environment with both on-premise and cloud desktops,” said Sumit Dhawan, vice president and general manager of Desktop Products for VMware’s End-User Computing business, in a prepared statement. “However, very few solutions in the market can deliver a seamless end user experience across multiple clouds like VMware Horizon DaaS.”

Horizon DaaS supports both Windows Server and Remote Desktop Services environments, as well as full Windows client desktops, which VMware indicated will be a differentiator for it in the growing DaaS space. The vendor is also trying to keep it at an affordable price point: Pricing starts at $35 per month per user for a “full Windows client experience.”

The go-to-market strategy is in line with VMware’s channel strategy. The new DaaS offering will be sold and delivered through VMware partners and will be compatible with other cloud services from the company. According to VMware, Horizon DaaS can be sold the same way as on-premise VMware virtual desktops with a standard SKU.

Also of importance is that partners retain the billing relationship with customers—an element always good to see in a cloud offering. The vendor will be selling it direct, as well, but in its announcement, it put an emphasis on the role channel partners will play in the go-to-market strategy.

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