Published: February 9th, 2017

VMware Inc.’s Horizon portfolio is getting a hefty upgrade this April with the introduction of Horizon Cloud, Horizon Apps, and updates to the Horizon 7 portfolio of solutions – Horizon 7.1.

The new cloud-scale service, Horizon Cloud, will allow organizations to deploy “feature-rich virtual desktops and applications in the cloud, on-premises, or in a combination of the two.” It allows customers to bring-your-own infrastructure from certified hyper-converged infrastructure partners or from VMware/IBM SoftLayer.

Horizon Cloud includes new Horizon Apps, the Just-in-Time Management Platform (JMP) and a new digital workspace experience called the Blast Extreme Adaptive Transport (BEAT).

JMP ultimately allows customers to scale desktops and apps to drive down costs without interfering with the user experience. The JMP can be used on virtual desktops and published apps both on-premises and on the cloud. It features the combination of VMware’s instant clones for ultra-fast desktop provisioning, app volumes for real-time app delivery, and user environment manager for contextual policy management, the company’s application and desktop management technologies.

BEAT is VMware’s new UDP-based transport as part of its Blast Extreme protocol. The offering was designed to “ensure great user experience across varying network conditions, especially those with low bandwidth, high latency, and high packet loss.” Within Horizon 7.1 using BEAT, VMware is reporting up to 50 per cent improved bandwidth utilization out of the box and six times faster file transfers for transcontinental connections.

Additionally, with Horizon 7.1 VMware is partnering with Microsoft in order to support a preview of Skype for Business for the platform. For now, this tech preview will only support Windows clients, but support for different clients will “follow shortly”.

Horizon Apps start at $125 per named user for a perpetual license. Horizon Cloud pricing starts at $16 per named user per month. Horizon 7 pricing starts at $250 per concurrent user. All three are expected to launch in April.