As we covered the events of VMworld 2017 this year on twitter and our general session live blog, some questions came up along the way. As we learned more about all the new features added into Workspace One, some of those questions were answered, and I thought it made sense to wrap up some of those loose ends here.
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Workspace One Intelligence
I wondered if Workspace One Intelligence was similar to Citrix Analytics Service during the EUC super session on Monday, and as it turns out it has less in common than it might appear on the surface. Workspace One Intelligence is less about machine learning and more about gaining intelligence into the endpoints that are being managed by Workspace One. With Workspace One Intelligence, admins can gain insights into application information (usage, adoption, versions, licensing), OS distribution, device types, and more.
Armed with this information, admins can use it to plan future app deployments, identify and quarantine machines that represent a security risk, and update those machines before un-quarantining them. This feedback, security assessment, and remediation engine will prove to be very useful in UEM-managed environments.
The engine behind this is Apteligent, which VMware acquired back in May. There is a lot going on here that we'll have to dig into at another time, but it fits in well with Workspace One and VMware's Unified Endpoint Management capabilities.
Expanded UEM capabilities in Workspace One
While we're on the topic of UEM, the story around using Workspace One to manage Windows desktops has gotten more impressive. At the show last year, I came away sold on the idea of UEM, but only after further development that made it easier to bridge the gap between traditional PC management and UEM. This year, the story is more complete, with support for deploying GPOs via AirWatch (through a script that looks at the policies applied to a user's machine, then exports them into something AirWatch can use), the ability to join AirWatch-managed machines to a domain to support domain-based resources like file and printer shares, and even the ability to manage endpoints with both AirWatch and SCCM to get the benefits of each during a transition period.
Again, there is more to cover here, but the general sense that I have coming out of VMworld is that VMware, perhaps more than anyone else, understands exactly what has to happen to get enterprises to switch to UEM. Without a doubt, there is more to do to make this appealing to all enterprises, but with their foot on the accelerator, VMware can get their pretty quickly.
VMware partnered with Akamai last year to create a CDN that allowed you to deploy software packages from the cloud to remote users, but using that CDN for LAN or remote office users takes its toll on the internet connection, especially with large applications. To address this, they partnered with Adaptiva to use their peer-to-peer software delivery software, which breaks software up into chunks that are spread around on other machines on the network as a sort of decentralized software repository.
We talked about this in our keynote live blog, and while I like the approach, I questioned whether customers would be on board with replacing their existing software delivery platform with a product from VMware based on a partnership. As it turns out, the partnership just means that you get the Adaptiva bits as part of Workspace One, so it's not an add-on or anything like that. This is good news.
There is a lot more to cover coming out of VMworld, so stay tuned over the next few weeks as we distill all the information we gathered.