VMware is planning a new DaaS offering on VMware Cloud on AWS, called Managed Desktops Solution

Most of the details are unknown at this time, but it could add another new option in the matrix of Horizon 7 and Horizon Cloud offerings.

VMworld is almost two weeks away, but we just learned that VMware is planning a new DaaS offering called “Managed Desktops Solution,” with the desktops running on VMware Cloud on Amazon AWS.

Credit goes to my TechTarget colleague Jesse Scardina for finding the news by poking around the VMworld session catalogue. (He’s also posting his own story today at SearchVirtualDesktop.com.)

What we know about Managed Desktops Solution

Here’s the title and description:

“Managed Desktops Solution with VMware Cloud on AWS - Design Studio [UX7044U]”

“Are you interested in deploying desktops with VMware Cloud on AWS? Come try out the new Managed Desktops service experience. This is a new fully managed desktops as a service solution from VMware Cloud on AWS. This new service provides an integrated experience of provisioning capacity, connecting network and assigning desktops. We want your input on how well the experience will suit you. Come talk to us and have an interactive session with us. VMware Design Studios are interactive sessions exploring technical previews and early design ideas. Participants will be asked to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA).”

We reached out to VMware for comments and to learn more about it, but they didn’t have anything else to say about it right now.

VMware did point us towards the VMC on AWS public roadmap page, which also mentions this new offering. (I just added a calendar reminder to look at this page every month!) The listing was updated on April 29, 2019, and the status is “planned.” Here are the details:

“Desktop-as-a-Service on VMware Cloud on AWS”

“Fully managed Horizon Desktop-as-a-Service on VMware Cloud on AWS that enables customers to expand and scale their hybrid virtual desktop infrastructure based on Horizon 7.”

What else can we say about it?

Let’s compare and contrast Managed Desktops Solution with VMware Cloud on AWS  to the other cloud-based Horizon options, which are of course Horizon 7 on VMware Cloud on AWS, Horizon Cloud on IBM Cloud, and Horizon Cloud on Azure. Here’s VMware’s feature comparison PDF.

In blog posts and marketing materials, VMware frequently points out that Horizon 7 on VMC on AWS is not DaaS, and that you still have to deploy and manage all the Horizon 7 components on your own. However, this new planned offering is referred to as fully managed DaaS, like the IBM and Azure-based offerings.

One big question is why this will apparently be based on Horizon 7, and not Horizon Cloud, which has always been the DaaS-oriented option of the two. Maybe the roadmap page is out of date, or maybe there are some sort of other technical, licensing, or political issues?

We can note that VMware has been bringing Horizon Cloud and Horizon 7 somewhat closer together, by creating a unified dashboard to show all your resources and do unified monitoring and helpdesk services. VMware also automated the installation of Horizon 7 on VMC on AWS. The subject of unifying the two platforms come up before, so this is another question to ask at VMworld.

I assume that customers will just be able to buy infrastructure capacity directly from VMware, just like Horizon 7 on VMC and AWS and Horizon Cloud on IBM. We don’t know this for sure, though.

Why is this happening now? Looking back to May 2017 when Horizon Cloud on Azure was announced, Gabe wrote that AWS seemed like the first logical host for DaaS desktops from Verizon. But at the time, interested in Azure was starting to really get going.

The same article mentions that “After the Azure support is worked out, VMware plans to add support for AWS as well.” That was over two years ago, so I’m guessing somebody at VMware mentioned it in a briefing or something, but evidently the plans weren’t firm at the time.

So, a VMware DaaS service on AWS may be later than we would have expected, but given today’s trends towards hybrid and multi-cloud environments, it will make sense to have this additional option in VMware’s Horizon lineup.

VMworld is soon

The Managed Desktop Solutions session is under NDA, but this appears to be standard for Design Studio sessions. Hopefully they’ll be ready to at least share a few more details publicly. Stay tuned!

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It is worth noting that session recording is available for VMware Horizon from TSFactory's RecordTS v5 for VMware Horizon. TSFactory has been working closely with the Horizon development team to improve and integrate Horizon session recording into the RecordTS product line. RecordTS v5 now has more features tailored to DaaS and cloud hosting and is expected GA in November 2019.
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