Part 1 : Introduction to VMware Horizon Flex

OVERVIEW

This post will only be an introduction to Horizon Flex. We will talk about its Architecture , Components and Features in this post. Further we will look in to deploying Flex and its Components .

WHY HORIZON FLEX?

The main motive and drive behind this new product is to target those Businesses who want to provide flexibility to their end users who are always on the move. Business Mobility!
Business Mobility is about People. These people may be contract employees , where you want them to use their device for work , They could be even working from Home . So How do we protect these Endpoints?
These could also be Road warriors ideally Sales people who are always on the move , who might be offline as well. How do we increase the productivity of these users ? and also not compromising the Business Compliance and maintain security ?
Or What if we want to implement a BYO strategy ?

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So now lets take a look where our Horizon Flex is stacked in the Horizon Workspace Suite. The Workspace suite is the same thing, bringing together the complete Horizon desktop, AirWatch mobile platform, and content management with a common set of services underneath it. Horizon Desktop is rendered in 3 different ways ie Horizon View 6 executed centrally in our datacenters, or from a VMware Cloud Service Provider . Now the unique advantage about Horizon Flex is that it is locally executed on end users machine hence providing offline access to enterprise resources.

ARCHITECTURE

Horizon FLEX is a policy-based, containerized desktop solution that enables IT admins to create, manage and secure a local virtual desktop for end users. End users work within a restricted virtual machine, called a Horizon FLEX VM, on their own computers. Because Horizon FLEX VMs are executed and stored locally on end-user computers, corporate applications are available to offline users.

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Horizon FLEX is a combination of existing VMware products, with additional beneficial features. Horizon FLEX is composed of VMware Fusion Pro, VMware Player Pro, VMware Mirage for Horizon FLEX, and the new Horizon FLEX Policy Server.

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  • Horizon FLEX Client – Combination of Fusion Pro and Player Pro on the endpoint. The user connects to the Horizon FLEX Policy Server with the Horizon FLEX Client. One license key is used for both Fusion Pro and Player Pro.

  • Fusion Pro – Fusion Pro enables a user to connect to a restricted virtual machine from a Mac endpoint. In addition, the administrator creates a restricted virtual machine with Fusion Pro.
  • Player Pro – Player Pro enables a user to connect to a restricted virtual machine from a Windows endpoint.
  • Mirage for Horizon FLEX – The standard Mirage server that provides optional image management. The layering technology allows administrators to easily manage, back up, and patch virtual machine desktops.
  • Horizon FLEX Policy Server – Handles the restricted virtual machine functionality. The administrator applies policies with the Horizon FLEX Policy Server. It is a combination of both Mirage Management Server and Mirage Management Console.

These above components and Certificates are critical for the deployment, We must also Create a Golden Image for end users VM that we will apply restrictions and policies using Horizon FLEX Policy server.

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The above Image shows how a typical Horizon FLEX VM is containerized on the end users Laptop/Tabs etc. The Corporate Data and User Data are isolated and the restrictions are valid only for the Corporate Data. The VMware Mirage is used to manage the Centralized Virtual Desktops or CVD’s. Mirage performs Dynamic Layering of OS and we get OS , Apps and Data all independent from each other. Next Part will cover the deployment of Horizon FLEX Components including VMware Horion Mirage.

Click Here for Part 2

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