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October 11, 2012

VMware adds support for Apple’s iOS to Horizon mobile management suite

Company shows how mission-critical apps can be accessed on iPhones and iPads

By Steve Evans

VMware has added support for Apple’s iOS to Horizon, its mobile app management platform. At the VMworld Europe 2012 conference in Barcelona the company also confirmed a beta version of the Horizon Suite will be available during Q4 this year.

VMware’s Horizon platform aims to offer businesses a way to provision enterprise applications on mobile devices, giving workers access to mission-critical apps and data on their personal devices, without compromising on security or other business policies.

The suite is a combination of a number of VMware technologies, such as Horizon Mobile, AppBlast and Project Octopus, the company’s file-sharing and syncing app. It lets IT control the use of business-critical applications while ensuring end-users can use the mobile device they want.

VMware has previously demonstrated how the Horizon Mobile technology works on Android devices, but not handsets running Apple’s iOS operating system. However during his keynote at the conference CTO Steve Herrod demonstrated how it works on iPhones and iPads.

Rather than creating two separate identities on the device, which is how it works on Android, the technology works on individual apps, ensuring that company policies are met. From a security point of view, Herrod said that policies can be set that block sensitive content from being copied from a business app and pasted into a non-business app such as a social network or a notepad-style app.

Speaking to CBR, Vittorio Viarengo, VMware’s vice president of end-user computing, said the company is looking at changing the way companies manage mobile provisioning, moving from managing the devices to managing the data.

"IT needs to get out of the business of managing the devices and work out a way to deposit a secure bubble of applications and data on any device," he said. "Microsoft is very good at managing Microsoft, Apple doesn’t acknowledge there is a world beyond Apple and Google has very good solutions across the layers but they don’t have a lot for legacy Windows management. So there is a space to fill; how you aggregate these different technologies to deliver a multi-device workplace, and that’s what Horizon Suite does."

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"We want to flip management upside down and manage from the middle rather than the individual container," he added. "So you set policies on users, applications and data, so as new devices come to market we just have to build that spoke for integration; the policies sit in the middle. So for example as soon as Windows Phone 8 is out we will support it."

Viarengo also confirmed to CBR that the Horizon Suite will hit beta before the end of the year with general availability expected three to six months after that.

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