VMware released a new version of its all-purpose Horizon 6 virtualization package, continuing the expansion of its next-gen virtual desktop product line.
The latest release of Horizon 6, announced March 12, is designed to centrally manage any group of enterprise physical or virtual desktops. It features several new capabilities, including application publishing; 3D application support; Chromebook readiness; validated and secure virtual networking using VMware NSX, and optimized storage for software-defined data centers.
In addition, VMware now has customized versions of Horizon for Linux desktops and for U.S. government users.
"This new release builds on application support, but it also builds on what we're doing in storage, networking and security," VMware Senior Product Manager Courtney Burry told eWEEK.
The original version of Horizon 6 was launched last April, but now is the first time the software can manage systems with both Windows and Linux applications and desktops.
Specific new features in Horizon 6 include:
*Application publishing and 3D graphics support;
* Port-level redirection of local USB storage devices enables access to files through published applications and virtual desktops;
* VMware vSphere 6 and Horizon 6 on Nvidia chips combine for rich 3D graphics on high performance virtual desktops;
* Software-defined data center optimizations: vSphere 6, Horizon 6, VMware NSX, and Virtual SAN 6 comprise a unified platform for virtualized compute, networking and storage for the hybrid cloud;
* Through micro-segmentation and integration with third party security software, Horizon 6 combined with VMware NSX can extend security policy from data center to device.
Additionally, the combination of Virtual SAN 6 hyper-converged storage with Horizon 6 offers out of the box integration and enables increased scale, VMware said. Horizon 6 has been validated to support up to 4,000 desktops per cluster on a 20-node cluster, the company said.
New features for U.S. federal government customers includes support for the IPv6 network address protocol which enables government agencies to integrate VMware Horizon 6 into an updated network or transition existing Horizon deployments from an IPv4 to IPv6 network.
Common Access Card (CAC) support offers secure access to virtual desktops and applications for uniformed service personnel, and efforts to achieve Common Criteria certification are under way, the company said. These new features enable Horizon 6 to assist customers with compliance to strict security and privacy standards of the U.S. Federal Government.
VMware also announced an early-access program for its VMware Horizon for Linux virtual desktop solution. VMware is expanding its virtual desktop capabilities to include support for Red Hat and Ubuntu-based Linux desktops. The company said this will enable customers to simplify desktop management using the VMware Horizon platform to access Windows and Linux applications.
VMware Horizon starts at $250 per seat and is sold only in lots of 10 or 100.