As it promised two weeks ago at VMworld 2010, VMware on Sept. 13 starting shipping VMware View 4.5, the company's first enterprise-class desktop virtualization package to bring virtual desktop functionality to users who are either online or offline.
In previous versions, VMware View was VDI [virtual desktop infrastructure]-only software. Version 4.5 now offers control not only for a virtual desktop system that can scale to thousands of users but also for standard local applications on a user's own PC. The VDI deployment, controlled completely in an enterprise data center, appears as a separate window on the PC.
What v4.5 does not do is handle instances of cloud services. That is planned for a later version.
"The key is that with these new products, users can have both VDI and offline access to their applications at the same time-that's something that's not been available previously," Raj Mallempati, VMware director of product marketing in Enterprise Desktop Solutions, told eWEEK.
"It's also about allowing people to use legacy applications that still work just fine, even though they may not be supported in more recent operating systems."
VMware View 4.5 establishes a clear path to the modern desktop for a user-centric application and data delivery model, said VMware Vice-President of End User Computing Products Vittorio Viarengo.
"VMware View 4.5 provides the best of both worlds: end user mobility and IT manageability," Viarengo said. "It allows users to check out their virtual desktop from the data center and take it on the road with them."
New features in View 4.5, as described by VMware, include:
"Offline desktop access: VMware View Client with Local Mode enables users to access virtual desktops even while disconnected from the network.Rapid Windows 7 migration: View 4.5 fully supports Microsoft Windows 7 while providing a model for enterprises to reduce the cost and time required for migrating from legacy operating systems. Users who combine VMware View 4.5 and VMware ThinApp for application virtualization can reduce the time and cost of Windows 7 migration significantly, VMware said.Expanded administrative capabilities: VMware View Administrator has been enhanced with role-based administration, monitoring dashboards, simplified reporting and support for third-party tools.Integrated application assignment: View 4.5 simplifies use of virtualized applications through integration of application assignment with the VMware View Administrator console.Enhanced security: Security card support in View 4.5 expands secure access for virtualized desktops while protecting sensitive data. VMware View 4.5 also supports the FIPS 140-2 U.S. Federal Government Security Compliance."
VMware View 4.5 Enterprise Edition is priced at $150 per concurrent connection; VMware View 4.5 Premier Edition is priced at $250 per concurrent connection. Users can download a 60-day free trial of VMware View 4.5 or existing customers with active SnS contracts can download the VMware View 4.5 update.