VMware folds View into Horizon Suite, eliminates low-end VDI pricing

James Furbush

VMware has moved its View and Mirage products into the Horizon Suite to combine its end-user and mobile management tools, and customers now have no choice but to pay the premium View SKU.

Combining View and Mirage with Horizon makes sense because it will allow IT departments to use a single server back end and management console to deploy apps, data and virtual desktops to end users.

"It's the right move trying to erase the boundaries between desktop, application and mobile management environments," said Brian Knudtson, a vExpert and solutions architect based in the Midwest. "Users are asking for the ability to move from one device to the next with no impact on their ability to perform their job functions."

Both View and Mirage will also be updated upon the release of the Horizon Suite in March.

Say goodbye to low View pricing

Another significant change is the elimination of multiple SKUs for VMware View. Going forward, View will only be offered as a single license at $250 per concurrent user per year – the most expensive View SKU.  

The new SKU will affect users if they add new licenses to their environment once View 5.2 is generally available or when they go to renew their View licensing agreements, according to VMware.

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The elimination of the $150 lower-cost View Enterprise SKU could be problematic for organizations that have View virtual desktops and a physical desktop management tool from another vendor, such as Unidesk or SnapVolumes, said Gunnar Berger, an analyst at Gartner, Inc., a research firm based in Stamford, Conn.

The change in licensing for View "makes sense for VMware because they have a competing product in Mirage to handle physical PCs now," Berger said.

Organizations might not be happy about having to pay extra, especially if their costs total more than what VMware would charge for both View and Mirage.

Others don't see it as that big of a change, because it affects very few View customers.

"I don't think any of my clients are using or even know about the lesser priced SKUs for View," said Dan Brinkmann, a vExpert and solutions architect based in Denver, Colo.  He said the lack of ThinApp or linked clones in the View Enterprise edition is reason enough for companies to buy the more expensive Premier SKU at $250 per concurrent user.

The Horizon Suite includes View, Mirage and Workspace and costs $300 per user per year. Purchasing those products separately makes little financial sense; View will cost $250 per concurrent user per year, Mirage costs $150 per user per year and Workspace costs $150 per user per year.

By pricing View at roughly the same amount as the entire Horizon Suite, VMware encourages customers to go all in.

While some consider that type of lock-in a problem, the use of both View and Mirage could benefit organizations, especially once the two products become better integrated, Brinkmann said.

"IT is still trying to figure out how to put applications into that virtual desktop image," Brinkmann said. "If Mirage can eventually add those layers, it will have more applicability to the enterprise than View or Horizon Mobile."

While Mirage might be a difficult sell at the moment because it doesn't tie into View, once that integration occurs it will be really compelling for IT departments. Add in the ability to layer on a mobile management aspect to that infrastructure and it forms an interesting end-user computing strategy, Berger said.

What's new in View 5.2, Mirage 4.0

View 5.2 will offer accelerated 3-D graphics via a CPU card or through a server GPU card, HTML access to View desktops via AppBlast, and touch-friendly capabilities for the use of Windows applications on mobile devices via AppShift.

Mirage 4.0 provides application layering for physical desktops. Applications can be virtualized and packaged as a distinct management layer within Mirage. Also, Fusion 5 Professional is now included for free with Horizon Mirage to extend support for virtual Windows environments on Macs.

View the next item in this Essential Guide: VMware View shops not taking the Horizon Suite bait or view the full guide: Guide to VMware Horizon View

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