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VMware Unveils Workspace ONE

It allows end users to use any application on any device, whether corporate or BYOD.

VMware has been working hard the last few years to build its presence in the end-user computing (EUC) segment of the market. That effort took another leap forward with its announcement on Tuesday of Workspace ONE.

Workspace One integrates three core EUC products into one platform: AirWatch, Identity Manager and Horizon. "While these products have been and will continue to be developed and sold individually, there has been an even greater ongoing effort to both integrate common services and innovate by creating net-new functionality, packaging and purchasing flexibility," blogged Kevin Strohmeyer, VMware's senior director of product marketing for end-user computing.

The core idea behind Workspace ONE is to deliver any application on any device, with strong corporate security. It's essentially the next version of VMware's Workspace Suite, which was released in 2014 and combined AirWatch and Horizon. Adding Identity Manager to it is the key upgrade, and with it comes a single sign-on framework that VMware says is "… the industry’s first one-touch single-sign on (SSO) for public mobile apps using the new, patent-pending Secure App Token system (SATS)."  

SSO is enabled through Identity Manager API integration with AirWatch. As Strohmeyer writes:

"Workspace ONE can go one critical step further by implementing an API call between the AirWatch policy engine and Identity Manager to ensure that for those apps, where it is required, a device must prove compliance with security rules prior to authorizing access to an app."

As BrianMadden.com's Jack Madden points out, it also means that AirWatch and Identity Manager can share a single Active Directory connector, making the service more efficient and less complex.

Workspace ONE hopes to bridge the gap between the growing BYOD movement with the needs of the enterprise to secure devices and applications. To that end, Workspace ONE includes an "App Store" where employees can search for apps. This is typical of enterprise app stores, but VMware says that Workspace ONE goes beyond that, allowing access to multiple stores:

"This includes applications brokered through AirWatch from the Google, Microsoft or Apple app stores, remotely hosted Windows apps entitled through Horizon or Horizon Air, remote Citrix apps, internal web apps, packaged Windows apps and more."

Users don't have to enroll their devices to use Workspace ONE, VMware says in an FAQ. Instead, they'll download the Workspace ONE app from the app store for their device, e.g. Google Play, the Apple App Store or Microsoft Store. The employee will get access to the apps to which they're entitled, based on the policies set up by the company.

Workspace One is licensed on a per-user basis, and starts at $8 per month for the cloud version, and $150 for on-premises. VMware says it will be generally available in March.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.

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