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Quick Ping: VMware’s Horizon App Manager – A Big Bet That Will Pay Off…

It is so tempting to write about VMware‘s overarching strategy of enterprise and cloud domination, but this blog entry really speaks to an important foundational element in their stack of offerings which was released today: Horizon App Manager.

Check out @Scobleizer’s interview with Noel Wasmer (Dir. of Product Management for VMware) on the ins-and-outs of HAM.

Frankly, federated identity and application entitlement is not new.

Connecting and extending identities from inside the enterprise using native directory services to external applications (SaaS or otherwise) is also not new.

What’s “new” with VMware’s Horizon App Manager is that we see the convergence and well-sorted integration of a service-driven federated identity capability that ties together enterprise “web” and “cloud” (*cough*)-based SaaS applications with multi-platform device mobility powered by the underpinnings of freshly-architected virtualization and cloud architecture.  All delivered as a service (SaaS) by VMware for $30 per user/per year.

[Update: @reillyusa and I were tweeting back and forth about the inside -> out versus outside -> in integration capabilities of HAM.  The SAML Assertions/OAuth integration seems to suggest this is possible.  Moreover, as I alluded to above, solutions exist today which integrate classical VPN capabilities with SaaS offers that provide SAML assertions and SaaS identity proxying (access control) to well-known applications like SalesForce.  Here's one, for example.  I simply don't have any hands-on experience with HAM or any deeper knowledge than what's publicly available to comment further -- hence the "Quick Ping."]

Horizon App Manager really is a foundational component that will tie together the various components of  VMware’s stack offers for seamless operation including such products/services as Zimbra, Mozy, SlideRocket, CloudFoundry, View, etc.  I predict even more interesting integration potential with components such as elements of the vShield suite — providing identity-enabled security policies and entitlement at the edge to provision services in vCloud Director deployments, for example (esp. now that they’ve acquired NeoAccel for SSL VPN integration with Edge.)

“Securely extending the enterprise to the Cloud” (and vice versa) is a theme we’ll hear more and more from VMware.  Whether this thin client, virtual machines, SaaS applications, PaaS capabilities, etc., fundamentally what we all know is that for the enterprise to be able to assert control to enable “security” and compliance, we need entitlement.

I think VMware — as a trusted component in most enterprises — has the traction to encourage the growth of their supported applications in their catalog ecosystem which will in turn make the enterprise excited about using it.

This may not seem like it’s huge — especially to vendors in the IAM space or even Microsoft — but given the footprint VMware has in the enterprise and where they want to go in the cloud, it’s going to be big.

/Hoff

(P.S. It *is* interesting to note that this is a SaaS offer with an enterprise virtual appliance connector.  It’s rumored this came from the TriCipher acquisition.  I’ll leave that little nugget as a tickle…)

(P.P.S. You know what I want? I want a consumer version of this service so I can use it in conjunction with or in lieu of 1Password. Please.  Don’t need AD integration, clearly)

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  1. May 17th, 2011 at 13:37 | #1

    Yes, this did come from TriCipher. Not sure what else VMW built on top of it, but this offering struggled in the market before the acquisition. Though other folks (notably Symplified) are starting to make some inroads with this SSO in the cloud model. And with VMW's broad distribution, they clearly have a higher likelihood of success here.

    Also would like a consumer version, if only as an app launcher for my iOS devices. Cut/paste back and forth from 1PW is a bit of a hassle and this would streamline the process significantly. As long as I control the encryption key (hear that Dropbox?)

    Mike.

  2. sperry
    October 19th, 2011 at 12:03 | #2

    Of course you are assuming that the business will even tell IT about what SaaS solutions they are using in the cloud… The reason the business today goes to the cloud is to bypass IT – and most IT departments have absolutely no idea what SaaS solutions the business is using. And if users are not telling IT what cloud services they are using then an SSO approach will not really provide the governance that is needed. The cloud will not be centralized. It is time for IT to think differently.

  1. May 17th, 2011 at 10:06 | #1
  2. May 17th, 2011 at 15:57 | #2