March 25, 2020

How to Solve Near-Term Business Continuity with Horizon - Part 2

In part one of this blog series, we talked about the increased demand for work-from-home technology. Enabling remote workers to access desktops and applications is at the core of VMware Horizon, and a number of deployment scenarios for new and existing use cases were covered. In this blog post, we will double-click on the option to broker access to physical PCs. This use case has drawn a lot of attention recently as it has some real advantages, especially for those of you who are trying to send your workforce home to work remotely on short notice.

Brokering corporate physical PCs to support remote work

In part one of this blog series, we talked about using Horizon, deployed in various locations including on-premises and cloud-based capacity, to enable a work-from-home use case as part of your Business Continuity strategy.

We covered basic topics on how to build and expand existing Horizon deployments to accommodate increased demand for the remote worker use case, leveraging:

  • On-premises capacity
  • Cloud-based capacity
  • Physical PC’s as additional capacity

In this blog, we will go deeper into what it takes to build out Horizon on the infrastructure platform you choose.

Remote access for physical PCs

Here, we will double-click on the option to broker access to physical PCs. This use case has drawn a lot of attention recently because it has some real advantages, especially for those of you who are trying to send a workforce home to work on short notice.

Working Remotely

An end user’s physical PC on the corporate network is already configured with the applications and network resources required to do their jobs. However, not all PC’s can be taken home (such as desktop PCs). Even if the infrastructure is in place to support it, many customers choose not to allow devices containing potentially sensitive information or applications outside of the company walls.

Brokering Physical PCs with VMware Horizon

There are a number of benefits to brokering access to physical PCs with Horizon.

Secure Remote Access - Due to the inherent nature of the Blast remoting protocol, you can ensure all data remains secure on your corporate network. Optionally, you can provide the ability to leverage remote printing, USB access, and more.

Minimal Requirements to Get Started - Existing Horizon customers can simply add the Horizon agent to supported Windows PCs and start brokering them alongside virtual machines. If you haven’t yet implemented Horizon, a relatively small amount of infrastructure is required to get started brokering physical PCs. This infrastructure can be used temporarily, or you can expand it over time to implement virtual desktop and application solutions.

Excellent End User Experience - Working from home can be a dramatic change for some users. Brokering access to their own personal computing device reduces the learning curve and makes this transition easier. VMware Blast provides a high-fidelity remote user experience from nearly any endpoint device users may have available.

Getting Started

Whether you are a seasoned professional or are considering your first Horizon deployment to broker physical PCs, be sure to review Using Horizon 7 to Access Physical Windows 10 Machines. This new operational tutorial provides prerequisites, deployment guidance, use case considerations and much more. There are even links to some brand-new tools to help expedite the process of registering and brokering your physical PCs with Horizon.

Brokering physical machines with Horizon is one strategy that existing vSphere customers are adopting to support the sudden demand for multitudinous remote workers. The ease of deployment and minimal infrastructure requirements make this an excellent tactical solution and may be a part of your long-term business continuity strategy.

Considerations for Horizon Implementations

Businesses of all kinds are adopting hybrid cloud solutions, and integrating services across on-premises datacenters and cloud-based capacity. If you are already on this path with services such as authentication, applications, and network shares available in the cloud, then adding Horizon to support remote workers can be expedited. Virtual desktops can be deployed geographically near resources and services, ensuring that they will be available and highly performant when end users access them.

If your business has not yet made a move to the cloud, it is important to consider the potential limitations of deploying Horizon to a cloud service. As an example, you can acquire Azure capacity and deploy a Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure pod in a matter of hours. But to provide desktops or published apps for your end users, you must also make Active Directory servers available in Azure, as well as applications servers, databases, network shares, and any other resources that your end users need to do their jobs. Without the supporting infrastructure in place, you are simply delivering “empty” desktops to end user.

VMware has a professional services team, and plenty of partners who have backgrounds in deploying Horizon for Business Continuity use cases. We can help you make your business continuity solution with Horizon successful.

Building out your Horizon 7 Environment

Deploying new or expanding existing Horizon 7 deployments is a relatively straightforward process. With its ability to run in your on-premises datacenter or in the cloud on VMC on AWS, you have flexible deployment options.

VMware Horizon 7 on VMware Cloud on AWS delivers a seamlessly integrated hybrid cloud for virtual desktops and applications. It combines the enterprise capabilities of VMware’s Software-Defined Data Center (delivered as a service on AWS) with the market-leading capabilities of VMware Horizon.

With Horizon 7, VMware offers simplicity, security, speed, and scale in delivering on-premises virtual desktops and applications with cloud-like economics and elasticity of scale.

Building out a simple Horizon 7 environment can be done quickly on existing infrastructure. The following list of items will help new Horizon users get started quickly, and existing users scale to accommodate the sudden influx of demand.

Building out your Horizon Cloud Environment

Deploying a Horizon Cloud pod on Azure infrastructure is quite simple. If your organization does not already have access to Azure resources, Microsoft provides you details on how to acquire Azure capacity on their Azure portal. If you already have an MSDN subscription or an enterprise agreement with Microsoft for Azure capacity, you can leverage that agreement to set up a subscription to deploy a Horizon Cloud on Microsoft pod into.

VMware Horizon Cloud delivers feature-rich virtual desktops and apps using a purpose-built cloud platform that is scalable across multiple deployment options. You get access to Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure and leverage the resources below to deploy a pod in just a couple of hours.


The ability to deploy across infrastructure platforms means VMware Horizon will be available for your business whether you run on-premises, in the cloud, or in a hybrid mode. The Horizon universal license gives you the flexibility to deploy on your platform or platforms of choice.

As you have seen, Horizon can be quickly deployed to solve immediate demand for remote workers, or can be strategically implemented as a highly-available desktop and app service to help with your disaster recovery and business continuity needs.

Whether you want to deploy Horizon for the first time or scale your existing deployment, VMware is here to help.

What’s the next step?

To find out more, see:

Each day over the next few weeks, we will be rolling out a series of posts and resources around business continuity. We also hosted a business continuity webinar, Pandemic Preparedness and Response: How to Quickly Set Up a Remote Workforce for Success, that you can watch on-demand.



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