Why Businesses Are Looking Beyond VMware Horizon: A Closer Look

words Al Woods

Businesses Beyond VMware

As companies increasingly adopt flexible work models, the tools they choose for virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and application virtualization play a crucial role in their success. VMware Horizon has long been a staple in this field, offering robust solutions for desktop and app virtualization. However, the evolving tech landscape and changing business needs have prompted organizations to explore alternatives.

Understanding the Shift

The Basics of VMware Horizon

VMware Horizon provides virtual desktops and applications through a centralized platform, allowing users to access corporate resources securely from any device, anywhere. While this technology has facilitated remote work and brought significant benefits like enhanced security and simplified management, certain limitations have led businesses to look elsewhere. For example, Graphon proposes multiple benefits to combat the limitations associated with VMware Horizon.

Emerging Challenges with VMware Horizon
  • Cost – VMware Horizon can be expensive, particularly for small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The licensing fees, coupled with the cost of required infrastructure and ongoing maintenance, can be a barrier.
  • Complexity in Scalability – Although scalable, the process of scaling up VMware Horizon environments can be complex and resource-intensive.
  • User Experience – In some scenarios, users experience latency and performance issues, especially when accessing high-demand applications or when bandwidth is limited.
  • Flexibility and Customization – As businesses grow and their needs evolve, they often require greater customization and flexibility than what is typically offered in a standard Horizon setup.

Exploring Alternatives

Businesses seeking agility and cost-effectiveness are turning to alternative solutions that offer similar or enhanced functionalities. Here’s a look at some popular alternatives and what makes them stand out:

1. Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops
  • Flexibility – Provides a more flexible and feature-rich environment which can be tailored to specific organizational needs.
  • User Experience – Known for superior user experience, even over low-bandwidth connections.
  • Hybrid Environment Support – Works seamlessly across on-premises and cloud environments.
2. Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop
  • Integration – Offers deep integration with Microsoft 365, enhancing productivity for teams that rely on Microsoft tools.
  • Cost-Effectiveness – Potentially lower cost due to integrated Azure pricing and the ability to use existing Microsoft licenses.
  • Modern Infrastructure – Built on Azure, it offers the latest in security and compliance standards.
3. Amazon WorkSpaces
  • Pay-as-You-Go Pricing – Reduces upfront costs by offering a pay-as-you-go pricing model, making it attractive for businesses looking to minimize capital expenditure.
  • Quick Deployment – Simplifies the deployment process, allowing IT teams to set up and manage virtual desktops more efficiently.

The Advantages of Diversifying VDI Solutions

Improved Cost Management

By choosing alternatives that offer more flexible pricing models or better alignment with existing IT investments, businesses can optimize their expenditures while still benefiting from robust VDI solutions.

Enhanced Performance

Selecting a VDI solution that aligns better with the specific needs of the workforce can lead to improved performance, particularly in terms of speed and accessibility, which are crucial for remote workers.

Increased Flexibility

Each organization is unique, and having the ability to customize and tweak the virtual desktop environment to perfectly suit its needs—without extensive backend reconfiguration—is a significant advantage.

Strategies for Transitioning to a New VDI Solution

When considering a move away from VMware Horizon or any established VDI platform, careful planning and execution are crucial to ensure a smooth transition and continued operational efficiency. Here are strategic steps that businesses can take to effectively adopt a new virtual desktop infrastructure solution:

Evaluate Your Current and Future Needs
  • Assess Current Limitations – Understand where your current VDI solution falls short in meeting the needs of your users and business processes.
  • Define Future Requirements – Identify what capabilities are needed in a new VDI solution to support your evolving business strategy, including scalability, performance, and integration needs.
Choose the Right Solution
  • Research and Compare – Investigate various VDI solutions to compare features, costs, and compatibility with existing systems.
  • Pilot Testing – Conduct a pilot program with a small group of users to test the functionality and performance of the new VDI solution before full-scale implementation.
Plan the Migration
  • Develop a Roadmap – Create a detailed migration plan that includes timelines, resource allocations, and contingency measures.
  • Technical Preparation – Ensure that your IT infrastructure, including network capabilities and security measures, is prepared to support the new solution.
Manage Change
  • Training and Support – Provide comprehensive training for both IT staff and end-users to minimize disruptions. Ongoing support is crucial for addressing any issues that arise post-transition.
  • Feedback Loops – Establish channels for feedback from users to continuously improve the system performance and user experience.
Monitor and Optimize
  • Performance Monitoring – Regularly monitor the new system’s performance to ensure it meets the desired standards and swiftly address any issues.
  • Continuous Improvement – Stay informed about updates and advancements in VDI technology to keep your system optimized and forward-compatible.

By following these strategies, businesses can make informed decisions and successfully implement a new VDI solution that better meets their needs, supports their workforce, and drives future growth.

Future Trends in VDI and Application Virtualization

As we look to the future, the trend is moving towards even more personalized and adaptive VDI solutions. Here are some predictions:

AI and Machine Learning

Incorporation of AI could lead to smarter resource allocation, better security, and a more personalized user experience.

Cloud Integration

The shift to fully cloud-based solutions will likely continue, reducing the need for on-premises infrastructure and allowing businesses to scale up or down more dynamically.

Focus on Security

As cyber threats evolve, so will VDI solutions, with a greater emphasis on integrated security features to protect sensitive data and ensure compliance with global regulations.


While VMware Horizon has served many businesses well, the drive for more adaptable, cost-effective, and performance-oriented solutions has led many to explore other options. This evolution in business needs reflects a broader trend towards technology that not only supports remote work but enhances it, making the digital workspace more efficient, secure, and user-friendly. As businesses continue to navigate the complexities of a changing work environment, the tools they choose will play a pivotal role in their ability to thrive in an increasingly digital world.



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