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Deep Dive

Deep Dive

VMware Horizon DaaS Multi-Tenant Desktop Virtualization Platform

VMware provides the only virtual desktop platform built for delivering desktops and applications as a cloud service. Unlike other virtual desktop platforms that were built to run on enterprise infrastructure, not clouds, our platform architecture is significantly different.

VMware Horizon DaaS has unique cloud features that include: multi-tenancy; massive scalability from grid architecture; multi-location management; and the lowest cost model in the industry through the use of open source infrastructure. Get a deeper look at how we compete.


Multi-tenancy is a must for cloud delivery. In the Horizon DaaS model when a service provider provisions a tenant they are provisioning a secure environment for tenant entitlements. The tenant is getting their dedicated VLAN, dedicated storage, dedicated compute (this will depend on on the type of Windows desktop being delivered), dedicated management portal, and dedicated access gateway.

Single Management: Multi-Desktop Models

The VMware Horizon DaaS platform provides a single platform for provisioning and managing multiple workspaces including full VDI desktops (Windows 7, 8, XP or linux), shared session desktops (RDS), Windows Server desktops, and individual applications.

Tiered Role Separation

The VMware Horizon DaaS platform supports full role separation across the service provider, IT, and end user. Desktop management can be done by the end company or by a managed service provider.

Multi-Data Center Management

In addition to scaling within a data center, VMware technology enables geographic scalability across data centers. This is important for servicing customers with geographically dispersed users and for maintaining business continuity. If one data center goes down, employees can access desktops via a secondary data center, with no interruption to their work.

VMware Horizon DaaS Platform Software Components

VMware technical differentiators – including our patents for cloud-hosted desktops, provisioned virtual computing, multi-tenant data center design, and virtual computing services network, among others – come to life in the Horizon DaaS Platform. They can be seen in its four major components: Resource Manager, which is used by Service Providers to manage the infrastructure; Access Manager and Desktop Manager, which are used by tenants to manage user connections and virtual desktops respectively; and the Service Grid Backbone, the essential ingredient for ensuring conflict-free connections and security between the Service Provider and tenant components.

  • Resource Manager

    Service Providers are able to manage both infrastructure capacity and tenant entitlement from the Resource Manager. The Resource Manager enables you to define the desktop options that tenants can purchase, such as Windows 7, Windows Server Workstation, Windows XP or Linux; how much memory and CPUs a particular virtual desktop has; and whether it is persistent or dynamic (and whether the customer will be allowed to choose the option they prefer). Capacity is managed, including the ratio of virtual to physical machines, and the amount of memory overallocation is determined within the Resource Manager.

    This is also where you choose whether to share a host or dedicate compute to the virtual desktop. This unique feature is what makes it possible for to offer Windows 7 virtual desktops while remaining in compliance with Microsoft. Only VMware supports both models: sharing hosts for Linux desktops or dedicating a host for a cloud-hosted Windows 7 desktop offering.

    Based on the desktops that a tenant chooses, the Horizon DaaS Platform can also calculate how much resource, such as storage and compute, is required to meet the tenant’s needs. You’ll see whether you have enough compute assigned to the tenant and enough overall capacity in the service grid to meet tenant needs.

    Using the Resource Manager, you’re able to provision the tenant: register the tenant, provide a unique password, upload a custom look and feel, and assign a unique VLAN. The Horizon DaaS Platform then auto-configures an Access Manager and Desktop Manager specific to the particular tenant.


  • Access Manager

    This front-end to the customer enables the tenant to manage the connection broker for mapping users to desktops, and provides portal access by which the customer’s users connect to their desktops.


  • Desktop Manager

    Each customer uses its own Desktop Manager to provision pools of desktops and to continuously monitor and manage the desktop session state.


  • Service Grid Backbone

    This lies between the Service Provider (i.e., Resource Manager) and tenant (i.e., Desktop Manager and Access Manager) layers. This technology, which is unique to the Horizon DaaS Platform and critical for service provider success, has the Resource manager living in both the service provider network and the Service Grid Backbone. Likewise, the Access and Desktop Managers live in both the tenant network and the Service Grid Backbone. Packets can’t cross the network, but the address space used by the Service Provider and the tenant can be identical without any issues. VMware built this as a non-routable network so that both the service provider and the tenant can run the same subnet IP ranges without conflict.

    The Service Grid Backbone also contributes to the platform’s comprehensive security. Service providers and tenants cannot bridge into each other’s networks but they can still communicate with each other because the tenant appliances (Access manager / Desktop Manager) and the service provider appliance (Resource Manager) are dual-homed on the non-routable network.

See how VMware Horizon DaaS compares to other virtual desktop platforms.