VMware Horizon axed – what next?

In November, Broadcom’s $69 billion acquisition of VMware raised eyebrows. In January, the announcement that 56 of VMware’s products and services would be axed raised alarm bells.

As part of a wider strategic shift away from end-user computing, which includes a move from component sales to subscription-based bundles, VMware will no longer offer Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) under Broadcom’s ownership. Thousands of organisations are set to be impacted by the termination of products such as VMware Horizon, which will reach end-of-life in January 2025.

The clock is ticking…

The countdown is on, and organisations have little choice but to act swiftly and smartly. Failure to do so will leave your business running on outdated, unsupported software platforms, posing enormous security risks yourself, your users and your customers.

Inaction could also see you lose any competitive or operational advantages you may have on others in your market. Business change takes time. Waiting until January 2025 to think you can quickly migrate your VDI is a surefire way to bring your business to its knees – your business continuity will be hampered, your performance will falter, and your reputation will be damaged.

To successfully transition from VMware Horizon to another VDI product, you have to start the ball rolling sooner rather than later.

What now?

As a Microsoft specialist and an Azure Expert Managed Service Provider, it won’t surprise you to hear us telling you that Azure Virtual Desktop is the logical replacement for VMware Horizon. But those are claims are not rooted in bias – we’ve got plenty of evidence to support them.

In Gartner’s most recent magic quadrant report assessing the Desktop-as-a-Service market, there was clear daylight between market-leading Microsoft its competitors, with Citrix and the ill-fated VMware the only other providers to place in the top-right quadrant.

What’s more is the simplicity of migrating your infrastructure to AVD, which makes integrating your existing VDI image into its new platform straightforward. The tools and processes that you are used to in Horizon all have adequate and, in most cases, improved replacements in AVD.

Your VMWare Horizon Connection Server will become the AVD Management Plane, for example, which facilitates the management, deployment and brokering of virtual desktops and applications. You’ll swap Horizon Composer for Image Management, which allows you to create custom images with the necessary configurations and applications as opposed to managing linked, cloned images. Instant Clones makes way for AVD Scaling, which enables you to dynamically adjust your number of virtual machines on demand, reducing or increasing them whenever you need to.

AVD will also allow your organisation to focus almost solely on Operational Expenditure, rather than having to balance it alongside Capital Expenditure. Not only is Microsoft’s offering much more cost effective, with its flexible pricing model allowing you to scale your VDI estate up and down as required, it can also be packaged within your existing Microsoft 365 Enterprise licenses. No server costs, no additional licensing, just an initial piece of hardware for the user, an internet connection, and an M365 license.

What are you waiting for?

The use cases of a cloud-based VDI like Microsoft Azure form an almost endless list. From hosting legacy applications and supporting temporary workloads, to remote work enablement, Bring Your Own Device support and disaster recovery functionality, AVD provides the tools your business needs to maintain, and grow, its competitive and operational advantages. With the clock counting down to January 2025, action must be taken now to ensure that business continuity is not impacted.

The news surrounding VMware Horizon has created stormy seas for businesses to try and navigate, but AVD can provide the safety of the shore on which you can build your new-and-improved virtual desktop infrastructure.

If you need a helping hand, think of Cloud Direct as your lighthouse. We’ll show you the way to a better, brighter business future in Microsoft Azure, and our experts can help make for a smooth, seamless transition.


To find out more about migrating from VMware Horizon to Azure Virtual Desktop, join Cloud Direct’s Principal Cloud Evangelist, Leon Godwin, in our free webinar on Thursday 29th February. Click the link or the image to sign up.