Ceedo says virtualization app needs no PC install

Despite offering a fairly innovative product, Ceedo Technologies Ltd.’s virtual application management tool will face an uphill battle in the crowded desktop virtualization market, according to one industry analyst.

Ceedo Enterprise gives IT managers the ability to remotely create, deploy and manage applications on virtualized desktop workspace environments. The company said its tool will enable a number of cost-effective scenarios such as application portability, remote management, business continuity and disaster recovery.

“We allow you to take a workspace of standard Windows applications and deploy them to any PC without the need for any installation,” Opher Dubrovsky, vice-president of marketing and business development at Israel-based Ceedo, said. “Later on, you can manage this workspace remotely, which allows you to update and modify your applications and settings.”

Dubrovsky said that Ceedo Enterprise’s Setup Virtualization Engine will help distinguish it from similar application virtualization tools offered by the bigger vendors. The tool gets rid of the need for a customary application packaging process, he said, and will enable Windows applications to be provisioned quickly and easily.

“To be able to deploy an application without requiring installation on the PC using competing application virtualization products – for example from Microsoft – necessitates a special sequencing process,” he said. “You have to do some manual things to the application and create what’s called a package in order to deploy it. For some applications, this could take days. With our product you don’t have to do that. Basically, when you want to add an application, you just run a regular setup and the virtualization engine installs it for you.”

According to London, Ont.-based Info-Tech Research Group analyst Laura Hansen, the “no packaging required” feature brings a new and innovative feature to the desktop virtualization space.

“Other kinds of virtualization application solutions out right now have to be packaged up when deployed,” she said. “Some will have a mini-OS running on the stream down to the machine and you need to customize the applications in a certain way so they can be virtualized. This is kind of taking that out, so it cuts down on the management side of things.”

The attractive $90 price point per user, she said, makes it an option to consider for enterprises small and medium-sized enterprises. Citrix XenApp’s product is listed at $450-$600 per concurrent user, while VMware’s Thinstall virtualization suite is around $5000. But despite this low price point, Hansen said the market might be too full for another player to thrive.

“Microsoft, Citrix and VMware have the market pretty much cornered, so while Ceedo might be doing some neat stuff, they’ve really got to be loud if they want to be heard,” she said. “If they partner up with the one of the big boys, they might be able to gain some ground. The problem is that VMware has recently purchased Thinstall and Microsoft has SoftGrid, so it looks like that ship might have sailed for Ceedo.”

Another issue larger enterprises might have with the company, Hansen said, could stem from the fact that it lacks a complete management system that can handle both physical and virtual desktop virtualization.

“One of the big areas that we’ve found people are interested in when it comes to virtualization is a comprehensive management suite,” she said.

“Ceedo doesn’t have that in the way that Citrix, Microsoft and VMware do. Those bigger players have got their hypervisors and they have complete monitoring and management system, so it’s really a one-stop shop where they can manage all of their physical and virtual machines in one place.”

Without being a complete solution, Hansen said Ceedo will probably be regulated as a cost-effective alternative for smaller enterprises. But she did recommend any enterprise with a tight IT budget to give the product a look. For users looking to follow this advice, a 45-day free trial can be downloaded from Ceedo’s Web site.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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