VMware buys VDI solution for service providers

Almost every cloud service has an acquisition bull’s eye on it as big vendors try to bulk up against each other.

The latest to make a move is VMware Inc., which said Tuesday at its Barcelona conference that it has bought desktop-as-a-service provider Desktone Inc. for an undisclosed price.

Massachusetts-based Desktone delivers Windows desktops and applications as a cloud service for service providers looking to attract organizations wanting virtual desktop infrastructures. Customers have a choice of Windows 7 or 8 desktops, user session desktop through Microsoft RDS or simply accessing remote applications.

The acquisition joins VMware Horizon View, its on-premise VDI solution.

“By bringing Desktone’s innovative platform in-house, VMware can accelerate the delivery of DaaS through its network of over 11,000 VMware service provider partners while helping to shape and lead the future of the industry,” Sanjay Poonen, VMware’s executive vice president and general manager for end-user computing, said in a news release.

Desktone CEO Peter McKay noted in the release that his company’s platform is already certified with the VMware’s vCloud technology, vSphere and Horizon View, so customers will be able to quickly modernize and move their desktop infrastructure to the cloud.

Among the advantages for service providers, Desktone says its platform offers multi-tenancy, so each customer gets a separate virtual environment; the ability to provision desktops from the cloud; a grid-based architecture that can scale; and low cost of delivery because the platform is open-source based.

Also at the conference VMware announced a number of enhancements coming shortly to Horizon Suite, which includes View, Mirage and Workspace for mobile workers. Changes include:

–Horizon View 5.3, with what the company says will be an improved user experience and a streamlined management.

View virtual desktops can now offer the ability to replace workstations by being able to take advantage of Nvidia Grid technology to support high-performance graphics and compute workloads, the company said.

Bandwidth consumption will be lowered through the use of multimedia redirection of H.264 advanced video coding for high definition content. There also efficiency improvements to the Horizon View client for Linux.

Improvements to remote desktops delivered through HTML5 capable web browsers are said to offer higher quality video playback, faster typing response, and higher scalability, with support for up to250 concurrent connections. Additionally, support will be available for Windows 8.1, Apple iOS 7 and Google Chromebooks.

—  The company said it is beta testing Virtual SAN for Horizon View to lower capital expense and total cost of ownership of VDI.

Related to platform management, vCenter Operations Manager for View is being bundled for free in the Horizon Suite for large scale VDI monitoring.

–Horizon View Agent Direct Connect is an optional plug-in for secure remote connections to a virtual desktop even if the Horizon View connection server is unavailable. This will benefit remote offices, VMware said.

–Horizon Mirage now supports the two most common approaches to Windows 7 migrations: in place OS migration, and hardware refresh. The ability to stage multiple application layers with the base layer will enable IT to reduce user downtime and costs, and deploy applications to endpoints faster, says the company.

Finally, there’s a new protection manager role in the suite’s Web management console, which VMware said will help IT manage mobile and distributed PCs from a single place. The protection manager can edit and upload policies, build collections and restore endpoints.


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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of ITWorldCanada.com and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including ITBusiness.ca and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@] soloreporter.com

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