VMware Launches Key Piece of VDI Puzzle

VMware rolled outthe centerpiece of its virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) strategy this week with the release of VMware View 3.

VDI, also known as desktop virtualization andhosted desktop, involves delivering a user's desktop and applicationsremotely from a server, rather than the traditional method in which all thesoftware resides on the user's computer.

VMware View 3 has a numberof technologies that Palo Alto, CA-based VMware hopes will entice companiesto consider VDI, including:

View 3 has two editions:Enterprise, at $150 per concurrent connection, includes VMware View Manager3, for controlling the creation and management of View 3; and Premiere, a$250 per concurrent connection. The chief differences are that Premierecontains both Composer and ThinApp.

The VDI space has beenmuch-discussed lately, and was a centerpiece of VMware announcements at last September's VMWorld conference. Despite all thecoverage, however, desktop virtualization still remains largely a nichetechnology. It is still in its infancy, although aspects of it have beenaround for years with Citrix' Presentation Server (now known as XenApp) andMicrosoft's Terminal Services delivering server-based applications to users.VDI is significantly more complex, and VMware's announcement is anindication that organizations see the potential value.

The othermajor competitor in this space comes from Citrix, with XenDesktop. Microsoftis working on a VDI solution, but still steers customers to XenDesktop.Prominent blogger Brian Madden, who specializes in application and desktopvirtualization, writes that both VMware and Citrix are battling for supremacy, and saysthat some features missing from View 3 have given Citrix an opening:

"... today, VMware has announced more than Citrixabout their future VDI plans. But since they [VMware] just rev'ed theirproduct and these features are missing, it's probably going to be awhilebefore we see this stuff from them. That's plenty of time for Citrix toannounce their plans and start shipping game-changing featurestoo."

A free trial of VMwareView 3 is available from the VMware Web site.

About the Author

Keith Ward is online news editor for the Redmond Media Group. You can contact him at kward@1105media.com.

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