VMware Embraces Devices
Maritz also said VMware wants to be agnostic when it comes to devices. While thin-client PCs have been the main endpoint device that people think of for these types of virtual desktop infrastructures, Maritz said he believes that VMware can offer services and virtualization that work with traditional, "thick" desktops, laptops and even smart phones.In order to achieve this, VMware is reaching out to partner with as many vendors as possible to address issues of delivering virtual applications and virtual machines to the client. For instance, Maritz said VMware is now partnering with Teradici, which has developed a silicon-based technology that compresses rendered display data and USB signals into a digital format and then sends a signal from a company's network through an IP network to the desktop that gives the PC user a better, richer desktop image. VMware is also working with Hewlett-Packard to improve its desktop protocol technology in order to deliver a better image to the client. Citrix Systems, which is looking to challenge VMware in the desktop virtualization space, is also looking to improve its own protocol and better integrate with its virtualization technology. The company has already announced plans to enhance the Citrix XenDesktop, which uses the Citrix ICA (Independent Computing Architecture) protocol, with a virtual infrastructure for hosting virtual desktops in the data center based on Citrix XenServer. VMware is also looking to partner with a number of PC vendors, including thin-client specialist Wyse Technology, and Hewlett-Packard, which makes both traditional PCs and thin clients.
"What I thought was interesting about Maritz's talk was that he was trying to broaden the discussion about the virtual desktop away from the thin client," said Charles King, an analyst at Pund-IT Research. "Thin clients have been around for decades and they have not been as popular as the vendors who make them say they are. If you take it a step further, it allows virtualization to be taken to a level that will allow for the provision of services, such as video gaming and mobile access to information. At that point, they are asking what technology they need to facilitate ubiquitous, on-demand information."