VMware is rolling out the latest version of its desktop virtualization product, View 4, which is built atop the vendor's vSphere 4 virtualization platform and benefits from VMware's partnership with Cisco and EMC. VMware officials say View 4 will improve the scalability and user experience in desktop virtualization environments while reducing costs.
VMware is taking advantage of its vSphere 4 platform and partnership with Cisco Systems, EMC
and others to roll out its latest desktop virtualization offering designed to improve the user experience and drive down costs.
VMware officials Nov. 9 are unveiling View 4, which they said
includes simplified management and provisioning, greater scalability
that allows businesses to manage tens of thousands of virtualized
desktops and a new communications protocol that optimizes both the
hardware and software environments.
View 4 will help drive adoption of desktop virtualization by
offering what enterprises are looking for most, according to Patrick
Harr, vice president of enterprise desktop marketing for VMware: a
better user experience with greater scalability and a reasonable price.
VMware expects View 4 to cut TCO by 50 percent.
"We're delivering an end-to-end solution at a cost that makes sense," Harr said in an interview.
VMware's View 4 comes at a time when enterprises are turning their
attention to desktop virtualization, hoping to cash in on the greater
security and management capabilities and capital and operation savings
the come with the environment. Analysts with IDC in December 2008
predicted that the global economic crisis would drive up demand for
desktop virtualization among businesses, and Gartner analysts in
October said the technology would be among the hottest in 2010.
The space is seeing increased competition from established vendors
such as Microsoft, Citrix Systems and Wyse Technology as well as
smaller companies such as MokaFive, Pano Logic, Wanova and RingCube.
Citrix in October made a significant push in the space with XenDesktop 4
which is coming with 170 or new features aimed at bringing together the
disparate elements of desktop virtualization under one umbrella. A key
to Citrix's new product, which will be available Nov. 16, was the
integration of the vendor's XenApp application virtualization product
into XenDesktop 4.
Charles King, an analyst with Pund-IT Research, said Citrix's
desktop virtualization offering is solid, but that VMware is bringing a
new level of sophistication to the space with View 4.
VMware also has the advantage of a high level of enterprise adoption
of its server virtualization technology over the past few years, giving
businesses a level of comfort with the vendor's technology, King said.
The similar look and feel of VMware's desktop virtualization technology
will help the company sell into the highly desirable enterprise space.
Citrix "is coming into it with a relatively unsophisticated and
untested virtualization technology," he said. "The vast majority of the
enterprises VMware is aiming at are already using VMware products, and
people already have a comfort level with it."
Among the new features with View 4 is PCoIP (PC over IP)-licensed
from Teradici-which Harr and Raj Mallempati, director of product
marketing for desktop and application virtualization for VMware, said
offers the capability of detecting device types, network connections
and locations throughout the virtualized desktop environment, and
renders such graphics apps like Flash in real time.
VMware also has gotten support for PCoIP from the likes of Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Cisco, Harr said.
View Direct offers intelligent mapping from the virtual desktop to
end users' devices, and View Printing lets users automatically find and
print to locally attached printers without the need for print drivers.
Building the product atop of the vSphere 4 virtualization platform
allows for reduced expenses with centralized management, standardized
desktop images and flexibility around upgrades and provisioning.
Businesses now will be able to manage tens of thousands of virtualized
desktops, rather than the 500 to 1,000 they could previously, Harr said.
VMware also said a host of partners-Cisco, EMC, HP and Dell-will
offer reference architectures based on View 4. In addition, NetApp will
bring reference architectures around storage.
In addition, in the first half of 2010, VMware will unveil a native
hypervisor for desktop virtualization environments that will enable
users to run their PCs offline on local resources. Whatever changes the
user makes during that offline time will be synchronized with the
network when the system is reconnected.
View 4 will address the key barriers that have kept enterprises from
widely adopting desktop virtualization, in particular the poor user
experience, acquisition costs and scalability, Harr said.
Pund-IT's King also said VMware's View 4 comes at an opportune time,
with the arrival of Microsoft's new Windows 7 operating system, which
industry observers believe will be a key driver not only behind an
expected surge of PC sales but also an anticipated increase in desktop
"Any time a new [version] of Windows comes up, vendors see a new
opportunity to start discussions with enterprises on how to provision
their desktops and if the traditional way of provisioning them still
works," he said. "VMware View 4 is coming along at a very good time."
The product also benefits from a broad ecosystem of support, not
only from PC makers like Dell and HP but also from tight partnerships
with Cisco and EMC. The reference architectures they will provide will
touch on computing, networking, storage and management software,
according to VMware officials.
View 4 also is the latest result of a burgeoning partnership between
VMware, Cisco and EMC aimed at taking advantage of such growing
technology trends as converged data centers, virtualization and cloud
VMware and EMC were key partners when Cisco announced its Unified
Computing System earlier this year, and the three on Nov. 3 unveiled
their new vBlock cloud computing systems.
View 4 is scheduled for general availability Nov. 19, coming in
Enterprise and Premium editions priced at $150 and $250 per concurrent