Virtualization Technology: Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Takes Off: 10 of the Hottest Players

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2011-03-24 Print this article Print


VMware View is the company's VDI platform, and thanks to its huge ESX hypervisor installed base around the world, VMware already has a big foot in the door at major enterprises giving them an opportunity to sell VDI wares. The company added a good feature to View last year with the acquisition of RTO Software, which developed technology called Virtual Profiles. These protect files in use while enabling multiple views of the same file. It also updates profiles in real time when a user is running one or more work sessions. For example, when a user creates a new document in one VDI session it will automatically be made available in other active sessions.
The idea of deploying processor-less terminals connected to a central enterprise computer system goes way, way back to the dawn of digital IT . Such multi-user enterprise deployments have evolved tremendously through the years driven by broadband connectivity, leaner, faster software code and more efficient network routing have added up to much better service overall. The benefits of a virtual desktop system have long been apparent faster deployment and disconnection of employee desktops as needed, lower licensing costs, less complexity, automatic software updates and security patches, easier and more efficient policy enforcement, and so on. But now, in 2011, with the economy back on its way up and many enterprises planning to refresh their IT infrastructures, many C-level executives are seriously considering switching from client-server to virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). Economics has a lot to do with it. Operating System and application software licenses aren't getting less expensive. Although VDI can require a substantial up-front investment in hardware and software, is looking more and more practical. The inherent problems that shackled VDI for a long time—mainly latency and security issues—are being solved by market competition in each new product generation. Most systems still have limitations involving number of users and the users' geographic location. However, with market demand on the rise, it still looks like the best is yet to come in this sector. In no particular order, this eWEEK slide show examines 10 companies that are leading the transition to this rapidly growing technology sector.
Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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