Wanova Releases Mirage Desktop Virtualization Software

Wanova is making its Mirage desktop virtualization offering generally available, six months after the company came out of stealth mode. Wanova aims to differentiate itself from other desktop virtualization vendors, including VMware and Citrix Systems, through its focus on remote and mobile workers.

Wanova, which came out of stealth mode in August 2009, is now rolling out its Mirage desktop virtualization software for general release.

The general availability of Wanova's offering, which was released as a beta in December, was announced March 16.

Wanova is entering a crowded and highly competitive field that includes such names as VMware, Microsoft and Citrix Systems. However, Wanova officials are looking to differentiate their offering with a focus on enabling businesses to more easily bring remote and mobile workers into the desktop virtualization environment.

That effort is increasingly important as laptops continue to outsell desktops and workers are becoming much more mobile, according to Wanova officials.

The company's DDV (Distributed Desktop Virtualization) offering, unlike those of competitors, doesn't force businesses to choose between the IT benefits of having the desktop image housed in a server and giving employees a solid desktop environment, according to Issy Ben-Shaul, Wanova's CTO and co-founder.

"It bridges the gap between centralized management and the user experience," Ben-Shaul said in an interview. "[With other offerings] you have to decide which one you want."

Other vendors, including MokaFive and Pano Logic, also are looking for ways to bridge the gap between user needs and IT demands.

In Wanova's case, the Mirage software houses all the desktop contents in a centralized server, which makes it easier to manage and more secure. At the same time, the offering lets users run their desktop workloads at the endpoint devices, giving them a full desktop experience.

Users can also work offline, and Mirage lets them personalize their desktop experience. It's not a hypervisor-based solution, though it does support other vendor hypervisors, Ben-Shaul said.

The Mirage Client is installed at the endpoint, while the Mirage Server centralizes all the management aspects in the data center. It also manages and stores the desktop image.

The DDO (Distributed Desktop Optimization) technology streams the full desktop image to the remote or mobile endpoint over a WAN, a process that takes minutes.

The Mirage solution creates the Central Virtual Desktop, which is housed in the data center and includes the core OS and applications managed by the IT department, a personalization layer of user-installed apps, and the data files and user settings. Through the DDO, this complete environment can be deployed anywhere within minutes, according to Wanova officials.

Wanova Mirage is available immediately, with pricing starting at $210 per endpoint.