VMware View 3 Release Looks to Compete Against Citrix for Virtual Desktops

The VMware View 3 suite is the latest virtualization offering from VMware that aims to enhance the ability to create a virtual desktop infrastructure. The release of the latest VMware View suite is a step toward VMware's goal of creating a much more expansive virtual desktop infrastructure called VMware vClient, which is slated for release in 2009. In the meantime, the View 3 suite allows VMware to offer a virtual desktop infrastructure suite that competes with XenApp and XenDesktop from Citrix Systems.

VMware has launched the latest version of its Virtual Desktop Infrastructure suite, called VMware View, which includes new features and tools for better management of physical and virtual clients, storage, and enterprise applications.

VMware View 3, scheduled for release Dec. 2, includes existing products, such as VMware ThinApp and VMware Infrastructure, and new tools such as View Composer, which helps manage storage resources in a VDI environment.

The release of the latest version of the VMware View suite comes as VMware is planning a major revision of its desktop virtualization efforts in 2009. At the VMworld conference in September, CEO Paul Maritz called this new initiative VMware vClient. The VMware vClient initiative is part of several new virtualization offerings that could give VMware greater control of the data center.

What VMware hopes to do with VMware View and vClient is allow a user to access his or her corporate desktop image from a range of devices, including traditional desktop PCs, laptops and even smartphones, while at the same time delivering the security and resource management benefits that come with a VDI environment.

"What we are doing here is moving toward solving what Paul and the company now call the 'desktop dilemma,'" said Raj Mallempati, a marketing manager for VMware. "What we are doing with VMware View is looking to meet the end user's requirements, which calls for a personal desktop that can follow them across different devices and across different networks. At the same time, this type of solution provides IT with a very simple and cost-effective way to manage different devices and desktops."

Although VMware remains the leader when it comes to virtualization, Microsoft and Citrix Systems are now considered serious competitors to VMware in the x86 virtualization market that it dominates.

While x86 virtualization has mainly focused on consolidating physical servers and new ways to think about disaster recovery, virtual desktops are being viewed as the next area ripe for this type of technology. When it comes to the desktop, however, VMware is mainly competing against Citrix and its XenDesktop and XenApp products.

Red Hat is also seen as a competitor in this market thanks to some acquisitions earlier in 2008.