VMware Goes After Citrix with Desktone Buy

By Doug Barney

VMware clearly rules the server virtualization roost, but it can’t say the same thing for VDI and desktop as a service (DaaS). Here, Citrix has the same kind of footprint that VMware has in servers.

In fact, you could argue that Citrix invented desktop virtualization decades ago by allowing Windows servers to deliver Windows clients over the network.

Today VMware strengthened its client pitch by buying Desktone, a DaaS provider. The deal was announced in Europe at VMworld 2013.

“Desktone is a leader in desktop-as-a-service and has a complete and proven blueprint for enabling service providers to deliver DaaS,” said Sanjay Poonen, executive vice president and general manager, End-User Computing, VMware. “By bringing Desktone's innovative platform in house, VMware can accelerate the delivery of DaaS through its network of over 11,000 VMware service provider partners while helping to shape and lead the future of the industry.”

Image via Shutterstock

The Desktone platform – aimed at delivering Windows apps over the cloud – is built with service providers in mind, and offers multi-tenant capabilities.

Desktone sees VMware helping dramatically broaden the reach of its technology. “The combination of VMware and Desktone's global partner network will allow customers in all regions to benefit from the economies of scale provided by DaaS,” said Peter McKay, president and chief executive officer of Desktone. “With the Desktone platform already certified with the VMware vCloud technology, VMware vSphere and VMware Horizon View, customers will be able to quickly modernize and move their desktop infrastructure to the cloud and open new possibilities for customers, users and service providers.”

VMware believes the world is moving in the direction of virtual apps. That’s because computing is moving from apps installed on PCs and laptops and towards mobile devices like tablets and smartphones. And we all want access to our apps and data no matter where we are.

VMware already has its Horizon View to handle security, control and desktop management. The company believes Desktone is a perfect complement to Horizon View “by offering an additional choice to organizations looking for predictable economics, flexibility of cloud deployment or simple deployment and management due to the lack of resources or in-house VDI expertise,” VMware said.

Microsoft Also in it to Win it

Microsoft is also itching for a bigger piece of desktop virtualization, which is why it bought Softricity years ago, and has continued to add to its desktop portfolio. Today, Microsoft has many forms of client virtualization, such as the ability to turn a single PC into multiple virtual machines, traditional server-based client delivery, VDI and application virtualization.

A DaaS Backgrounder

Microsoft and Citrix have been serving up virtualized Windows apps over the network for over two decades where apps were provisioned via servers right there in corporate data centers.

The basic technique also works over the cloud. Some call it VDI while other call is DaaS, which be driven by VDI.

DaaS can be confused with certain SaaS offerings such as Office 365 and Google Docs/Apps, as they all deliver a full set of desktop services. What makes DaaS different is it puts forth the operating environment as well. Think of it as one level about straight SaaS.

The 451 Research Group sees a bright DaaS future, saying that interest is “at a fever pitch.”

Gartner, meanwhile, sees a nearly $3 billion market emerging, as the chart below indicates (click to enlarge image).

Edited by Alisen Downey

MSPToday Editor at Large

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