The Virtualization Practice

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Rampant Innovation in Desktop Virtualization

While server virtualization has largely settled down into a slugfest between VMware (vSphere), Microsoft (Hyper-V) and to a lesser extent Citrix (XenServer), and Red Hat (KVM), the desktop virtualization field remains wide open, and is being targeted by numerous startups with highly creative and appealing solutions. While VMware (View), and Citrix (XenDesktop) certainly represent the large players in the field, startups like Install Free, MokaFive, Virtual Computer, SlickAccess, Unidesk, Kavisa, and Ringcube all bring unique and differentiated solutions to the table.

The industry landscape is shifting with many major players beginning to acquire companies or enter into competitive agreements with others. Either way we look at it, certain companies won’t be around a year from now. One merger that makes a lot of sense to me as an industry analyst is the marriage of HP and Citrix. In this analysis, I’ll give you some of my reasons why this looks so attractive to both companies.

When VMware delivers AppSpeed later this summer, it will deliver a unique virtualization performance management solution. AppSpeed is unlike any virtualization performance management solution available from other hypervisor vendors like Microsoft (Hyper-V), Citrix (XenServer), and Red Hat (KVM), and is unlike any of the virtualization performance management products like Vizioncore vFoglight, Veeam Monitor, Akorri Balancepoint, BlueStripe FactFinder, up.time 5, and Virtual Instruments VirtualWisdom. AppSpeed will therefore bring some breakthrough capabilities to the VMware customer base, while creating a set of challenges for the VMware sales force, vendors of virtualization performance management products, and vCenter Administrators.

Virtualization Personalization (Windows Profile Management and the management of all user customization data) is a problem increasing in market scope (XenApp, fat client desktops, and VDI), technical scope (profiles, group policies, unique user settings, unique user customizations in applications, and unique user settings in the OS), leading both AppSense and RTO to invest heavily in a layer of solutions that are focused upon managing the personalization of the environment while not breaking and reducing the value of centralized management.

Veeam has posted a blog of their own trying to explain why they are no longer selling Veeam Backup 3.x for the Free version of VMware ESXi. It is perfectly understandable that Veeam would comply with VMware’s requests in this matter as Veeam as a company depends upon their relationship with VMware to further their own business aims. In other words, Veeam has done nothing that could be considered wrong. However, VMware making the request in the first place should be a major concern to current and future vendors of VMware products.