Quest vWorkspace Returns

Oh dear. Did I get it wrong. Three weeks ago I asked “What does the future hold for Quest vWorkspace?“, where I described vWorkspace (at that time unaccountably renamed Quest Workspace Desktop Virtualization) as being “no more than an unwelcome distraction” and suggested that the best thing for Dell to do, at least as far as the product was concerned, would be to sell it off to VMware or Teradici. Well, it looks like Dell can’t have taken my suggestion seriously, because this week vWorkspace is back!

Dell Vice President of Product Management, Desktop Virtualization Jon Rolls broke the news on his blog on Sunday. Dell vWorkspace is back, and I couldn’t be happier to be wrong.

I’ll let Jon take it from here

A number of industry commentators [does he mean me?], partners and customers have speculated on what the future is for vWorkspace inside Dell, and I’d like to take this opportunity to provide some clarity. Dell is acquiring Quest for its 200+ software solutions in many different solution areas, including Identity and Access Management, Windows Management, Database Management and, of course, User Workspace Management (UWM) for which I run Product Management.

Inside UWM we have 4 major product groupings:

  • The ScriptLogic Desktop Management products, including Desktop Authority, Help Desk and Asset Manager
  • ChangeBASE, for analysis and preparation of Windows applications when migrating to Windows 7, 8, VDI/Terminal Server and App Virtualization
  • vWorkspace (which was temporarily renamed Quest Workspace Desktop Virtualization), which is a complete desktop virtualization management solution for both VDI and Terminal Server, and is especially optimized for use with Hyper-V
  • RemoteScan, which I refer to as a universal scanner driver to make scanning and imaging devices “just work” with applications published from Terminal Servers and VDI, including vWorkspace, Citrix XenApp/XenDesktop and VMware View

All of these product groupings have new, exciting opportunities for growth and development inside Dell, and will be exposed to much wider audiences and new routes to market as part of a huge organization with massive reach. In particular, vWorkspace will sit alongside Dell’s desktop virtualization offerings from its partners – Citrix, VMware and Desktone – creating the most complete set of solutions available in the market, covering organizations of all sizes from the smallest to the largest, available both hosted and on-premise.

As part of Dell’s fast-growing software business, we see a bright future for vWorkspace and other UWM products! In the near term we will be releasing a Reference Architecture for vWorkspace, with a view to marketing turnkey hardware-and-software bundles that make vWorkspace easier to try and deploy, and delivering amazing performance with less effort and lower cost. Of course, we will continue to support other platforms and partners and expand vWorkspace’s position in the market. More news to follow, but that’s all for today…


Andrew Wood and I have covered Quest vWorkspace extensively in the past, looking at vWorkspace 7.5, Quest’s position compared to VMware and Citrix in the desktop virtualization market, and Quest’s answer to the challenges of addressing the end-of-life of Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.  In summing up my review of vWorkspace 7.5 in February this year, I wrote:

After years standing in Citrix and VMware’s shadows, Quest is sending a clear message that it is no longer willing to settle for third place. vWorkspace 7.5 has the makings of the ideal desktop virtualization platform, providing the opportunity not just to rock the boat of the desktop virtualization market place, but to leave some of its competitors bailing hard to stay afloat, more than confirming Quest’s position in the top tier of desktop virtualization vendors. With vWorkspace 7.5 Quest has delivered a solution with the depth of features and functionality needed to support the largest enterprise, yet made it so easy to use that it can be deployed by almost anyone.

Two months later Quest was on the block, suffering a protracted bidding war, which was followed by an equally protracted transfer of ownership to Dell. Then at some point  a decision was made to rebrand vWorkspace as Quest Workspace Desktop Virtualization. This was not the best of moves. vWorkspace may only have limited market share, but amongst industry analysts its name carries with it clear recognition, renaming it removed that brand recognition and obscured a strong product behind a bland generic name – there’s a reason why there has never been a car called the Ford Econobox, and for that matter there’s also a reason why Monty Python released the Monty Python Contractual Obligation Album. Fortunately as Jon pointed out  the name change was reversed.

It is only now with the completion of the acquisition that we can see that there is still a future for vWorkspace with Quest/Dell, and I’m very happy to admit that I did not see this one coming.

Looking forwards, this places they’ll in the unusual position of having four separate VDI services:

  • DaaS – which today is delivered in partnership with Desktone
  • An appliance-based solution– which today is delivered using Citrix VDI-in-a-Box
  • A flexible, low-cost, midmarket solution – Quest vWorkspace
  • An enterprise solution – where Dell offers both VMware View and Citrix XenDesktop

This places Dell in a unique position in the industry. there is no other organization today that is offering the breadth of services that Dell provides. With Dell choosing to hold onto vWorkspace, there is no reason why it cannot choose to extend vWorkspace across more of the services, or at least use the possibility of doing so as leverage with its other VDI software partners.

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