Dell Dropping vWorkspace


According to industry sources, it appears that Dell is discontinuing Wyse vWorkspace, its application and desktop virtualization solution. Although there have been no official announcements specific to vWorkspace, the sales and support teams are currently in a state of flux.

While the market share of vWorkspace is in the low single digits and has only a minor impact the overall virtualization market, this change of course signifies that the VMware acquisition is leading to additional product rationalization decisions. It comes as no surprise that the landscape of Dell, EMC, and VMware is changing as a result of the acquisition. Layoffs to the tune of 5% were reported early this year, and it would not be unexpected to see additional layoffs coming soon.

vWorkspace, which has a look and feel very similar to that of older versions of Citrix XenApp, is a basic virtualization solution, one without bells and whistles. Those needing premium virtualization addressing functionality such as connecting fancy peripherals or with concerns over bandwidth optimization found that vWorkspace was not the right solution. Reportedly, education and small business were some of the largest markets for vWorkspace, because the requirements were straightforward and lacked complexity.

Customers like truly integrated one-stop solutions, and the key word here is “truly.” Those solutions that are pieced together from a marketing point of view yet are actually fragmented, as was the case with the original Quest acquisition that eventually became vWorkspace, took far too long. For the Quest acquisition in particular, the vision of one-stop shopping was clear, but execution took several years.

Dell had packaged the physical server with vWorkspace into its Dell Appliance for Wyse vWorkspace in order to provide its one-stop shop solution. Offering Dell virtualization software and the hardware to run it on in one box was exactly the right move—at that time. However, it is likely that this offering will be removed once an official announcement is made.

So, what’s next for Dell? With the recent release of VMware Horizon 7, it is now readily apparent that this is the go-forward platform for virtualization within Dell. Teaming Dell hardware and virtualization solutions with VMware is a powerful one-stop solution. Of course, long before the acquisition, Dell offered its servers prepackaged with hypervisors from the major vendors, but we can expect increased focus on packaging with VMware.

Will Dell continue to present Citrix or other solutions going forward? There are quite a few former Citrix employees who now receive a paycheck from Dell, so it is likely that some Dell/Citrix cooperation will continue based on customer requirements. With the major market share that Dell has from the physical server perspective, it does not make business sense for it to totally turn its back on Citrix.

Dropping vWorkspace is not a surprise. A key part of the EMC/VMware acquisition is VMware’s Horizon solution, which is a market share leader. Dell likely took a look at the lackluster success of vWorkspace, as well as Citrix’s failed attempts to support both XenDesktop and VDI in a Box (originally the Kaviza acquisition in 2011), and decided that supporting both an SMB virtualization solution and an enterprise one was not justifiable. As you may recall, Citrix announced last year that VDI in a Box was not a go-forward product.

The small end of the virtualization market is largely turning to cloud or service providers rather than attempting to build infrastructure in house. For those organizations with fewer than 100 users, it just doesn’t make sense to purchase servers, software, and services, as well as attract and maintain IT staff, for this purpose. Depending on the industry and requirements, where the number of users is between 100 and 300 is a gray area that sometimes requires in-house equipment and staff.

Dell vWorkspace reportedly did have some larger customers using its product, but it was mostly entrenched in the SMB space.  We can likely expect that those customers will be lured toward adopting VMware Horizon as their virtualization solution.

If Dell can quickly and efficiently integrate VMware and EMC, then it will be a genuine win for Dell. Large-scale acquisitions are never easy or painless, and some mistakes are always made. In the case of dropping vWorkspace in favor of VMware Horizon, it appears to be a good business decision.

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Jo Harder
Jo Harder has been involved with virtualization for over 17 years, long before virtualization was the norm. After holding several sales and marketing positions, she started down the path of bits and bytes while at AT&T/Lucent Technologies. She then moved onto Citrix in 1999, where she became a Senior Architect. Her 11-year tenure included a combination of Citrix Consulting and Technical Readiness roles. After leaving Citrix, Jo provided consulting services for various clients for the next year. In her current role at a hosting provider, she is focused on cloud-based solutions for financial industry clients. In February 2015, she was awarded Citrix Technology Professional. Jo's diverse background of sales, marketing, management, and architectural/technical expertise brings a unique perspective to Virtualization Practice. She welcomes input from vendors, industry contacts, and end users and can be reached at
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