VMware Buys Key Assets of RTO Software

VMware has purchased several key assets of RTO Software. These assets include:

  1. Kevin Goodman and the product team that built RTO TScale, RTO Virtual Profiles, RTO Discover, and RTO PinPoint
  2. The Virtual Profiles intellectual property, code and business
  3. The RTO Discover intellectual property, code and business
  4. The PinPoint intellectual property, code and business

A FAQ is available on the VMware web site that provides some detailed information on the deal from VMware’s perspective.

Here is what we think this acquisition means:

  • RTO Virtual Profiles (previously licensed by VMware for inclusion in a future release of View) is the perfect profile management solution for VMware to buy and integrate into VMware View. The reason for this is that Virtual Profiles is unique in that it does not touch the composition of the actual user profile. Virtual Profiles provides for be-directional streaming of the profile with checkpoints and synchronization while keeping the storage of the profile in its native format. This means that the RTO Virtual Profiles solution will not only be easy to plug into VMware View, has no extra requirements for web servers or datastores as are required by some other profile management solutions. Therefore when the version of View that includes Virtual Profiles ships, View will have the best integrated profile management of the desktop virtualization platforms (as compared to what is offered in Microsoft Windows and Citrix XenApp/XenDesktop.
  • RTO PinPoint will add detailed monitoring functionality to the VMware technology portfolio that is not present in Hyperic (acquired as a part of SpringSource) and AppSpeed. What VMware will choose to do with these assets remains to be seen.
  • RTO Discover allows for the rapid discovery of Windows assets and applications running on those assets. What VMware will choose to do with these assets remains to be seen.
  • By picking up Kevin Goodman and the entire product team, VMware has picked up a team of people deeply experienced in desktop virtualization issues and solutions to these issues. This team started working on performance and scalability back in the days of Citrix Presentation Server 4.0 with the TScale product, and has a great deal of accumulated experience in this area.

The one part of RTO Software that VMware did not buy is the TScale product and business. This leaves RTO in a very interesting position. RTO licensed the DLL rebasing version of TScale (TScale 3.0) to Citrix several years ago and that functionality has shipped with Citrix Presentation Server since the 4.0 release. However there were new optimizations were introduced in TScale 4.0 and again in the recently released TScale 4.5 that provide significant incremental benefit in new areas that were never addressed by the version of the TScale technology that ships with the Citrix XenApp product. In particular there is a new optimization in TScale 4.5 that helps .Net applications (both desktop based, and server based) significantly reduce memory consumption. Since scale on Presentation Servers such as those running Citrix XenApp, in a server virtualization case (virtualized .Net web servers), and in a virtualized .Net desktop case (the latest version of Cerner running on XenApp or in a VDI environment) is often memory bound – there is potentially still significant runway for TScale.

It would have been interesting to see how Virtual Profiles, Discover and Pinpoint would have continued as a standalone products – available outside of View, but that is not to be.

An additional implication of this acquisition is upon the User Environment Management market or, as called by VMware, the Persona Management market. RES Software and AppSense lead this market from a revenue and installed customer perspective. Other important players in the market include LiquidWare Labs, , and Tricerat. All of these vendors take an approach to the management of OS and applications customizations that is different from the approach taken by the Virtual Profiles technology that will be in a future release of View. Whereas Virtual Profiles keeps the Windows profile and its back end storage mechanism intact, all of these other vendors allow far greater granularity of management of the profile allowing for more fine grained management of per application and per user settings. The reasonable conclusion is that while VMware has certainly raised its offering’s functionality, this acquisition does not invalidate the market for the profile optimisation and management. This will become all the more apparent once UniDesk ships their solution as UniDesk combines the granular management of the content of the profile, with significant savings in the process of updating and patching the environment with more effective storage utilization.

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