VMware sends mixed message with View 4.6

Last weeks release of View 4.6 was as notable for what it included as what was absent.

When VMware first announced that it was going to license Teradici’s PCoIP protocol for inclusion in View 4.0, its most visible shortcoming was that VMware did not plan to update the View Security Server at the same time. Setting aside any debate as to the performance characteristics of PCoIP on the WAN, the lack of support for the View Security Server was a significant obstacle to widespread adoption of View in enterprise environments. So the inclusion of direct support for PCoIP tunneling through the View 4.6 Security Server comes as a most welcome update. Also included with View 4.6 are new USB enhancements, as well as support for Windows 7 SP1.

The most obvious benefit of having full PCoIP support comes from the end-user perspective.  Until now establishing a PCoIP connection was a two-step process, first establish a VPN connection, then tunnel through the VPN and establish a remote desktop connection.  Now with PCoIP tunneling, it is possible to establish a secure PCoIP-based remote connection in a single step.  At the same time the IT organization can benefit from a less complex remote access solution significantly reducing the implementation, administration and support burden.

Support for PCoIP integration with the View 4.6 Security Server is available as part of both the Enterprise and Premier editions of View 4.6.

While better PCoIP support is a much-needed and welcome improvement, it is not however all good news.  RTO Software’s Virtual Profiles is still missing in action. VMware signed an OEM agreement with RTO Software to integrate Virtual Profiles into View back in September 2009. VMware later acquired Virtual Profiles outright, promising that it would be integrated with View 4.5.  When VMware dropped Virtual Profiles from View 4.5 many customers voiced dissatisfaction even after VMware signed an agreement with Liquidware Labs to sell Liquidware ProfileUnity at $10 per user (50% off the list price). VMware has not abandoned all work on user profile management, stating that a profile management solution will be available in a future release of View, but was unwilling to offer either a date or product version number for that future release.  Until then, Liquidware Labs will continue to profit from VMware’s misstep by continuing to offer ProfileUnity to View 4.6 customers.

VMware View 4.6 is available as a free upgrade to all existing View customers with current support and subscription contacts.

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