Desktone scores, powering the VDI offerings for Verizon and HP

Desktone , the desktop-as-a-service (DaaS?) company, has just signed on both HP and Verizon to provide desktops-as-a-service to their customers. Right now Alessandro says they're only based on VMware's VI3 infrastructure, which is insteresting since Citrix was one of the investors who threw $17M into the company last summer.

Desktone , the desktop-as-a-service (DaaS?) company, has just signed on both HP and Verizon to provide desktops-as-a-service to their customers. Right now Alessandro says they're only based on VMware's VI3 infrastructure, which is insteresting since Citrix was one of the investors who threw $17M into the company last summer.

It's still not 100% clear to me exactly what Desktone does. I caught up with Desktone CTO Clint Battersby for some beers a few months ago in NYC. I left the bar five beers heavier, several brain cells lighter, and about fifteen napkins full of drawings that Clint made explaining what they do and how it works.

According to their website and what I can deduce from my napkin pile, the Desktone Virtual-D offering is a hosted desktop platform, based on VMware (and soon Citrix) technologies on the backend. The idea is that Desktone combines off-the-shelf technologies with a bunch of custom code and know-how to deliver an enterprise desktop at a pricepoint that actually makes ROI sense for large enterprises. The desktops will be hosted offsite in the huge datacenters that most enterprises already use for a lot of their data.

If none of this makes sense, then feel free to hit up CTO Clint Battersby at BriForum next month in Chicago. Clint will be one of our four camera operators this year.

So yeah, at BriForum, even the camera operators are geeks. It's like that joke with the Pope in the limo. If a VDI CTO is operating a camera at BriForum, who do you think he's recording? :) Seriously, how did Clint end up running a camera? Last year we sold out of all of our attendee spots for BriForum. Clint called us and said "I really, really want to come to BriForum. Is there ANYTHING I can do to get there?" Emily thought about this for awhile and said, "Do you know how to operate a video camera?"

Clint had such a good time doing so that immediately after last year's event he said "Count me in for next year too!" And this is fine by us. So even though Desktone is not exhibiting in our DEMO lab, you can look for Clint behind the camera and find out what exactly they do.

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Let's see if we can collectively get Mark Templeton on the audio mixer too!
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I think your pretty much on target Brian.  In short, destkone realizes that the main show-stopper for VDI is datacenter capacity.  As such, they believe that the best solution is to outsource the computing capacity.  They're trying to facilitate a model where processing power can be outsourced, but management and more importantly, storage, can stay within the walls of the corporation.


Of course, it takes 15 napkins to understand exactly how they do this, but its a very interesting business model, and if succesful could extend the viability of Server Based Virtual Desktops, which is IMHO why Citrix invested in them.  I would expect that they'll leverage XenDesktop in the future as well.


Given their corporate leadership, I think there is a reasonable chance they could actually pull this off, though they have a lot of challenges in front of them.

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Is it too early to start wondering who they will be bought out by?  Sure, the paint is still wet, but it is a fun game to play.  Let's see...  Citrix invested.  Microsoft could probably buy it for the interest they will get on the money they didn't pay for Yahoo.  VMware could take a stab.  Maybe a hardware vendor?  So many choices, so little time!
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Perhaps I've spent too much time in the enterprise space, but I can't see any CIO wanting to outsource their entire datacenter and desktops included.  It goes back to that whole "don't let your data leave your four walls".  I realize that various ASP models are challenging that tenet, but honestly I just don't get an outsourced desktop and it's not the desktop side of it that concerns me, it's the data.  Who knows maybe I'll be swayed.  I'll bring the stack of napkins, Clint better bring lots of beer though... ;)
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That's all Desktone offers: a broker!


They built it from the ground up with multi-tenancy in mind. There's absolutely nothing else as far as we've been told. No outstanding display protocol, no nothing.

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No doubt they have their work cut out for them, not just in terms of technology but in market perceptions too (which can be even harder to solve).  That's why one of their first large pilot customers is a recognized financial services company.  The financial veritcal is heavily regulated in terms of security, etc, and if the solution meets their needs in terms of security/compliance that's a pretty high standard to meet.

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Looking forward to another exciting BriForum conference where some of the brightest minds in the desktop virtualization space share experiences and opinions on how the market will continue to evolve.  (I'll bring a fresh supply of napkins and beer for anyone that is interested in learning more about the Desktone delivery platform.)


Clint

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If I remember the model correctly the data still stays with the corporation but the application platform itself can be outsourced to another datacenter or kept within the enterprise datacenter. Essentially this is a management fabric that ties various elements together. This still requires quite a bit of logistics but being able to put a fixed price tag on that desktop is something I think certain companies are looking for.

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