One of the things I can't figure out is why VMware View 4.5 has "client mode" (the new name for the previously experimental feature called "offline mode.") The idea is that if you're on a full client and you're accessing your Windows desktop remotely via VDI, you can click a button to copy/sync your desktop to your client and then you can take it with you offline. At first this sounds like a great feature. But if you think about it for a second, it becomes clear that there's a logical paradox here. (I'll get back on the naming horse and call this one "Madden's Offline Paradox.")
If your VDI desktop is functional while running on a client device in a disconnected state, then why the @#%! are you using VDI in the first place? Why aren't you always using a client-based desktop? Why did you waste all that money building giant VM servers and SANs in your datacenter?
If your answer is that you use VDI for the "server-based computing" advantages, such as making fat apps work across thin pipes or keeping all data inside your firewall, then those specific apps don't work when your VDI desktop is offline anyway. So in that case why don't you just run your desktop locally on a client device and then publish just the single seamless apps you need a Terminal Server or single VM-based solution via RDP or ICA or whatever? Since we're talking about the same clients either way (since View Client Mode is for fat clients), you could build out your VDI infrastructure with a fraction of the hardware.
And if you went to VDI because you want the central management, there are products like MokaFive and Wanova that let you fully manage, secure, update, and sync Type 2 client VMs on remote clients, so you don't need VDI for this and you also really wasted a lot of money building servers and SANs you don't need.
The core fact is this: If you can run your VDI desktop locally on your client, then you should ALWAYS run it on your client. And if this is the case but you choose to run it centrally in your datacenter then you wasted a lot of money building a stupid VDI datacenter infrastructure that you don't need. (And to reiterate, if you need VDI for one of the real SBC reasons listed earlier then that's great and I fully support you using VDI that way, but of course the View 4.5 offline VDI feature is worthless to you since it's not SBC.)
So my central question is "In what circumstance is the View client mode useful?" Can anyone provide an example of why I want a datacenter-hosted VDI infrastructure that is also available offline? Can anyone tell me why I should do that instead of just running everything on the client? (And don't tell me it's for users who want to occasionally go offline, because again I'll say those users should use the client-based VM solutions 100% of the time and only run a much smaller datacenter-based VDI for the specific apps or connection scenarios that need it.)
My assumption is that (1) VMware doesn't push local VMs as a primary use case since they don't have products that can do this, and (2) View client mode is primarily to help people who bought VDI who didn't really need it not feel as bad.