Prediction: Desktone replaces Horizon View as VMware's on-premises VDI solution

Last week I wrote about VMware buying Desktone, which I believe was a good move. If nothing else it instantly thrusts VMware into a leadership position in the DaaS / cloud desktop space (whether it's real or perceived is irrelevant), and at the moment Citrix doesn't really have anything to offer that's similar.

Last week I wrote about VMware buying Desktone, which I believe was a good move. If nothing else it instantly thrusts VMware into a leadership position in the DaaS / cloud desktop space (whether it's real or perceived is irrelevant), and at the moment Citrix doesn't really have anything to offer that's similar. (More on that in a bit.)

Why did VMware make this acquisition? My belief is it's a technology and market perception play, rather than VMware wanting to buy an install base. Also I believe they had to buy something like Desktone because the Horizon View platform was designed for more simple on-premises VDI environments, and you just can't grow or scale that architecture to the huge environments with multi-tenancy you need to run a DaaS service.

That said, how long will VMware support two VDI products? Sure, I (and others) argued that VDI and DaaS are not the same things. But if I'm looking at VMware, I'm thinking it's far easier to scale Desktone "down" to on-prem VDI as opposed to scaling View "up" to a DaaS platform.

And what would they lose? Desktone still works with PCoIP and all the cool View clients. The architectural changes in Horizon Mirage 4.3 that make it work in VDI scenarios would work fine with Desktone VDI too. Same for Persona, ThinApp, and everything else. And I can't imagine that it would be too hard to plug Desktone into the Horizon Suite.

Replacing View with Desktone would also make it much easier to build the "hybrid cloud" for desktops thing they want to do. Since both would run on the same platform, it would be much easier to enable cool features like cloud-bursting and single management consoles that allow customers to manage on-premises, private cloud, and public cloud pools of desktops from a single pain of glass with a single management framework.

Let's face it: View has always had scalability issues. Well, maybe I shouldn't say "issues," but I can say for sure that View isn't scaling to tens of thousands of users anytime soon. If you look at the huge View environments you find that while a single customer might be using View for 40k seats, they actually have something like ten smaller 4k View systems rather than a single huge 40k one.

So that's my prediction—that at some point we see the legacy Horizon View go away, replaced by Desktone. Customers would still be able to deploy it on premises, and it would support PCoIP and Mirage and all the other things that customers use View for today. Honestly after talking to a lot of people who have struggled with View over the past few years, this decision can't come soon enough! And I would love it.

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Interesting conversation. I have been debating the same thing myself. VMware paid what $25Million for Propero back in 2007 and is what we have today.

You are right in that there are certainly some challenges with view compared to other broker solutions. Not least the fact it uses AD lightweight directory services. VMware are trying to move away from relying on MS for anything.

In one sense this is great, because it removes the need for SQL and can simplify the deployment, yet it does break with convention.

However, you are right about scale. Especially when there is a need for a single pane of glass that reflects a distributed environment. Desktone support multiple Datacenters as I understand it and also has support for Linux desktop brokering.

Considering that one of VMware's key agendas is to help people towards the Post-PC era, I see the need to allow access to a secure Linux desktop becoming increasingly in demand. Don't forget that for several years VMware have been able to run certain types of Microsoft apps on a Linux desktop with the help of ThinApp; so by combing this who knows what the new world might look like.

I also remember reading a while ago about the theoretical concerns of the OEM relationship with Teradici and VMware. I guess if RDS and Server 2012 become more of an option this also helps.


I think it will be interesting to see how they handle the current reseller/partner arrangements that they have in Desktone. A big part of the desktone business model is having third parties hosting and running the DAAS product for their customers in non Desktone datacenters. Will VMWare want to continue this model....


Good observations, and may ultimately be a valid one - although it would be quite disruptive to VMware's technology, installed base and friendliness to the channel.

BTW there is in fact an alternative DaaS platform on the market today that is a consistent architecture for both hosted DaaS and for enterprise use. It works with any device, can be architected as VDI -OR- hosted/shared, is hypervisor (and cloud) agnostic (ideal Hybrid Cloud), and has proven scale "down" to 10's or "up" to 100,000's. All available now via 1000's of DaaS providers who offer a variety of vertical and horizontal solutions.  


I think the logic is to get into the MSP market as soon as possible.  VMWare hasn't had the traction there with View that maybe they wanted, and Desktone has had a flurry of MSP partners announce as of late.  Still have to wonder how many seats are actually deployed.

I'd also like to point out that there is a better value DaaS solution available that is highly scalable, easier to implement, and has a much lighter infrastructure footprint equating to massive cost savings in comparison to the alternative players in this space.


Good to see, but I don't anybody in the MSP world who will do much here without a RDS style play to squeeze margins.