VMware acquires Propero

In case you didn't see it (obligatory movie quote: "...and judging by the attendance, you haven't!" -Major League), VMware bought UK-based ISV Propero.

In case you didn’t see it (obligatory movie quote: “...and judging by the attendance, you haven’t!” – Major League), VMware bought UK-based ISV Propero.  It’s understandable to have missed it - neither VMware nor Propero have publicized the acquisition.  But, VMware did list Propero in a list of companies they’d acquired to the SEC (VMware is getting ready for their IPO this summer).  The list, and website I found it on, is at http://www.virtualization.info/2007/04/vmware-acquires-propero.html.

I don’t know much about Propero, who makes a desktop broker package called "workSpace for VMware," but conceptually speaking, it had to happen sometime. The VDI space has 5 or 6 peices (servers, storage, virtualization, clients, brokers), and VMware only plays in one (two, if you count their parent company).   Microsoft owns the “guest OS” portion, so I just left it out (this is only VDI we’re talking about – not DDI or any other xDI).  When VDI was new, “brokers” didn’t exist, so eighteen or even twelve months ago VMware played a big part in half of the infrastructure it took to use VDI.  Now VDI is real, and people are using it.  And along the way, the broker became an important part of a well-rounded VDI implementation.  All of a sudden, the rest of the market was bigger than VMware and Microsoft – the two biggest individual pieces. 

To me this move makes sense, and here’s why: VMware wouldn’t (shouldn’t? ... couldn’t? .... mustn’t?) buy into the server or client device portions.  That would be crazy-difficult and crazy-expensive.  But all the desktop brokers are new.  They have to be – the entire concept is only eighteen months old.   (FYI – Desktop broker buyers – if your desktop broker company tells you they’ve been in the desktop brokering business for 30, 20, 10, or even three years, they’re LYING!).  So now VMware has some control over that fifth peice - the "brokers" peice.  Instead of watching as Joe Customer bought ten servers from here, one hundred clients from there, and a desktop broker from somewhere else, they can now get in on the action.

This helps out the VDI user community as well.  VDI is almost entirely VMware’s creation (maybe I should say "created because of VMware"), and now instead of having to bring in third-party companies to handle some of the other aspects of VDI, they can provide an end-to-middle software solution (you’re on your own for Windows!).  This works for you because it's one less company you have to worry about contacting for support and licensing - as long as you want to use "workSpace for VMware."  VMware now controls or has very close ties to the storage, virtualization, and broker peices of the VDI space, and for the moment that can only help the VDI world.

The next year or so in the xDI (yeah, I just made that up.  There’s just too many of them) world should be really interesting to watch, and we'll be keeping our fingers on the pulse.

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From what everyone is saying ("everyone" being "Ron Oglesby"), it appears that Microsoft's hypervisor in Longhorn is really gonna rock and will probably give VMware a run for their money... especially in the MS Guest OS space which includes VDI. So maybe by building a complete solution, VMware hopes to stay ahead there?
I atteneded a session with the VMWare guys about a week ago and we talked extensively about the Propero product they were bringing onboard. I think it's most likely to complete heavily with the desktop broker product from Citrix. Microsoft, I believe, are still very focused on producing a product for the virtualization of server-class machines. Desktops will be a natural evolution but from talking to some of the MS guys I'm not sure they are thinking that far ahead just yet.

There's been a bit of discussion on the topic on http://www.vmware.com/community/thread.jspa?threadID=82241&tstart=0

The big question among VDI users seems to be: why chose the broken one?

You said that if any company said they were in the VDI business for more than ten years then they were lying. But what about WinFrame? Early versions of that didn't have application publishing or seamless windows. It was only remote desktops. And isn't that what VDI is?

Yeah, but VMWare VDI is better because it's from VMware and VMware is "hot" and it costs like 3 times more than Citrix (including all the storage, server, and licenses) and is way harder to manage...:-)  So it MUST be better right?


People found this in their S1 forms for the IPO. From what I have read they were purchased LAST YEAR in like June and They ahve kept it complety quiet, but had to reveal it for the IPO.

 Ron O


Please, if you haven't got anything sensible to say, don't.

VDI not better or worse than anything else.  it is a different method of deploying desktop infrastructure to the end user.  unlike Citrix/Terminal Services it is a single machine image to a single user, but unlike a standard desktop it is virtualised on ESX.  it is not manna from heaven. but coupled with Citrix/TS, and Blade PC's the ability to completly centralise your infrastructure has just got closer.

there are still issues, USB support and a lack of IDE support in ESX VMware guests. but it is there and it is a valid paradigm.

 Posted by Tom Howarth- Forgot to login


In case you missed it, it sounds to me that the longhorn hypervisor is not "going to rock" since they have removed quite a few of the compelling features from the initial release that were originally planned. See http://www.betanews.com/article/Critical_Features_Cut_from_Windows_Server_Virtualization/1178824664

IMO it is going to be another Terminal Services vs Presentation Server battle where Citrix is always staying quite a few steps ahead in the game as they are more dedicated to the product, have been developing it longer, and have more invested in the product line.


Early versions of WinFrame did have published applications, however, you were locked into a fixed screen size (640x480, 800x600, etc.).

What the previous person posted about VMware being hot so it must be better. . .although written poorly, that post does seem to have some validity in the field.  Admins at customers are always looking for the next best thing and they all think they want VDI.  However, if they are serious and really have budget, what they find is that VDI is really only needed from anywhere to 10 - 20% of their user population.

A lot of resellers today are leading with VDI because it is sexy and gets the door open, but then end up selling traditional Citrix Presentation Server.  Citrix Presentation Server (or MetaFrame or WinFrame or whatever you want to call it) has been out since 1996, is mainstream now and frankly, not sexy (no matter how many features you throw at the thing).  But guess what, it gets the job done and it works like a champ!

Not true. 

Not True?
Care to comment, or just a 'not true'. It was found on their S1 with no announcements from Vmware. word is (around the community) that it was last year in 2006.   not true from a guest doesnt say much other than a vmware troll is trying to say its not true while hiding




It could be not true, but I have heard it from two sources that they were not just purchased 2 weeks ago. They have held them for a while and kept it under wraps

 hell Like he said it was on the IPO disclosure forms, not some press release. Thought is that they didnt want to upset their other partners, which of course -if true- is more than underhanded. I mean hide a pruchase while you work out YOUR PRODUCT then slam the market your partners are working on, the whole time telling them nothing and playing like you love them. Underhanded if true at all

Does it really matter.  I think everyone saw this coming anyway.  Besides, its the same game that Citrix et al play.  At the end of the day "greed is good" if youre a shareholder.
The part that is not true, is the portion that was written about them being bought last June.  VMware was keenly interested in Leostream.  Leostream got greedy. 
Greed is good.
Is that there had been no press release, no official announcement, no Here is waht we are doing etc...
Hi Brian,

I have been involved with Propero in the past, but with their server based product which competes directly with Citrix Presentation Server and the Citrix Access Gateway AAC solution.  I am interested in knowing how Propero will continue to evolve their server based technology in the future.

VMware is another microsoft in making.

I guess greed is not good for Leostream!  :)

Virtualized Desktops  just like Citrix.....  put it on your bumpersticker.....   "All that work just to get an application off your desktop?"  You still need a desktop to connect to your virtualized app or your virtualized deskeop,  so it will always be a niche and not mainstream method of getting users what they need.  This niche will expand and grow, but it still a niche....   Have a niche day...
10th April 2007. Sorry Ron.

This is a ridiculous rumor.  Who makes this nonsense up?  I've worked for Leostream since 2002.  I know just about everything that happens in the company.

VMware has never offered to buy the company either formerly or informerly.  A few years ago, some VMware folks did a technical review of our P2V product, but that's it.  The reasons VMware bought Propero over a company like us or Provision Networks is more complex than "they wanted the best connection broker for the cheapest money," although I do not pretend to know the reasons for VMware's decision.

I'm sure a term sheet from VMware would be a very welcomed thing at my company.  However, I don't believe such a document will ever happen for a variety of reasons.

Leostream and VMware currently enjoy a very positive and mutually beneficial relationship.

As for Leostream being "greedy," I'd suggest that we're no greedier than other for-profit ventures out there.  


"I know just about everything that happens in the company."

 Well, it looks like you missed this one.  You should probably put your resume out there and get another job since Leostream and its 12 person company will be going under soon enough thanks to the Propero acquisition.