What should I ask VMware's new EUC GM Sanjay Poonen and EUC CTO Scott Davis today.

A few days ago I tweeted about VMware hiring SAP's Sanjay Poonen as their new general manager for their end user computing business.

A few days ago I tweeted about VMware hiring SAP's Sanjay Poonen as their new general manager for their end user computing business. My tweet was snarky, saying something like VMware has had four EUC chiefs in four years. (Actually I think it's been more than that.) Several people responded that they'd like to see a "where are they now" article detailing the revolving door at the top of that business. In researching that article (which I plan to publish next week), I reached out to VMware's EUC CTO Scott Davis, since he's spoken at several BriForums and we know each other pretty well. I think Scott's actually the highest level EUC person there who's been there the longest. (Check out my video interview with Scott from 2010 when he first got that position.)

Scott arranged a group call with me, him, and Sanjay for later today for them to share their perspectives on VMware's EUC business. (I'll publish that as a separate article next week.)

So my question to you: What questions should I ask Scott and Sanjay about VMware's EUC business?

I've often said that I believe that VMware's vision for end user computing is spot on. Where they've fallen down has been in the implementation and execution of building products that live up to that vision. The Horizon Suite is a great concept, but right now there are a bunch of major "gotchas." (And last week's Horizon 1.5 update doesn't hit the major problems that are holding it back.)

VMware's EUC groups is also being decimated by personnel departures. The list of folks who've left in the past few years includes Chris Young (EUC SVP & GM), Moe Khosravy (VP, Horizon), Boaz Chalamish (SVP & GM including EUC), Vitrorio Viarengo (VP Marketing, EUC), Noah Wasmer (EUC Senior Director and the guy who came up with Horizon), Sebastiano Tevarotto (EUC VP of product marketing), Israel David (VP over the group which included EUC), Kevin Goodman (founder of RTO Software which VMware acquired to become View Persona), and Phil Montgomery (EUC Senior Director of PM). So I wonder what Sanjay is bringing to the table, and given the recent history, what's he doing to last more than a year? I mean that's such a huge list of senior level people who've exited the company! Who's really running things over there?

A year ago Kevin Goodman wrote, "The future for VMware: should they spin off EUC into its own company?" I wonder with VMware's recent focus if that's an even bigger question today?

So between talking to Scott Davis and Sanjay Poonen tomorrow, and VMworld here in San Francisco in a few weeks, I'm hoping to get the following questions answered:

  • What's VMware doing to help convert "shelfware" View licenses included with vSphere and enterprise deals to production Horizon View deployments.
  • What's the status with PC-over-IP? Is that relationship sustainable? Is that the right protocol? What about Framehawk?
  • Where's AppBlast? (They claimed it was not dead a last year's VMworld. But still nothing?)
  • We now have a new version of the Horizon Suite (1.5) six months after the initial release, yet it still appears to have all the deficiencies of the 1.0 product that they said they were working on last Feb. (Only file solution is Horizon Data, no third party support. Can't click on files in the browser and open them in remote View sessions. Horizon Data can only use a single storage volume. No integration with SharePoint. Horizon Mirage not supported in View VDI VMs. No XenApp integration. No support for RDSH / Terminal Server desktops. No audio support in their web client. Only one concurrent session supported at a time with View Persona.
  • How has Citrix been able to run circles around them with product and feature releases? We've heard from ex-employees that VMware's development cycles only really allow for about 6 weeks of actual development time per product cycle. Is that true? If so, how will Sanjay change that? And if that's not true, how do they explain the lack of real progress in the EUC space over the past several years? Can they get more resources to focus on EUC?
  • Does VMware really care about EUC? If so, what are they doing to put their money where their mouth is?

What am I missing? What else should I ask these guys?

I've always say that the EUC space is VMware's business to lose. Have they lost it yet? If not, what do they need to do now?

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Your fourth question touches on this a bit..  I would split it into two questions and ask, "When will we see a true integration of the Horizon Suite's components where we can manage View, Workspace, Data, and Mirage from a single admin portal for both physical and virtual desktops?"

Other questions I would ask:

1.  Why don't you guys just buy Liquidware Labs?  Seems like a great fit for VMware's EUC product line.

2.  Why don't we see more integration of the Horizon Suite (specifically VIew) with vCloud director?  Wouldn't that be a great enabler for self provisioned desktops (both physical and virtual)  A manager, instructor, etc. could use such an environment to create custom virtual desktops for special projects or classes and would have some solid life cycle management behind it.  

3.  What improvements are you making to the Shared VGA driver in View?  Can we expect full OpenGL support soon?

4. nVidia seems to have a close partnership with Citrix to the point that XenDesktop 7 now supports shared VGA as well as Grid.  Can we expect Grid support in View?  How is VMware working with other GPU vendors like Intel and AMD?  

5. Can you elaborate more on how Horizon Workspace will be used in iOS7?  

6.  How do you see NAND based storage solutions (like Atlantis ILIO) impacting VDI solutions in the future?  How will VMware capitalize on these types of solutions?

Some of these might sound a little nuts.  I haven't had any coffee yet.  That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.. (>_<)


Phil Montgomery left? blimey... I'm sure it was only a few weeks ago I was speaking to him about roadmaps, feature requests, etc..

- When will Workspace support existing CIFS shares? I'm shocked (not just with VMware) that this isn't the first thing enterprise FMD solutions offer!

- When will we find the software based PCoIP support for RDSh? Currently RDSh is RDP only with View which means sucky OS X support, no iOS/Android support, etc. View DOES support brokering of RDSh BTW, it just doesn't provision.

- Are they planning on using the Mirage tech for servers too? (Would be great in an RDSh play)

- Will we be able to do bare metal provisioning with Mirage so we don't have to have an initial OS on the device?

Sure I have other questions but I'm in the pub and it's to sunny to look at this screen any longer!



Mirage for servers would seem like a no brainer, doesn't it? especially in vCD..

Totally agree on BMP for Mirage.  Why not a PXE boot?  

I can't wait for VMworld.  Hoping for some big improvements. Mainly in integration within Horizon Suite.


I disagree with your last line: "I've always say that the EUC space is VMware's business to lose. Have they lost it yet? If not, what do they need to do now?"

They lost it in 2009 when Citrix introduced XenDesktop 4 - it had both the best protocol and the best product SKU (XenApp+XenDesktop). VMW still has a shot at the SME market because of the vSphere tie-in and where protocol is less important.

I would ask the following:

(1) What is his take on delivering Desktops as a Service? The existing public cloud infrastructure cannot provide the storage IOPS necessary to run desktops in the cloud. Can VMW with its new cloud division solve this problem? This could change the game for everybody struggling with the cost/complexity of storage and VDI.

(2) Since he was Mr. Mobile @ SAP, is VDI or Mobile going to drive the EUC agenda?


only one question : do they really have a EUC strategy ? I mean... The difference between "the vision/marketing speech" and the "product/release cycle" is huge.

Please VMWare, stop VAPORWare, release SOFTWware.


.. you can now add Matt Eccleston to the list of those who abandoned ship.


and I notice another senior PM in the EUC business unit left earlier this year.

Outside of all the executive departures (even outside of EUC), there has been so many senior subject matter experts below them who were head-hunted in, were acquired in, and who migrated over from within and have left as well.

There simply isn't an unlimited pool of visionary minds who truly understand this space and can execute. There's a lot of propeller heads but if you start peeling back the onion with them they are on shaky ground and borrowed words from the peers before them.

Without bias, VMware hasn't really been original or unique in this space and I question whether they have been 'spot on'. Looking at it closer, most of the right things communicated or built into their roadmaps over the years came in via this temporary talent who knew the space but mostly from competitive shortfalls. Also, heavily influenced through the partners they forged with (who were already executing in this space and knew it well)