RSA and VMware both have legions of crazed fanatical customers, and as it happens both companies are owned by EMC. This was the topic of one of the side conversations I had at BriForum last month. We talked about how it's weird that the two companies haven't done more together in the desktop space. (Unfortunately I forget who I had this conversation with, but I'm sure that this was an idea that someone else put in my head. Feel free to email me to claim it!)
One of the main reasons people use VDI today is to increase security, and when it comes to security, the people who love RSA are almost as fanatical about loving RSA as the people who love VMware are about loving VMware. So it seems like it would make perfect sense for the two companies to co-brand and market an "RSA Secure Virtual Desktop" or something like that.
There are a few ways this could work.
First, what a great way to create the killer use case for client-based VMs (or even the perfect use case for a client-based hypervisor). Imagine if users could use their existing soft tokens to unlock and decrypt their laptop-based VM disk images. VMware could sell it as the "security of VDI, outside the firewall." Sure, we don't need VMware for this—Citrix XenDesktop and Virtual Computer NxTop could support client VM encryption too—but a joint VMware/RSA solution could be sold to the security people love this stuff already.
And it wouldn't have to stop there. RSA has a whole suite of data loss prevention (DLP) products. These are the perfect products to help deal with the increasingly independent users and BYOPCs and all the other stuff the various forms of desktop virtualization introduce. It seems that a joint product with a single SKU marketed to the right (security) people would sell like crazy.
Of course this flies in the face of a lot of the conversations we've had on the site over the past month or so about VMware's desire to push the cloud and that if they made client VMs cool then they'd be undermining their cloud datacenter desktop story, so it's not like they should throw everything away just for this one idea. But heck, people are spending a lot of money on RSA these days, so why not go for it? And hey, RSA's new tagline is "securing virtualization and the cloud" (seriously!), so why not jump on board?
Besides, VMware and RSA (and EMC for that matter) are not exactly known for having the cheapest solutions out there, so their customers are already accustomed to paying a lot for what I'm sure they perceive to be the best, so why not? Does RSA+VMware Desktop Virtualization = Killer App?