Exclusive: Brian Madden's interview with Quest vWorkspace's Jon Rolls

Ever since Quest Software bought Provision Networks back in November 2007, Quest's vWorkspace product has been sort of a "distant third" behind Citrix and VMware in the desktop virtualization space. But why is this? In many ways vWorkspace is superior to both XenDesktop and View. So what's their problem? Mind share? Technology? Customers?

In this one-on-one interview, Brian Madden sat down with Quest vWorkspace's VP of Product Management Jon Rolls. Jon is sort of an "old school" Citrix guy who's been in our space for over ten years. We discussed where Quest vWorkspace is now and what the shortcomings are. We discussed what they're doing with regards to Microsoft, Citrix, and VMware. Jon also shared his thoughts on the future of desktops, the cloud, and how Quest can fit in.

[TECHNICAL NOTE: We now have streaming! You can jump ahead, back, etc., and I think all the video issues are fixed!]

View All Videos

Join the conversation


Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

Video is working perfectly for myself. Good interview BTW. - Better than the other two.

I'm sure Jon wont make to many friends with sys admins with his view on cloud computing though :) But he's right.


As people already said: Nice interview. Keep 'em coming :)


So having watched all three interviews now, I'm even more confused as to how any CIO that bought View has survived the firing squad?

While the saying might be true (for now) that "no-one ever got fired for buying ESX", conversely the statement "everyone that buys View _should_ be fired" should also be true...

I'm sure Brian & Gabe can find some more View-killers out there...


Oh - and by the way (I'm pretty sure my previous post will join my other posts in the digital graveyard sooner or later) - congrats on the nice eloquent & open interview as well. Only one "that's a great question" that I noticed. Well done Jon!


Just wanted to let everyone know that I'm the Network Administrator for Donna ISD mentioned in the video using Quest here in Texas.  Jon commented that he wasn't ware of anyone using Parallels at an enterprise level.  We currently have 6000 seats powered by Dell 2970 servers, Wyse v10l thin clients, Quest vWorkspace, and Parallels PVC.  The whole setup is managed and maintained by myself and my network specialist.  If you have any questions feel free to ask.


As a side note I would also like to add that our environment is also supported by our contracted network consultant Weaver Consulting out of Fredericksburg, TX.  This particular consultant helped us rework all 6000 seats in roughly 25 days in an effort to fine tune performance and security.  My staff and the staff of the consultant worked hand in hand to do the work jointly and the outcome with patches from both Quest and Parallels was incredible.  

For those of you reading this, no I am not related to Donald Weaver the owner of Weaver Consulting.  As you can imagine we get asked that quite a bit.


Thanks for the clarification Richard. Somehow it slipped my mind that you guys are running on Parallels. Full case study is available here: www.quest.com/.../CSV-vWorkspase_TexasSchoolDistrict-US-AG.pdf


Sorry, beside the topic but, I'd like to see more from Paralells. Maybe Brian/Gabe could interview the Paralells guys about their different offerings (aka. the mac os stuff and the OS layering that, as I understand, is used in VDI-like scenarios as well as in VPC Windows-based web hosting)


It's ok Jon!  Great interview by the way!

Kimmo, I agree, I'd love to help put something together to cover Parallels and their product lines.  

Brian?  Thoughts?  


Firstly as with the other two interviews, glad this video is made possible and thank you to Quest for making it happen. It was a good conversation. Some of my comments.

Ultimately Quest is still an RDP play. RDP is not a WAN solution, will not be anytime soon, and one will only get so far no matter how much lipstick Quest keeps putting on the pig. Fair that for some it’s good enough if remote use is not important, but then you clearly don’t get why centralization is good....If you say you just want cheap that meets needs of many users then a much more real answer. I’ll also say that EOP does nothing at the networking level but I am sure they will develop that story. I’ll bet that the likes of Citrix have more developers on ICA than Quest has for the entire Desktop group, and that will always keep them ahead. EOP lipstick on RDP will always be a compromise for a very long time to come.

Since Brian mentioned me my name in the video I’ll address the brokerless response directly. It’s not about not allowing you to not make money. It’s about creating an option if one has an Enterprise deal to use the product in smart ways. I do not want to be tied into your license server, broker or any other crap to get a connection. It’s that simple. I am ok to pay for that privilege and think it’s fair that you monetize your investment. Just because you think you have a great mgmt solution I will tell you and all the other vendors that what you have is not good enough and you will not gang bag it into my infrastructure. So wake up and start to act like an enterprise solution if you ever want to play there.

It’s really good to see Quest like Citrix being very upfront and direct out there informing people that VDI is not the only option and that in the real world TS can meet the large % of use cases far cheaper.

No client hypervisor story, really hurts Quest because they have an incomplete story. I’d suggest to Quest that they build one ASAP. Type 2 on performance/security for mass scale desktop replacement, not happening! 1% world market at best.

Here we go again with Parallels Containers. So many issues, don’t get me started, although I will agree they are getting traction in the hosting market so would be great to understand from Parallels if that is based on containers or their other mgmt tools. BTW I wonder why Parallels don’t partner with others. They are going to war with MS and Azure, so they need more friends. I wonder how the Parallels love fest will effect the MS love fest for Parallels. Quest can only play Switzerland for so long. Regardless of my view that containers don’t work in the real world, it’s great if there is an option and people get traction in real world enterprise, full app compat, vendor support, etc. Not sure I buy it’s better than TS, and the fact that MS does not endorse the approach, means RUN AWAY for 99% of people IMO.

Quest looses deals in my experience because they represent too much risk and very little over the big boys. If I want to put by balls on the chopping block why not try one of the other smaller guys and really go for it. Provision has been around for so many years and to call them 3rd..... I mean come on there are three Citrix, VMWare, MS and then a distant bunch of also rans.

I do however agree that Quest is far better than View and really underlines the giant FUP at VMWare not buying them. But reality is no CIO thinks of Quest as a valid or credible desktop play, and even more so they are not seen as anything to do with virtualization. Mindshare at that level is huge problem for Quest.

I would not worry about the Ghostine brother leaving either. From what I have heard, they pissed off so many buyers of provision that Quest was all that was left.

“MS evolving process,” If Citrix wins this mind share with MS, Quest is really in trouble. MS will only play nice with who can go after VMWare, Quest can’t so I will bet MS will leverage Citrix as much as possible. There is already public evidence of this blogs.barrons.com/.../microsofts-muglia-see-enterprise-demand-pick-up-coming

True statement that Quest has no money to invest in App Virt, so piggy back on App-V which is terrible for the industry. That is MS saying F Desktop Virt, just do apps and stick to fat PC’s. App-V will kill innovation the more MS get’s it out there. It’s just not enterprise class, and MS is not a company that builds enterprise class software. Extensions will be needed and there is ZERO evidence of anybody really extending App-V. Why is that. A$$holes at MS who think they will dictate to the world their way. FU App-V team!  FU MDOP thieves trying to force SA on the world!

I would love Quest to publish revenue figures for their Desktop Division, and also break down % VDI vs. TS to help VMWare understand that they are F’d.

Anyway enough ranting. Good interview, nice job Jon and thanks Brain and Gabe for making this all possible.


Glad to see appdetective siting on the fence again :)

While I agree ICA is the leader on the WAN front... Quest's RDP/EOP combo isn't to far off and can only get better.

Personally I think WAN users are WAN users for a reason - kept at distance because of bad hygiene :) So in theory giving them a bad experience will force them to wash so they can come back to HQ.


Of course my users should never travel or work from home. I should never open a remote office or have any disaster event that requires them to work over a WAN. Myth, EOP is close to HDX. I have tested this many many times. EOP is better than PCoIP in terms of bandwidth, but not even close to HDX so let’s not pretend there. EOP I am 100% confident will get better and so will HDX with an army of HDX developers that are bigger than the entire desktop team at Quest. MS is always the gating factor for Quest and I see little reason or ability for them to leapfrog. RDP 7 is here for years and the next big thing is Calista, which will not solve everything and lock you into Hyper-V as bad as PCoIP locking you into ESX. This is where HDX wins again.