Exclusive: Brian Madden's video interview with VMware Desktop CTO Scott Davis

Last week I sat down with VMware's desktop CTO Scott Davis (blog | twitter) for an hour to discuss VMware's desktop strategy. Scott joined VMware three years ago, although he's only been in the desktop CTO role for about six months. In this interview, we talked about his background, VMware View's current traction and future plans, and how VMware approaches the desktop. We also discussed many specific technology components, including desktop storage and disk image management, profile management, ThinApp, PC-over-IP, client hypervisors, offline VMs, and employee-own PCs.

This is the first ever "real" interview I've done. Despite reading a lot of books and websites about proper lighting, I definitely screwed this up a bit. I initially had the cameras configured perfectly, but then at the last minute decided to zoom out a bit since we didn't have a camera operator and I didn't want either of us to move out of frame. Unfortunately doing so meant that the auto exposure feature of the camera compensated for the extra black background by dialing-up the exposure, thus over exposing (and washing out) Scott's face. We tried to fix that the best we could in software later, but of course the damage was done. So Scott and everyone: please accept my apologies for what looks like harsh lighting. I promise that was not the effect we were going for.

Also, thanks to Gabe for painstakingly editing together the final videos. We shot this with multiple cameras, and Gabe played the whole thing through afterward to sequence the proper cameras depending on who was talking. Doing this did NOT cut out any content, and actually the audio you hear is the entire audio from one camera. (In other words, this interview went straight through without any cuts.) The only editing was for the camera angles.

So please enjoy the conversation and share your thoughts below regarding your views on VMware's plans. Tomorrow we'll post my interview with Citrix's desktop CTO Harry Labana.

NOTE REGARDING VIDEO PLAYBACK: I think we've fixed the issues with the video playback, so I'm going to delete those comments so new readers can focus on the content-related stuff. But if you still have video playback issues, please post them.


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Thanks for the interview and don't be afraid of lighting.

Scott, I just wanna you to know that I wasn't able to see you interview in full screen mode (video freeze but sound continued to go on) on my PCOIP windows View Client.

I was able to watch it only in browser.

Take note.


First I have to give credit to Scott for walking into the Lions den. I am sure this was not the easiest interview to do.

That said let’s get to some of the comments, granted some may be off the cuff remarks made under pressure.

The Million seats sold is BS. VMware is counting Fusion licenses, talk about View which is not one million licenses and is being given away as part of EA renewals including their offer to me.... The fact that VMWare continues to ignore the TS use case is a sad state of affairs and just shows they still don’t get VDI is $$$ not possible as single instance solution today and for the use cases that can, 99% can be done with XA due to lack of single image. Clearly VMWare are not listening, despite Scott mentioning it numerous times on the interview.

Trashing Citrix on setup complexity is right on, but is that all they have to say about Citrix? If that is all, Citrix have little to worry about IMO.

Interesting how heavily BCP was pushed as a use case. I agree to a point, but come on there are real world use cases perhaps nobody is implementing with VMWare....

View Composer does not work half the time, so the talk of rapid provisioning is just BS. Also love the dodge of the PCoIP connect, just get it done.

You don’t have RTO or ThinApp integrated, so View 4 is just BS shelve ware. Wait for the upgrade in effect. Amazing how delusional he is about ThinApp, it’s crap.

All the PCoIP crap is just talk. It doesn’t work on a WAN, it’s LAN only period.. The more I test, the worse I find it to be. It is in no way, shape or form any comparison to HDX, or even RDP over the WAN. Stop spreading this horsesh1t across the industry and shut up and get it to work or f off and stop confusing the idiots who follow you blindly. PCoIP is the biggest piece of sh1t to hit this industry in a long time.

Clearly CVP is a f’ing disaster as there is no commitment to a date or any detail. No data on the HCL list. Rebranding ACE as View centrally local or whatever the F he said is BS.

This interview showed me once again that Vmware does not get the desktop. All the futures is about the datacenter OS serving up desktop workloads with dynamic resource management. The fact that he equates the desktop to a file just goes to show this simplistic and naïve view of the world. Very disappointing.....


mmmmm.... pudding


Agree with Appdetative. Anyone who actually believe PCoIP is "Best in Class" is flat out lying or just simply blind. The fact that vmware push VIEW 4 with PCoIP out the door without support of PRINTING OR simple client drive mapping just shows you their real competency of "desktop". Also this man does not deserve to be the desktop CTO if he really thinks THINAPP can be managed, note to Scott.. if you have to manually create NTFS permissions to your objects it's not enterprise ready. If vmware is going to tell people they should'nt be managing devices then why is VIEW pretty much only works with Windows 32bit clients? What's the incentive if you have to buy a Windows7 notebook to use a Windows 7 virtual desktop? ever thought of that?


Question : why the interview with CTO of Citrix disappear from home page ? Secret to remove ?

Regarding VMWare comment : come on, PCoIP is Windows Only of very special hardware, is LAN only and even with that contniue to suck ressources (server and bandwith)... you add it is VDI only, no app publishing (thinapp is far from this point) and locked down to VMWare hypervisor... I will not give a look at it... for the moment...



The unprofessional tone of your comments really makes you look like a fanboy ... specially the comments without any data to back you up (composer does not work, 1MM licenses is BS, PCoIP is LAN only, etc etc).

If you want to be taken seriously, you need to be more professional, and provide facts, not just ranting.


@All & @VMGuy

I didn't really feel like to comment on the actual topic, aka the interview with Scott Davis on VMWare's offerings and approach on the desktop. As noted by coments in this thread and pretty much all over. VMWare's Desktop (View) is inherently lacking insight in anything that could be interpredated as within touch of reality.

WIth that said. I also do see that VMWare VSpehere, beeing proven, mature, widely deployed etc. is being used as the foundatation for the various VDI offerings. Heck, XenDesktop deployments are using VMWare on the Hypervisor layer - not to speak of the various other players on the VDI scene. Todays  "View" is pretty distorted and shady.

@VMGuy vs. @Appdetective

Bring the the facts in. Let's see and compare.


@Mr. Incredible

OMG.Didn't notice.Yes he does. Sorry Scott, you do.

At topic. I shouldn't judge a person nor the message by the presentation. However, it's obvious that this interview went bad. I would really like to hear Scott talk of VMWare's vision in a more comfortable situation.It wasn't exactly easy to watch and listen, and quite honestly, I felt bad, sorry and embarresed - just like Scott & Brian.

I can partly understand and bear the annoynace of the sealed lips of the future. That's not Scott's fault. I do however wish for VMWare to be more open and forthcoming on what they're working at on regards desktops.


@Kimmo: What exactly wasn't comfortable about this situation? We asked the community for questions. We provided the questions to Scott ahead of time. And we had a nice time talking about everything. I don't know what was bad or uncomfortable?


I have to agree with the comments made by Appdetective - though I think he was sitting on the fence a little bit :)

VMware have a long long way to go. I've don't remember the last time as a customer VMware asked me what we wanted. TS would be high up there on the list though.


fact : PCoIP is over promising (similar to my personnal test result)




Maybe it's just me (please ignore in that case), or maybe just because I do not know Scott (Pardon Scott) - but it it conveyed to me that Scott was uncannily unsettled. (no?) If I was to guess, I would've guessed that he didn't even try to loose the VMWare shackles and thus /though not intended insulted the intelligence of his audience.

Ok, clear enough?


@vmguy Obviously you haven’t tried to use View nor do you understand the BS VMware is pulling. I’ll be commenting on the Citrix video as well in a bit, so fanboy no, real life implementation yes which is not going to happen with Vmware View and their current product or thinking. Rant I will because too many idiot people being fooled by vendors with Sh1t products and overmarketing. There is one thing making progress on a product over time, it’s totally another, lieing and putting out fud.

Composer. Linked clones means the child/user data disk grows to the same size as the parent. It does not work and the TCO goes to hell very fast.

1MM licenses where the F have they implemented these? It is a flat out LIE and anybody who believes that number is a f’ing IDIOT. Vmware does not break out the View earnings, says publically that they are making no money from it searchservervirtualization.techtarget.com/.../0,289142,sid94_gci1379634,00.html. They are now trying to include fusion, vmware workstation etc to pump their stats. It’s all BS in the VDI context of VMWare.

PCoIP. It’s sh1t, just trying the f’ing thing and see what happens on a network. Here’s a link to a Citrix blog this am, that basically found what I found and so have many others who any f’ing clue. community.citrix.com/.../viewpage.action

FACT for you VMGuy. LISTEN to the video and HEAR Scott TELL the world that CVP is not ready and ACE is effectively being rebranded.


I read the financial reports , yes, and Citrix do not have an outstanding performance for XD. They also mix XD revenue into a group of products, just like you complain from VMware. It is impossible to know XD numbers exactly. Citrix still lives from the old , good , MetaFrame.

Scott mentions these 1MM licenses are not deployed. Citrix do not disclosure any kind of numbers, maybe because the numbers are not impressive ?

For your info, I know the subject pretty well. I worked with Citrix since MetaFrame 1.8 days, I am a CCA/CCEA, and CCIA.

The fact is ... I PCoIP DEFINITELY uses more bandwidth. This does not means it sucks. It responds waaaaayyy better than RDP for everything. Bandwidth is not so expensive anymore as it was 15 years ago, and it is very common to companies to have their sites linked by fibers and connections of 100Mbps and beyond. PCoIP will definitely fit for many, many situation, lagging behind on extreme bad network conditions (then ICA excels).

Also, corporate users do not need Hi Def video and audio in normal circumstances.

What you mention about composer and linked clones is simply FUD, I will not even comment that.

CVP is not ready, yes, but who told you it is so important ? 99% of existing workstations will never be able to use it today, Citrix do not have it ready also, and ACE RULES ... make all sense to use the existing technology to enhance and take the "Offline Desktop" out of the experimental state. This is something that can be done today, not dependent on new HW, and if VMware be able to do it this year, Citrix will lag behind in functionality.

In the end, I agree with you Citrix has some advantages, but those advantages are not so huge to make VMware lag behind. Wait for the next View version, and let's see the 2010 results for both companies.


VMGuy, clearly you are a VMWare fan, defending a vendor for the sake of defending them. Let’s get real.

Financials stuff is very clear on who’s reporting revenue vs. numbers that are not deployed. Listen to the transcript, over 1000 news customers, record number of 1M deals, 10,000 seat implementations going on etc. I won’t even bother going further here, because VMWare fans will defend their “vendor” no matter what their COO says publically. And the fact is VMWare are using their 1 million number to imply deployment, so obvious.

Run PCoIP on any multi monitor system over any link with multiple users and I promise you it will suck suck suck, I have seen it first hand. You needs tons of bandwidth to make it work. 100mbps pipes are you smoking crack? Have you heard of Asia? Remote offices? Branch offices? Work at home? Hotels? This crap destroys the use cases that can be served by being central. UDP causes security issues in real world companies. The crap about PCoIP being adaptive is also BS, it just retransmits as soon as there is any packet loss, and retransmits again and again and again to suck the network dry.

Corporate users use the internet and rich media is everywhere. To say they won’t need it, and therefore PCoIP works for some is just naïve. Composer does not work is not FUD. The user disk grows over time, that is a fact. If you want to use a single image that resets and does not persist any personalization then you can, but you loose so much.

ACE, are you F’ing kidding me? Defending these aholes who believe that a check in check out model is the way of the future, failed to deliver and don’t offer >1 type 1 virtual machine. CVP is a disaster being bandaged up with marketing fud to cover up a giant F up that is CVP. ACE will not cut it. It’s fud to lock idiots into Vcenter nothing more, just like ESX. MS is blocking this change, and Vmware had a chance and completely screwed the pooch on this one. Let’s call a spade a spade, and stop pretending that this RULES....

It continues to amaze me the number of naïve people who still don’t get it. View simply does not work on a network with  real world conditions. VMWare claims cost is why View is great. Horseh1t, View Composer will kill your TCO if you want to personalize. Vmware does not a offer a TS option, which is FAR FAR FAR cheaper, proven etc. Let’s stop pretending and get real. Citrix has plenty of crap wrong with them that I give them hell for. VMWare is just spreading BS out there and confusing the market with fud, and avoiding the real issues.


Have you seen the Fujitsu annoucmeent in UK for some gov' office... 140 000 desktop to be virutalized with Citrix, EMC, MSFT and AppSense...



vmguy... Real corporate users needs to print. PCoIP does not allow client side printer mapping to happen. Forget about the multimedia stuff, how about printing some invoices and reports in user's home/remote office? Any IT department with a common sense will not deploy this. So where is the 1M licenses go if it wasn't hide under the ELA umbrella?

The bottom line is, Scott's statement about vmware listen to customers and how they have no one complain about support of other platofrms other than ESX goes to show you how ignorant they are. It may be okay if he's the vSphere CTO, but as the desktop CTO with a half-ass offering they better start to listen and listen fast.



Virtual Printing with PCoIP is available right now, as an update to View (version 4.0.1). Your argument just got old by now.

By the way, I don't know larger companies which users local printing on each PC. That is normally a last resource, maybe in branch offices where you cannot add a network print server.

Anyway, it is available right now --> www.vmware.com/.../releasenotes_viewmanager401.html

AppDetective: Enough of this discussion, this will never be productive. Cya!


@Kata - I would hate to be the PM for that one :)

I bet the majority of that is TS too....

Thank god they didn't waste my taxes on VIEW!!


@VMGuy, yeah great rushed out on Feb 18th, underscoring my point that they are disingenuous a$$soles lying in the first place claiming that they have a solution that works. There are still numerous other things still missing, and bandwidth is still sucky sucky and will remain that way for a long long time.  

Comment on the VMWare board


Good to see an update now, and I'm very happy with multimonitor support for RDP. I was also hoping for official support for Windows 7, for View and ThinApp. Do you know the timeframe for this

Clearly you are a VMWare fan boy or work for them, spreading vendor marketing and giving credit for features that are broken/missing in the first place and too blind to see the flaws.  Who are you kidding.... Cya vendor fud spreader!


@daniel - Or PVS to fixed desktops, XenClient for Laptops & hosted desktops for remote users. There is MUCH more to Desktop virtualization than VDI...


@Mr.Incredible - I know and agree. But I also know the "Department for Work and Pensions" :) About 5% will be XenClient/PVS if their lucky.


Forgot to mention...

The point I was really getting at is that VIEW would not be an option for this type of contract as it only "does" hosted desktops.

I love a lot of VMware products but VIEW sucks - big style.


Hi Brian/Gabe,

Maybe it's just me (apologies if it is) but I have no control to skip forward or backwards? This is a major bummer if I come back after watching 40 mins of 1:08? ;-(

I would also vote for a transcript if possible (or not too expensive?)

Great stuff though, now moving on to Harry's interview, thanks loads for this interview as it's a great service.

NOTE: I am referring to the ability to review this sort of interview - not neccessarily the content? ;-))


Is VMware prepared to give a ball-park date on when CVP will be ready?

I know that they are starting to talk up ACE (again), but nothing new with that product. It didn't fly 5 years ago, and can't see it flying again - and the argument about latest hardware being required for client hypervisors doesn't wash - same requirements for ACE if you think about it - enough memory for both OS required and most older (>1yr old) laptops have a max of 2 GB memory, thus making ACE a non-starter for performance.


I promise that was not the effect we were going for.