Is VMware Turning a Corner in VDI? Wikibon’s Scott Lowe Thinks So


When VMware finalizes its purchase of Wanova, it will actually have four technologies taking three different approaches to desktop virtualization on today’s increasingly diverse population of end-user computing devices, writes consultant Scott Lowe on The other three are VMware View, Horizon Application Manager, and Project Octopus. Lowe provides a review of all of them, their advantages and weaknesses, in a pair of Wikibon Alerts that can be accessed through the links above. And he says VMware may be turning a corner in virtual desktop infrastructure with the Wanova acquisition.

He presumes that VMware will incorporate the Wanova technology into a future version of VMware View, which he believes will largely remove the limitations of the present version in supporting smartphones and tablets. Today, mobile View users either have to find a fast Internet connection, not always available outside the office, or run View Local Mode. This, he writes in “Wanova Acquisition Could Be a Game Changer”,  is the equivalent of running two operating systems on a single device. While that may work on multicore laptops, it can drive handheld devices, with their much more limited computing resources, to their knees. View also “doesn’t do a particularly good job of managing physical devices,” he writes.

Wanova’s Mirage, on the other hand, is “a compelling solution that sometimes competes with and sometimes complements existing VMware View implementations.” An advanced image management tool, it runs a centralized virtual desktop directly on the end-point, supporting offline as well as online computing with a much lighter footprint than View Local Mode.

In the second piece, “CIOs Should Review VMware’s Multipronged Approach to User Empowerment”, he examines Horizon Application Manager, which basically delivers apps to end-user devices, and Project Octopus, a.k.a. “DropBox for the Enterprise”. The first, he says, is an innovative approach that avoids the problems of traditional VDI entirely by working at a more atomic level. Its big limitation is that it does not work with Apple iOS devices because of Apple’s requirement that all apps be delivered through the Apple App Store. The second is a file server similar to DropBox running on the enterprise data center and under enterprise IT control.

As with all Wikibon research, these are publicly available without charge on the Wikibon site. They are must reads for CIOs considering VDI, particularly if they already use VMware for server virtualization.