Valovic on Virtualization

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What's Up with VMware and Teradici?

As you probably know VDI -- what I tend to call hosted desktop -- was a big part of the VMworld buzz. CEO Paul Maritz is a lot more committed to building out this line of business for the company than Diane Greene had been. Ideally, a company zigs when it should zig and zags when it should zag. In my slightly jet-lagged opinion, jumping all over VDI in a big way is a good thing for the company overall and puts it in a great position to compete with Citrix in an area where many observers think the latter company is better positioned. VMware refers to this as its vClient Initiative.

One of the announcements around this initiative is a strategic licensing and co-development agreement with Teradici, a fabless semiconductor company based in Vancouver. Teradici has developed a technology called PC-over-IP which uses specialized graphics algorithms to up the performance ante for hosted desktop systems.

VMware’s VDI solution currently uses the RDP display protocol, the same one used by Microsoft for its server-based computing offerings. But RDP doesn’t have the same performance characteristics as Citrix ICA, the protocol used for XenDesktop and XenApp. I think we might well begin to see a real technology race in this area for several reasons. First, applications in general are still getting richer and more performance-driven as dual and quad core capability comes onstream. Second, real-time latency-sensitive apps such as multimedia, VOIP and videoconferencing will be increasingly prevalent. If hosted desktop is going to gain acceptance for knowledge workers as well as power users, VDI solutions will need to keep pace with these trends. With the Teradici collaboration, VMware is wisely trying to leapfrog ahead to gain a solid competitive advantage in this area.

Posted by Tom Valovic on 09/19/2008 at 12:49 PM


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