VMware is aiming to add desktops to the other enterprise infrastructure that runs atop its vSphere datacentre platform with the release of View 4, a move that puts it into direct competition with Citrix and its XenDesktop offering.
Available from 19 November, VMware View 4 delivers an improved experience for virtual desktop users as well as easier management and deployment for administrators, the firm said.
View 4 makes use of the PC-over-IP (PCoIP) protocol developed by Teradici to deliver a remote desktop to various devices, such as thin clients, PCs, Macs, or even smartphones, and is said to offer an experience comparable to running applications locally on a standard Windows PC.
But the headline claim for View 4 is that it can deliver customers a 50 per cent saving in total cost of ownership, compared with running a fleet of Windows client PCs.
The savings come from simplified management, higher availability, faster provisioning of new users, but also savings on storage costs and no need for a PC hardware refresh, VMware said.
Dave Wright, senior director of Technical Services for VMware, said that the current climate has created a "perfect storm" to drive uptake of desktop virtualisation, as the technology is now in place and customers are looking for solutions to specific problems it can address.
"The desktop is a pain for IT because everyone wants their own desktop environment. We need to give users freedom, but at the same time control for the IT department," he said.
"We should be able to move the operating system, apps, and data to one central location, and then it shouldn’t matter what device I use – I just want it to look like I'm using a standard PC."
Wright said VMware is now in a position to deliver what it calls Business Infrastructure Virtualisation, where client systems can also be consolidated alongside everything else into virtual machines running atop vSphere.
"All this stuff can run on vSphere. If someone has a virtual desktop, it’s just another virtual machine, but it has the advantage that it is also backed up by vSphere like your servers are. It brings datacentre robustness to the desktop level that you don’t get with standalone PCs," he explained.
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