Because most workers in an enterprise setting have similar applications they're running on desktops, Gridcentric's cloning approach reserves the RAM and compute power for only the unique elements of the desktop, McKenty says. McKenty is excited because of its use cases outside of VDI too. A similar cloning idea can be applied for any number of services, such as load balancers, for example. The process, he says, allows hundreds of desktops to be spun up and delivered within seconds. "The VDI use case is really exciting," he says. "We've been seeing so much demand, but the technology has been bogged down by cost and complexity."
The partnership between Piston, one of the main OpenStack distribution companies so far, and Gridcentric has some other interesting wrinkles to it as well. One of Gridcentric's investors is Citrix, which is not only one of the leading virtual desktop providers with its Xen Desktop, but also a competitor to OpenStack with its CloudStack offering. VMware View is another popular VDI offering. Gridcentric CEO Eric Shefler says there have been conversations about Citrix using the VMS technology for its XenDesktop offering, but not in the company's Apache CloudStack open source cloud deployment project.