How the cloud changes the virtual desktop landscape

By Brandon Butler, Network World |  Cloud Computing, desktop virtualization

Last week Citrix launched the company's newest VDI-in-a-box software update, Version 5.1, which is a product that has traditionally been aimed at the small and midsize enterprise market. With today's upgrade, Citrix has extended capabilities previously only available in the XenDesktop and its other large-enterprise offerings to the mid-market. Specifically, the 5.1 software includes what Citrix calls the personal vDisk, which creates a master copy of a virtual desktop that can then be distributed throughout an organization. This would have many of the common features everyone in the organization would need, such as preinstalled e-mail or CRM applications, and then users can customize beyond that themselves. The offering boosts Citrix's virtual desktop offerings in all segments of the market, Bowker says.

Dell, meanwhile, announced some of the first integration of technology it purchased from Wyse earlier this year, including a newly upgraded class of zero client devices. These hardware offerings allow IT departments to centrally provision and maintain desktops for employees.

MORE DELL: Dell's acquisition a Wyse one, analysts say 

Brett Waldman, senior research analyst of cloud and virtualization system software at IDC, says the Wyse acquisition is still fresh, so he expects Dell to continue to innovate in the space, especially since Dell just also recently purchased Quest Software, an IT systems management company. "If they can take software from Quest and Wyse and combine them together, you could create a really value-add on top of software from Citrix or VMware," he says. Traditionally VDI has required servers, storage, networking and hypervisors. Dell, with its recent acquisitions, could have the opportunity to provide an end-to-end offering in the space, he says.

HP is looking to be a one-stop shop for VDI too. The company announced last week enhancements to its thin and zero clients to support VMware View and better imaging performances. While HP hasn't been as active on the mergers and acquisition front in this space as Dell has, he says HP still has an opportunity to combine its thin and zero client offerings with desktop management tools.

Overall Waldman agrees the move to virtual desktops for the enterprise will be slow.

Originally published on Network World |  Click here to read the original story.
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