VMware View 4 to push VDI as a service

Release incorporates PCoverIP protocal; aims to address acquisition cost, user experience and scalability

VMware is looking to big name service providers such as Unisys, CSC, EDS and IBM to drive the adoption of virtual desktop infrastructure in Australia.

The company has just released View 4.0 - built on VMware’s vSphere platform – and is aiming it squarely at services companies to help them establish desktop-as-a-managed service models.

“The early adopters of this technology in the past two years have been the large enterprises as they have the staff, training, hardware and SANS so it is a simple extension for them compared to SMB,” David Wakeman, product manager, Enterprise Desktop ANZ at VMware, said.

“When you move into that area a lot of them have already outsourced their desktop or at least the services of it so to address that the customers we are speaking to the IBMs, Unisys, CSCs, EDSes which all have those manage service offerings.”

The release of View 4 is also aimed at addressing a number of inhibitors to VDI uptake, chief among them, the higher cost of acquisition, Wakeman said.

“Hosted desktop virtualisation is still primarily sold on its operational benefits but the more we can do to bring the gap between [the cost of] buying a PC and a buying a full virtualisation suite is a good thing,” he said. “With View 4 I think we’re getting very close to closing the gap – within five per cent of the cost of buying the PC.”

VMware had also worked to address the issue of scalability, Wakeman said, through optimisng vSphere to run on Intel’s 5500 CPUs and AMD’s forthcoming Istanbul six core CPUs.

Work had also been done around more intelligent scheduling of workloads on virtual desktops and memory over-commit.

Through doing this, the typical deployment of 50-60 virtual desktops running on a 2 CPU server could now be scaled out to more than 100, Wakeman said.

“That makes a massive difference in cost, and you can now manage these through a single pane of glass – we can now see 10,000 desktops and manage those,” he said.

View 4 - which embeds VMware’s new PCoverIP protocol which dynamically detects and adapts to the end user network connection - would solve a number of problems encountered with display protocols of previous releases, Wakeman said.

“Before you were always one step behind the experience you wanted to deliver to the user, but with PCover IP we have decided not to tackle it from the application-centric idea, but how do make sure everything works on the desktop,” he said. “That drove the idea of purpose built for desktop protocol. Now we just grab everything that comes out of the video card.”

VMware was also working with storage partners such as NetApp and EMC for storage solutions tailored to View. This included developing ‘auto-tiering’ technology which detects which pieces of data are in high use – such as the operating system - and places those on high speed drives.

Pieces of data in less frequent use - such as PDF files - get automatically moved to slower, lower cost storage.

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