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VMworld 2012: Leading Tech Companies Join To Build VMware View SMB Appliances

By: Mason Uyeda, director of technical product marketing, End-User Computing, VMware

Today, VMware is expanding it’s Rapid Desktop Program for VMware View with the addition of four leading technology companies, and a key channel partner to add to its growing partner ecosystem. Dell, Cisco, HP, Intel and Presidio Networks are the newest members of our program and we’re excited that customers can now choose to purchase a VMware View appliance from them, along with other partners already in the program.

As background, VMware View has long been recognized for its ease of deployment. The time it takes to bring up desktops, the number of management consoles that need to be monitored, the number of steps in the deployment process – these are all measures of the “operational” aspect of standing up and running an efficient VDI environment. VMware View excels in these areas.

There are even external studies that mapped VMware View’s ease of use…showing that set-up took about 1/3 the steps of the nearest competitor. But really, one of the most important validations/indications of this “ease of use” has to do with what customer segments are adopting VMware View.

Segment Adoption

So, quick … if you had to vote, which segment would you say is adopting VMware View at a rapid pace … SMB or Enterprise? Well if you said “enterprise” you would be correct. And, if your answer was “SMB,” you would also be correct! How can that be? Organizations with different objectives, IT requirements, and resource?

Surprising to many that while many large-scale enterprise customers are experiencing the business value that VMware View provides, View is also providing tremendous value for SMB organizations. VMware View’s ease of deployment has helped it become the most deployed VDI technology in SMB according to this study. An excerpt follows:

Desktop virtualization vendor preference in SMB’s.

“For the second part of the study, we investigated how desktop virtualization vendors stack up in SMB IT environments today. This investigation included data about VDI agent deployments among more than 4,000 members of the Spiceworks Community as well as a survey “fielded to the same members. The results show VMware View® leading in the number of deployed desktops with over half of the virtual desktop installations, (Figure 6). Additionally, from an SMB industry perspective, “finance, education, government, healthcare and manufacturing all showed a higher propensity to install and use desktop virtualization.”

Spiceworks MarketView, Dec. 2011

Where an enterprise customer may cite consolidation, power consumption and data center space savings as key drivers, a small to medium sized customer is motivated to choose this technology for the simplification of management…where one administrator can easily manage multiple complex systems within the virtualization platform, without the need for greater expertise or manpower. New server instances can be easily deployed, backed up and retired with far greater simplicity than in a physical environment.

These advantages can be multiplied when leveraged for virtualizing end-user desktops. By standardizing and centralizing the desktop management, traditional issues associated with patches, upgrades and user support can be greatly reduced, along with providing further benefits such as secure remote access which allows end users to access their desktops from outside of the physical office location on a variety of devices like smartphones and tablets.

Scalability is also an important consideration in IT decisions in both SMB and enterprise.  If a proof of concept or pilot is conducted with a given user segment, can that initial system remain in-place as the deployment grows?  And as deployments grow, how easy is it to add users / departments of users to the environment?  Can it be as easy as “rack and stack” and connect?

With View appliances certified through the Rapid Desktop Program the answer is “yes” to all those questions.

Our Partners

The VMware Rapid Desktop Program provides the structure and framework for partners (OEM, technology, and channel) to certify physical appliances for VMware View deployments.  What is an appliance?  Essentially, these appliances are all increments of “converged infrastructure” — each appliance contains the required network, compute and storage to support the specified desktop/user profile.

These partners provide customers with easy to deploy, easy to scale and cost effective *virtual desktop appliances*.

Partners participating in the VMware Rapid Desktop Program include:

  • Dell
  • Pivot3
  • Intel
  • Cisco
  • Hewlett-Packard, with FusionIO
  • AMAX Information Technologies, with Nexenta
  • Computex, Inc., with Nimble Storage
  • Nutanix
  • Presidio, with Nimble Storage
  • StorCom
  • Pogo Linux, with Nexenta
  • V3
  • Racktop Systems, with Nexenta

It’s an Eco-System Play

You’ll notice that these partners are a combination of OEM, technology, and even channel.  That’s because the Rapid Desktop Program is open to all of these types of partners that want to build and sell an appliance.  These appliances, which host from 50 or 100, and up to 500 VMware View desktops, are available directly from our partners or through their channel partners.

To create the appliances, the partners can choose the compute and storage components they want to include, based on their customer and segment needs.  Once partners select the compute and storage components from the VMware hardware compatibility list (HCL) they execute a workload (View Planner) against that configuration and submit the results for certification.

Certification means that for the specified number of desktops, for the specified workload, a customer can have confidence that both the IT experience, and the user experience meets expectations.

Why are appliances important?

Customers can have confidence that as their VMware View deployments grow, costs can be predictable, with *linear* performance and scalability.   Linear performance and scale means that as appliances are added, metrics like CPU utilization, application launch / response times, all remain constant.  A deployment can start at 100 desktops, and scale to a thousand, or more, all on the same virtual desktop platform.  That’s unique.

All IT needs to do is add another appliance … with zero to minimal storage configuration.   And within a short period of time (Pivot3 says, “Zero to View in an hour” for say,  100 desktops.  I love it!)  Security and manageability can be achieved, along with cost, performance, and scale objectives.  IT gets predictability, but perhaps most important of all, end-users get the experience and mobility they require in the post-PC era.

For more info on the program and participants, go to:  http://www.vmware.com/solutions/desktop/rapid-desktop.html