Big News in Virtual Desktops: VMware Acquires Desktone

The big news, from my point of view, from VMworld in Barcelona was the announcement that VMware has acquired the Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) vendor Desktone. VMware is probably the leading vendor for enterprise virtual desktop technology (i.e. virtual desktop infrastructure or VDI – with their Horizon product line) – though Citrix might dispute this. Desktone are the leading provider of DaaS technology for service providers – that is virtual desktops delivered from the cloud on an as-a-Service basis.

What does this acquisition mean?

  • For VMware I think it means that they fill a serious hole in their product portfolio, and leapfrog their competition. Currently their Horizon Suite works as a single tenant, enterprise virtual desktop product. However, it is not designed for the multi-tenant service provider market. The acquisition of Desktone addresses that gap with a product designed from the ground up for multi-tenant, self-service virtual desktops from the cloud.
  • For VMware’s customers it should mean that their enterprise virtual desktop infrastructure will get the boost of Desktone’s self-service capability, something that VMware have been building up in the server virtualisation space, but haven’t done too much with in the virtual desktop space.
  • For Desktone it means that they get a great big cheque (I presume), and that they now have the backing of a major player and investor in this space.
  • Desktone’s customers are probably the ones who are most nervous, but my best guess is that this is positive for them too. The most likely thing in my opinion, given VMware and EMC’s track record with acquisitions, is that VMware will invest in the technology and slowly assimilate it into the Horizon Suite. This will likely be a good thing for customers as the serious investment that VMware can bring to bear will dwarf anything that Desktone could have done on their own. In addition, the future is more secure, as VMware are a more secure bet as a company than Desktone were. The one risk is that VMware may increase the licensing cost of the Desktone technology, but I think that is unlikely as this is part of the overall value proposition of Desktone.

So, overall I think that this is a big piece of news in the nascent Desktop-as-a-Service market, and a good thing for both VMware and Desktone. I for one am looking forward to the future for what is to come.

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