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VMware, Inc. Message Board

  • myaudia6isfast myaudia6isfast May 14, 2008 10:15 AM Flag

    Desktop Virtualization Discussion

    All,

    I recently read an article in an IT publication (InformationWeek, May 5 2008) talking about desktop virtualization. For those of you who dont know what this is - basically its having a computer at work that is just a monitor and keyboard that connects to a central server.

    The article says that VMW and Citrix are the leaders in this area. VMW has built robust server-side virtualization technology that is successful today in corporate IT departments. And now they're ready to tackle desktop virtualization.

    Working in the IT arena I can tell you that VMW is running rampant in our organization - i.e. widely used on the server-side.

    This question does NOT go out to those folks who know nothing about VMW - that means that the bone-heads, day-traders, and shorts who look at PE without understanding what a company does.

    Do you feel that within the next few years desktop virtualization will replace today's stand-alone PCs entirely? I know they wont replace laptops, but I can see a future where nobody has a standalone PC at work anymore.

    On the retail side, I can see new desktop-hosting companies popping up and consumers buying just a monitor that connects over broad-band to these hosted desktop services.

    I wont even begin to estimate what this means to the bottom line of VMW. This is just a theory discussion on VMW and their long-term future. Obviously this translates to their stock price acting like Microsoft did in the late 80s and 90s...

    Thoughts?

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    • For me, VMW is a server virtualization play. Virtualizing the server and providing the infrastructure to manage these virtualized servers (to the strict requirements of business) requires a lot more technology than virtualizing desktops. Thats why VMW's lead there will be difficult to overcome. The desktop is different, there are many free competitors that already provide desktop virtualization with at least as good a user experience as VMWare (I use VirtualBox). That said, desktop virtualization is only going to grow and perhaps VMW can pull a rabbit out of a hat here.

      P.S. I am long both VMW and EMC.

      • 1 Reply to diversifiedca
      • I'm with you on this. I have to use virtualized desktops at work every day, but quite simply, I don't like it, and only see limited potential for this moving forward. Limited to people who only need MS Office. It's limiting - security is too tight, and laggy. I can't be forced to contact IT to request a new database instance or schema or app server or whatever every time that I need one to duplicate an issue or run a quick test. IT would end up spending *more* time to support me. What if I need to test a complete stack from the OS on up? What about the various flavors of OS with numerous patch configurations?

        Additionally, this idea has been around for a long time. Sun has been pushing the Ray workstations for years and years... not to mention other companies. Ellison mentioned the NC at least 12 years ago. What is it about the new technology that would necessarily make this more feasible today? Yes, we have stronger CPU's on the server side, and more RAM. But this only creates a single point of failure if everyone relies on a VD (Virtualized Desktop) for everything.

        I envision work environments with more PC's in the future. People will work in more heterogeneous environments, across platforms, across appliances. This takes advantage of stronger PCs, sharing of images, and allows for untethered productivity. That's where I see VM headed. I see a hypervisor next to *everyone's* desks. This is why I buy into VMW - not for the VD's.

    • I don't usually respond to these message boards but it is nice to hear from someone that's also in the industry. I have a PhD in computer Science and have been in IT for some 30+ years now. It's finally nice to hear from someone that's investing because they actually understand what it is they're investing in! Virtual simulation is no longer a concept, it's a reality. And it's going to be at least one of the things that changes techology in the next 5 years. And that is why IBM is looking at buying VMW.

      • 1 Reply to stevenhintz
      • Especially with HP's latest acquisition... They're gonna have stiffer competition in the services field and another new idea, in the form of an out of the box ready VMW acquisition, would definitely boost them in the right direction going forward for some time. They have untold resources they could provide VMW with that would make great food for ripening of technologies. Time will tell!

        Buy...

    • it's all very cyclical. There will be environment absolutely ripe for desktop and application virtualization but it will never be a cure-all. VMWare has the best desktop virtualization product on the market by far, but you can expect stiff competition from Citrix as they already have a hold on application hosting via thin client technologies. I would argue that VMWare has a better product (more compatible, etc) than thin client solutions (and the technology is certainly different), but that doesn't mean companies will scratch their Citrix environment for VM Desktop virtualization and to be honest, Citrix is already in the door in most companies that need centralization application hosting...

      • 1 Reply to llcoolnel
      • First off, great discussion.

        But I'm not sure VMWare vs. Google is the right argument to be making. Google provides "Cloud Computing" in the form of Google apps/docs. VMWare is going down the road to providing virtualized desktops. Consumer virtualized desktops can be similar to the days of dumb terminals but instead of a mainframe you're connecting through the internet to some provider. Say a provider uses VMW to virtualize desktops and then sell access to customers, so that all you have is a keyboard, mouse and monitor on your desk. The apps you use once you access your virtualized desktop can surely be provided by Google.

    • Back to the good ol' mainframe days ...
      Desktop virtualization is everything you mentioned but a bit more.

      For one, it is VMware's path to becoming a consumer product, one that is found in any household. It is not far fetched to see "deskptop service providers" pop up in a couple of years, same as "internet service providers" popped up everywhere in 1998-2000. As an investor in VMware, it is one thing I always found missing, the consumer side. Now, if VMware becomes the first thing you see on your screen when you hook up your device ... The first logo before you see your windows, Linux, or whatever.
      Read my previous posts on why those OSs will disappear in the long run, and the only thing you will see is your applications ... and the VMware logo before they come up.
      So, VMware as a consumer product - explosive.

      Second, I'm not sure why you say this won't replace the laptop. If you mean mobility, then yes, a mobile device is still needed. However, and I need to check this on the VMware web site, I believe there're desktop virt solutions that touch that as well. Again, not sure it was VMware that was creating that, need to look again. I believe they mean for you to still run your PC from the server using a laptop, then work offline when away, then sync it again when you reach a network.

      Keep holding ...

      • 1 Reply to fool100pct
      • 2 non technological points.
        1. Google and the likes will do anything, ANYTHING, to stop this from happening, or they will attempt it as well soon. They are putting too much effort in web applications, not desktops over the web. Which will win in the end is an unknown, but this front collision with the Google Behemoth does not comfort me as an investor in VMW.
        2. Much like the ISPs in 1998-2000, there will be a long period when providers will try to figure out what this is all about, which means excitement, bubble and fall. Don't like that as well for the VMW stock.

        Once everything is figured out, 3-7 years from now, growth will accelerate even faster.

        Keep holding ...

    • Can you say cloud computing and tethered device infrastructure? Interesting what the next steps for computing will be and how demand, on both the consumer as well as the business side, will drive the next innovations. Hope it leads to more innovation than controlled sandboxes with an MS, APPL, or even VMW set of constraints on it. Freedom for the masses! Just give me a cursor prompt and I'll take it from there.

 
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