VMware takes new view of desktop

VMware has introduced View 3, the updated version of its virtual data infrastructure (VDI) offering. The company claimed that the new product would reduce desktop storage demands by as much as 70 per cent.

In addition, the company said that it could 'decouple' a desktop from specific locations to create a personalised view of that desktop, accessible from any other device - so that a desktop could now be visible from a laptop in another office.

Jocelyn Goldfein, VMware's global manager for its desktop business said that the move supported the current trend towards mobile working. "Users are no longer tied to a desk," she said. "They use PCs, thin clients, notebooks or even smartphones."

Goldfein said that View3 was part of the vClient initiative announced at VMWorld. She said that the company was now looking at the desktop in the same way that it had looked at the datacentre. "The problem with desktop virtualisation is that you still need a device. When you consolidate in a datacentre, you can get rid of 90 per cent of the servers, you can't do that with the desktop." She added that View 3 would help bring virtualised desktops to devices.

The main element in View3 is View Composer. This uses a new technology called Linked Clone to generate many virtual desktops from a master image. Only desktops could be created in seconds and centrally controlled by View Manager.

Tommy Armstrong, VMware's senior marketing manager for enterprise desktops said that View 3 users would be able to provision many machines with common software - for example, Windows, with that 'golden master' as VMware calls it. He said that this could also be used for patch management.

In addition, the company has released Offline Desktop, a feature that provides the means to securely move virtual desktops between the datacentre and a local laptop or desktop. The company claimed that this would enable users to "check out" a virtual desktop onto an ordinary PC, such as a laptop, run the virtual desktop locally and then check it back in to the datacentre.

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