At the stroke of midnight last night Desktone was acquired by VMware. I realize this is a smaller vendor that many people don’t have much knowledge of so I’ll share with you the high level value this acquisition gives VMware, then I’ll do my typical thing and talk about what I’m excited about.
The bread and butter of Desktone is that they are a desktop as a service (DaaS) provider for service providers (SPs). Yes you read that correctly. Desktone is not a DaaS provider instead they provide other service providers with the means to host desktops as a service. For this reason if you check out their partner page you’ll see a decent list of DaaS SPs. Their claim to fame is that they built a multi-tenant DaaS solution. The Desktone solution enables SPs to easily manage many contracts all being hosted off the same infrastructure. Another little nugget Desktone has is that they can do multi-tenancy for VDI, not just RDS. They do this by following Microsoft’s strict guidelines on keeping multiple organizations from sharing the same hardware. All in all, this is a pretty solid platform if you want to build a DaaS offering. I expect there will be plenty of blogs for you to read that dive into this a lot more because you don’t do cloud without multi-tenancy, but I want to talk about some gem features in the Desktone stack and it is for these nuggets why I’ve been wanting to see this acquisition happen.
As a part of Desktone’s offering they enable a single management pane across multiple geos, this greatly simplifies desktop management on a global scale and is another important feature for SPs. That’s all well and good but let me tell you what I read between the lines of this software. If I can manage multiple datacenters across the globe in one management pane, why not simplify this and give enterprises a single management pane between multiple branches? One of the issues with VMware’s offering has been a weak branch solution; VMware’s View Direct Connect helps out here but doesn’t solve the management issue. Citrix has a VDI in a box offering that can make management easier for branch offices but it’s not designed to scale and the major problem is that it’s a completely different product from the XenDesktop offering most orgs would be running in their main office. If VMware were to take the Desktone offering and use it across
geos branches, this would simplify management and enable easy burst capabilities into the cloud.
This is my favorite feature of Desktone that isn’t really pushed as a feature, I’m thinking with the VMware acquisition that may change. I did ask Desktone if they had thought of using the multi-geo feature this way and they told me they have a reference customer with 800 desktops in the UK doing exactly this.
With Oracle folding its VDI business the question has come up as to which VDI vendor supports Linux desktops. Well it just so happens Desktone is already built to support Linux desktops, I reached out to VMware about continuing to support these desktops and this was the official statement:
We will continue to evaluate the market demand for hosted Linux desktops and will work with existing Desktone customers to ensure our future offerings are adequately meeting their needs.
That reads to me like they won’t upset the current customer base but probably won’t be publishing this feature much longer. Sorry Linux lovers.
VMware still hasn’t delivered a RDS solution yet Desktone’s broker fully supports remote application delivery. This could help VMware with their customers that want to use RemoteApp in place of XenApp, especially in light of Microsoft’s recent announcements. Also, on Friday I posted a blog about running seamless applications directly from a virtual desktop. It just so happens that Desktone has been doing this over RDP for a while now. I promise you I wrote that blog post before I even knew about this announcement it was just a strange coincidence.
I have no word on how much VMware paid for the acquisition, I did do a little investigation and found that to date Desktone had raised 25.4 million in funding, so I wouldn’t expect this to be a very costly acquisition, yet as you can see there are a lot of little things in this vendor that when you pair it up with VMware you get some nice new opportunities.
All in all this looks like a pretty solid investment on VMware’s part.