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VMware View 3, the successor to VMware Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), adds several new features including storage optimization, application virtualization and offline desktops. The release will help VMware grow in the desktop virtualization market, said Bill Nemesi, vice president of Mainline Information Systems, a VMware value-added reseller (VAR) in Tallahassee, Fla.
"The whole area has developed more slowly than we would have liked, but we definitely feel like we're ramping up now," he said.
A "significant amount" of VMware View 3 sales will go through the channel, said Raj Mallempati, VMware's desktop group product manager, but he declined to provide a specific figure.
Mainline has sold some desktop virtualization so far, but most potential customers are still in the proof-of-concept and testing phases, Nemesi said. VMware View 3 shows that VMware is a major player in all areas of virtualization -- not just its bread and butter, server virtualization -- and that will drive more sales, Nemesi said.
"VMware's done a good job of tying the components together," he added. "VMware is best positioned to leverage what they've done in server virtualization."
VMware today also announced Enterprise Desktop Competency, a program that offers training and sales leads to partners that want to get into the desktop virtualization market. The program will also help partners build their own desktop virtualization services practices, Mallempati said.
VMware has done a better job of presenting a full virtualization picture, but there are still integration opportunities for VARs -- customers will rely on partners for additional software, servers and storage, as well as post-sales support, Nemesi said.
Desktop virtualization separates a desktop image from a physical PC, which lets users access their desktops, settings, files and applications from any machine. By storing data remotely instead of on a local hard drive, desktop virtualization can improve security for customers, Nemesi said. That factor alone makes desktop virtualization a more attractive option for customers in healthcare, government and financial services markets, Mallempati said.
"It's the need for security and compliance," he said.
Nemesi said he's also seeing interest from the K-12 and higher education markets, where teachers and administrators increasingly need secure access to confidential records from remote locations.
VMware View 3 Enterprise offers similar functionality to VMware VDI, Mallempati said, and is available at the same $150 per user price. VMware View 3 Premier, which features storage optimization, application virtualization and offline desktops, costs $250 per user.