VMworld: Desktop Virtualization as a Managed Service

The worlds of managed services and virtualization -- including desktop virtualization -- are converging at VMworld in San Francisco. The latest example involves Certeon launching a "Desktops as a Managed Service" effort. Here are some quick perspectives.

First, a little background on Certeon. Based in Burlington, Mass., the company positions its aCelera software as:

"the first WAN optimization and application acceleration virtual appliance to deliver acceleration, scalability, and manageability when remotely accessing applications throughout a distributed enterprise."
I'm always wary when a company claims to have the "first" or "only" offering in a specific market. Desktop virtualization solutions seem to be popping up everywhere. However, Certeon offers this specific market claim that caught my eye:
"Enterprises and managed service providers can save as much as 60 percent in total cost of ownership (TCO) when deploying aCelera software to virtualized infrastructures."
Also, Certeon seems to be getting cozy with Desktone's Desktop as a Service (DaaS) -- a cloud-based service that has a growing service provider partner program.

Reality Check

I'm certainly not predicting that all desktops will become virtualized. Nor do I think that all desktops will move into a cloud. Generally speaking, I think most people will hold on firmly to their "personalized" local desktops and local data. But consider this math: Roughly 300 million PCs are sold annually. If only 5 to 10 percent of the PC market moves toward desktop virtualization that's a 15 million to 30 million seat opportunity worldwide each year.

Plus, new efforts such as VMware Go could help more small businesses embrace virtualization.

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