Dell gives VDI partners center stage, downplays Quest vWorkspace

Dell could be a one-stop shop for VDI with Quest vWorkspace, but sources said it will downplay that software in favor of partner Citrix’s VDI.

Dell could position itself as a one-stop shop for VDI customers with its recent acquisitions of Wyse Technology...

and Quest Software, but sources said the company will de-emphasize Quest vWorkspace and default to partners Citrix and VMware for desktop virtualization.

Quest Software Inc.’s customers hoped Dell would champion vWorkspace, and the company’s partners were initially optimistic about new VDI opportunities under Dell. After all, Dell has said it wants to be one throat to choke for VDI.

But Dell partners with VMware Inc. and Citrix Systems Inc., and it announced new offerings this week that integrate with both companies’ VDI software. If Dell were to pump out Quest vWorkspace-based VDI stacks that under-price its partners’ products, it would cause competitive friction that would damage those relationships, industry experts said.

What will become of Quest vWorkspace?

While it is too early to tell exactly what Dell plans to do with Quest vWorkspace, sources close to the company say the writing is on the wall, and customers are concerned.

Dan Bolton, a systems architect for Kingston University in the U.K., recently met with Quest’s User Workspace management team to discuss the future and though Quest has not yet had any direction from Dell, the general feeling is that Dell has no plans to compete with Citrix.

“The ‘feeling’ has also been firmed up by a friend of mine within Dell,” Bolton said.

Now, the University’s IT team is eyeing the exit.

More on Dell VDI

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Dell boosts desktop virtualization with Wyse

Dell acquires Quest, offers 'one throat to choke'

HP and Dell churn out thin client hardware

“They will probably just let [vWorkspace] carry on until it’s financially unsustainable,” Bolton said. “We have plans to arrange a [proof of concept] of the latest XenDesktop/[Xen]App towards the end of the year, just in case.”

Citrix said it was assured that Dell did not buy Quest for its desktop virtualization product.

“What Dell has told us so far is the focus with the Quest acquisition is not for desktop virtualization; it is for the other capabilities they gained from Quest,” said Krishna Subramanian, vice president of marketing and business development for Citrix’s VDI-in-a-Box offering.

Another Dell partner that sells VDI software also got word from Dell that it did not buy Quest for desktop virtualization. He added that vWorkspace customers are justified to be nervous.

One analyst who predicted that Dell would downplay vWorkspace to preserve its partnerships said it is a disappointment, considering the emphasis that Dell placed on the Quest acquisition and Dell's desktop virtualization push.  

“I would have expected more from Dell here,” said Simon Bramfitt, an analyst with Entelechy Associates LLC, a desktop and mobile application consultancy based in Concord, Calif.

That’s not to say Dell will discontinue vWorkspace development or support. A source within Quest Software said that he expects Dell to continue to support vWorkspace, particularly because Dell can use it to put together an end-to-end story.

“We are still trying to gauge things in their entirety and of course, Dell might not be showing all of their cards at this point,” the source said. “Mid-September is when things should be finalized and the deal done.”

Dell declined to comment on any plans for Quest Software.

Dell delivers new VMware, Citrix VDI stacks             

In the meantime, Dell has reaffirmed its commitment to VMware and Citrix VDI.

It has updated its Desktop Virtualization Solutions (DVS) Simplified Appliance this week with a new version of Citrix’s VDI-in-a-Box (5.1), which is now available.

The DVS appliance delivers virtual desktops on Dell PowerEdge R720 servers for under $500 per desktop, including three years of Dell ProSupport. As part of the promotion for education and government customers, certain Dell Wyse thin clients will be included in that stack.

Dell also announced this week new Wyse P class zero clients with PCoIP for VMware View, along with three new desktop virtualization reference architectures for View. These include the vStart for VDI Reference Architecture for VMware View and the VMware AlwaysOn Point of Care Reference Architecture that includes monitoring, secure access, single sign-on and data replication across sites.

There's also the new Dell DVS Enterprise VMware Mobile Secure Desktop Reference Architecture, which offers persistent virtual desktop sessions across mobile devices.

Dig Deeper on Citrix virtual desktops

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Should Dell compete against Citrix?
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Dell is in too precarious a position to enter a market where it presently has established partners for VDI and datacenter solutions. VDI is still a niche market anyway - too risky for a product with limited footprint or adoption. If they did something REALLY innovative with WYSE and vWorkspace I could see it, but not for general VDI engagements.
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as long as they buy unidesk
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Interesting article, Bridget. It will definitely be interesting to see how these changes affect business for Dell. There are definitely serious benefits to the cloud, and changes are necessary to stay competitive in this ever-changing market. Great insight.

Meaghen
Mosaic Technology
http://www.mosaictec.com
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Dell can easily Beat Citrix with VWorkspace
vWorkspace is a much better product
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competition is better for the market
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go go go
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Dell should compete with Citrix & VMWare. Dell could trly become a one stop shop for desktops of all flavors.
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The best way to achieve simplicity and ease of use is tight integration between the hardware and software.
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No Real threat For Citrix really
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not worth it
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Citrix has been doing this for 20 years. Dell is still a hardware company trying to become more of a software company. Dell is better off working with industry leading software companies who can help them push boxes and sell services.
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At the end of the day is, what does the market want? Does Dell get similar bargaining power with their software partners? Who has a larger influence in the market? Can vWorkspace service certain pockets of market that their software partners don't compete in? You can't kill off a product as at the end of the day, Dell should have something to leverage on when deals gets too competitive. Whose got more hands and legs in the services? Dell or their software partners? Do not forget there are also solution coming out of China with the likes of VDI, like Huawei? If Dell is planning to be an end to end solution, it's got to be non solution bias, including those product that it owns. Spinoff a services company and focus on it? Make a stand.
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I wouldn't scrap vWorkspace altogether, it could be a niche product much like Wyse's WSM which they have been able to develop but not try and compete with XenDesktop. They could improve on vWorkspace and keep it in their back pocket for deals where there is no real push towards VMWare or Citrix. They just need to use common sense and train the sales folks on when to talk about it and when to avoid the topic. Competing with VMWare and Citrix is a terrible idea...talk about biting the hands that feed you.
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Yes Dell should compete with Citrix and VMware. vWorkspace is a great product, one of the best out there in the VDI space, feature rich and quite simply "works". Plus it's more than just buying a product - Quest vWorkspace provide a great support model for their customers. I would urge Dell to actually sit down and have a proper look at the product they have aquired - it's a GOLD gem. I have been using it for 5+ years for VDI and it had feature, functionality that Citrix and View are just starting to add NOW ???. VDI is a great option to adopt to add value and extend desktop from the traditional PC model. That prob why Dell and HP appear to be buying up Vendors in the RDS/VDI and Thin Client space , because traditional desktop market is evolving ( getting smaller , less profit ) , we becoming more mobile.

regards

Pritpal ( University of York )
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Yet again a compaany buying another to kill the competition. Consumers losing out again.
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Competition is good for the market, and it enables Dell to postion themselves squarely against the HP/IBM "Services & Solutions" marketing. Dell are considered by many to be a "box shifting" company...by incorporating the Quest software, including vWorkspace they would be able to differentiate themselves from their legacy, and better present themselves to the market as a "solutions vendor".
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Long time (>10 years) Citrix admin but they need more competition as they're starting to behave like IBM did in the 90s (arrogant and losing focus). Don't think Dell will though as they also lack the focus and vison... the big guys are buying up all the small guys (although Quest wasn't that small).
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there is no doubt Del must compete on the VDI market
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It's not a matter of "should"; rather, it's how to do that in the most effective way—one that maximizes the benefits for both the VDI space and Dell's shareholders, for years to come.
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Since Dell already partners with Citrix and VMWare, they sell competitive products to either one. So why is this any different?
vWorkspace is actually a very good product, especially in an HyperV environment, which is either not supported (vmware) or not supported well (citrix) by the others, so really addresses an area the others do not.
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very good point..
View for VMWare , Citrix for Xen...so make sence vWorkspace for HyperV, of which is prob the most cost effective , feature rich and value in the VDI space
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I'm a bit confused because everyone is always talking about the need for user centric desktops and VDI is all about provisioning applications but Unidesk already does all that for us. So I just don't see the problem.
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Dell should complement with its partners on the VDI stack and not come up with VDI solution. Focus on high performance server hardware which provides scalability, higher compute units.
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Absolutely
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Competition is the only way to achieve the full potential of any technoology and Dell should champoin this aspect.
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http://communities.quest.com/community/vworkspace/blog/2012/09/28/dell-vworkspace--a-bright-future
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Easier to implement and use, and often at 1/3 the cost. It's a no-brainer--especially in the SMB and public second/education markets.
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of course...
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They should do it if they intend to adequately support it.
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