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VMware gets into the game with WSX, PCoIP on RDS

We've covered the possibility that VMware will focus on AppBlast, Horizon Mobile and integration between Wanova's Mirage product and View at VMworld 2012. But what about that WSX technology the company announced back in March?

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Imagine if VMware added WSX technology to ESX.

Gabe Knuth,
independent industry analyst and blogger

Watch out for that at the show, as well as for more news and analysis about Teradici's PCoIP support on Microsoft Remote Desktop Session Host. Here are my last few predictions for VMworld 2012.

WSX HTML5 console remoting

In March, VMware announced technology called WSX that allows you to connect to VMware Workstation virtual machine (VM) consoles with an HTML5 browser. At first, I confused this with AppBlast, but after digging into it, I realized it was something else altogether. At the time, it was only available on the Linux version of Workstation; I likened it to a remote access solution or a nice-to-have plug-in from a fellow nerd.

However, a friend pointed out to me that this could be useful if it were part of VMware's ESX hypervisor. Right now, you have to install the VMware console viewer app (which is essentially just a VNC client) to view the console of any VM on an ESX host. Imagine if VMware added WSX technology to ESX -- then, you could access your VM consoles from any browser, anywhere.

I can hear admins rejoicing right now, and I expect to hear something along those lines at VMworld 2012.

What PCoIP on RDS means for VMware

While my prediction about PC-over-IP (PCoIP) on RDS isn't really one because the solution was just announced, it's still important for the company. Teradici, the makers of the PCoIP protocol used in VMware View, has created a solution that uses Microsoft Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH) and runs on Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2012. That means you can now use PCoIP instead of Microsoft's Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) or RemoteFX to access applications hosted on a terminal server.

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That may seem boring at first because it's basically what Citrix did years ago: replace RDP with the ICA protocol (now called HDX) on terminal servers. But VMware has shown almost no interest in getting into RDSH desktops or applications. The vendor supports RDSH and XenApp with Horizon, but it doesn't have its own tool.

Now, it doesn't need one. Teradici, one of VMware's closest partners, has made its own offering that uses the same protocol, infrastructure and endpoints as VMware View. That means you don't need endpoints that support RDP, HDX and PCoIP, and this frees you up to use single-purpose PCoIP clients -- which can be cheaper. Plus, Teradici makes the chips that power the devices, so they get a cut of the action, too.

So, while this update isn't a VMware announcement, it directly benefits the company because it expands the number of desktop management scenarios in which VMware can participate. It will be interesting to see how this announcement plays out in the coming weeks.

I'm guessing that after VMworld 2012, these questions and expectations will seem like low-hanging fruit. VMware always seems to surprise us on the days leading up to and including the keynote, so stay tuned as we get closer to the event. We'll be there, live-tweeting and blogging from the keynotes and the show floor. Follow me on Twitter @gabeknuth to keep up with the releases and announcements.

Read part one of my VMworld 2012 predictions.

This was first published in August 2012

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