When client hypervisors become available from VMware Inc. and Citrix Systems later this year, IT shops looking for hardware support from Intel Corp. will have a choice between these two major virtual desktop vendors.
VMware said this week at VMworld Europe 2009 in Cannes, that its CVP bare-metal hypervisor will be optimized to run on desktops and notebooks that use Intel's Core2 and Centrino 2 processors with Intel's vPro technology. Several weeks ago Intel disclosed a similar, non-exclusive deal with Citrix, which plans to optimize its Xen hypervisor for vPro.
Jerry Chen, VMware's senior director of enterprise desktop virtualization, said the companies will share code and collaborate in general on engineering, as well as marketing of the products. But Chen declined to provide other specifics of the deal.
Of course VMware and Citrix aren't the only companies planning client hypervisors. There is Virtual Computer Inc., a Westford, Mass.-start up, which has a development deal with Citrix, and Neocleus, in Jersey City, N.J., among others.
Thus far, desktop virtualization has not had a huge success rate. According to Andi Mann, an analyst at Enterprise Management Associates, a Boulder, Colo.-based research firm, a 2006 survey of more than 250 enterprise found that 21% of enterprises were planning desktop virtualization projects covering half or more of their enterprise.
When the study revisited the topic in 2008, only 16% of the enterprises had achieved a desktop virtualization deployment. So, almost a quarter of all planned deployments did not occur, failed or were significantly scaled back, Mann said.
"In 2006 it was brand new technology," Mann said. "Servers are easy. Desktops are hard."
Mann said one reason for the 25% failure rate is that enterprises have not been accommodating real user requirements. Rather, they have been imposing them on their population. "[Client hypervisors] will satisfy another type of user and so desktop virtualization can be rolled out to a broader audience," Mann said.