VMware Horizon View 5.3, Nvidia Grid Ready to Make Music Together
VMware is run by Pat Gelsinger, who was extensively groomed to run Intel. More importantly, he drove Intel's efforts for innovative new PCs. Gelsinger had a passion for the products; if there's anyone who could create a viable thin client/virtualized desktop solution, I'd put Gelsinger at the top of the list.
This effort still requires a viable enterprise class company, though. In software, VMware is not only one of the few that makes this list, it's one of the newest and, with the backing of EMC and a place at the VCE table, one of the strongest. VMware's latest example in this space, Horizon View 5.3, is impressively competitive.
Given the importance of performance and innovation, this solution also requires a hardware technology vendor that understands PC performance and could blend server and PC concepts into something new. Nvidia has always driven top PC performance - and, with its efforts to enable the movie industry and huge render farms, it has learned how to get performance to scale. Nvidia Grid is currently unmatched when it comes to providing scalable appliance-like workstation performance.
This week, VMware and Nvidia announced a strategic alliance. It should result in the first truly viable alternative to the PC computing model since the Apple II - and it couldn't be better timed.
With Good Virtualized Solution, IT Stops Playing Whac-a-Mole
Timing matters because people don't like change. As long as what they're doing is "good enough," they're unlikely to switch. Apple had to show user something "amazing" to get them away from the desktop and onto iPhones and iPads.
There's one huge problem with technology today: Security. From companies bleeding intellectual property to competitors (including Apple, by the way), to government entities, to individuals afraid of losing their identities, to retailers such as Target, users and CIOs are increasingly scared to death about theft.
A virtualized solution offers one huge advantage. The files don't move to the client; they stay where they can best be protected and can be better wrapped with both physical and electronic protection. If you only look at a file, and not download it, then you massively mitigate the ability to have an Edward Snowden moment or a Target breach. IT can stop playing Whac-a-Mole with an ever-increasing number of BYOD devices and focus more on data protection.
Users, meanwhile, get the performance and appliance-like experience they want on smartphones, tablets and laptops with a reduced risk that losing any of them will result in a career-limiting event. (Massive improvements to both wired and wireless networks in most developed parts of the world admittedly help here.)