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Solution providers are viewing the release of VMware View 4 as a
game-changing disruptive technology that could revolutionize how IT
infrastructure is deployed today.

That’s because the technology, announced this week by VMware, delivers a
virtualized PC over IP to the client side, simplifying IT management and
disaster recovery in addition to significantly reducing costs. Plus, it looks
to be highly profitable for solution providers to offer it to their end

It’s technology that Envision Technology Advisors’ customers have been waiting
for. Todd Knapp, CEO and founder of the
Providence, R.I.-based solution provider, says that he has had orders
backlogged for the technology.

“It’s a revolutionary protocol,” he says. “It’s one of the most coordinated
efforts that VMware has ever done.”

Knapp says according to his estimates, if you subtract out the cost of
hardware, Envision can save companies about $1,100 per year per PC by
virtualizing them rather than providing individual local PCs. That’s because
management is simplified. He points out that according to Gartner, only 14
percent of the cost of a desktop computer over a three-year lifecycle is the
hardware. The rest is operational and can be significantly reduced if
deployment is virtualized.

VMware View, previously known as VDI, provides a software implementation of
Teradici’s PC-over IP protocol, delivering the PC desktop as a service on
whatever hardware a user happens to be using—work PC, home PC or thin client.

The approach vastly simplifies IT management because desktops can be updated
with patches, new applications and new operating systems all at once instead of
one at a time.

In terms of disaster recovery, VMware View significantly simplifies and removes
complexity from the equation as well, Knapp says. That’s because if a fire
destroys your building, you can recovery the server files from your off-site
storage facility in a few hours or days. But what about your workers and their

“In the event of an emergency, you send everyone home,” says Knapp. “People log
in, and they have the exact same desktop that they did 10 minutes before the

Knapp says a VMware View deployment that he’s doing right now for a 20-seat
real estate appraisal firm will cost them about $1,100 per month. He says
they need that level of disaster recovery in order to be approved to do
business with big financial firms such as Citizen’s Bank.

Patrick Harr, vice president of marketing for the enterprise desktop at VMware,
points out that the approach enables employee-owned IT in a way that hadn’t been
previously possible.

“From a corporate standpoint you can deliver a hosted virtual machine on top of
any new PC,” he says, enabling employee-owned PCs.

“We are seeing a very strong momentum to moving to a thin-client computing
model,” Harr says. “This gets to the heart of how IT wants to reduce overall
management costs. On the typical PC, for every dollar you spend on capex, you
spend another three on maintenance.”

Harr says for every $1 spent on desktop virtualization there’s about $10 in
drag effect for the channel in terms of hardware and new services that are

Rob Enderle, principal analyst with the Enderle Group, believes that client-side
IT is evolving.

“We are drifting steadily toward a thin-client model and are in transition,” he
says. “It may take us a decade to get there, and it would be good to think of
[VMware View 4] as a transition step.”

VMware’s View 4 announcement came in conjunction with announcements that the
technology will be embraced by a few large solution providers, including ACS
and Compucom. ACS currently manages over
500,000 desktops, and Compucom manages 3.5 million desktops.