VMware Beefs Up Desktop Portfolio By Acquiring Wanova

Wanova's flagship product, Mirage, centralizes image management by using layering technology in the data center. Mirage blends elements of client and server virtualization, giving IT departments full control over endpoints while allowing users to customize their machines as they see fit.

VMware is planning to integrate Mirage with View, its own desktop virtualization product. Mirage's ability to centrally manage both physical and virtual PCs, regardless of whether they're connected to the network, is seen in the channel as an important addition to the VMware portfolio.

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"We're trying to get beyond the notion of the virtual desktop, and with Wanova, we can now more easily talk about provisioning desktops-as-a-service," Steve Kaplan, vice president of data center virtualization at Presidio Networked Solutions, Greenbelt, Md., told CRN.

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VMware View images run on servers in the data center and use the PCoIP remote display protocol for the user interface, but Wanova Mirage images are transmitted and cached locally for runtime execution on the client systems, Scott Davis, CTO of VMware's End User Computing group, said in a blog post.

"Wanova Mirage broadens our EUC offerings by bringing many of the operational and centralized management benefits associated with VMware View to laptops and physical systems," Davis said in the blog post. "This means both native user experience through local execution and disconnected access."

Wanova doesn't require the back-end costs associated with virtual desktop infrastructure, though it does not serve as a replacement for VDI, said Mike Strohl, president of Entisys, a Concord, Calif.-based virtualization solution provider. "There are remote access, M&A and contractor scenarios where VDI is still the dominant method," he told CRN.

Wanova is seeking patents for a number of its network and storage capacity optimization technologies, and last July obtained a patent that covers centralized management of the primary copy of each PC image as well as the synchronization of user data in between.

Thus far, the only knock on Wanova has been the lack of enterprises standardizing on its technology, but that is likely to change now that it is part of the VMware lineup, according to Strohl.

VMware has been stepping up its focus on end-user computing, and last month unveiled View 5.1, which includes features that ease performance bottlenecks and cut storage costs in VDI environments.

Wanova is headquartered in San Jose, Calif., does its research and development in Netanya, Israel, and has venture capital backing from Greylock Partners, Carmel Ventures and Opus Capital.