VMware Launches Desktone-Powered DaaS On Its Public Cloud

VMware on Monday launched a VMware-branded Desktop-as-a-Service that runs on its public cloud, in what marks a significant expansion of the vendor's end-user computing business.

VMware's Horizon DaaS runs on vCloud Hybrid Service, its public cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service. At $35 per user monthly, it's priced the same as Amazon WorkSpaces, the DaaS offering that debuted last November.

Dave Grant, VMware's senior director of product marketing for DaaS, told CRN there are some important differences between Horizon DaaS and Amazon WorkSpaces.

[Related: VMware Building 'Project Mystic' Converged Infrastructure Appliance For EMC ]

Unlike Amazon WorkSpaces, which is a Windows Server desktop, Horizon DaaS is a full version of Windows, Grant said. VMware's DaaS also uses the patch-management tools many enterprises are already using, like Altiris and System Center, he said.

"Underneath the covers, we don't leverage Windows Server or SQL, so our cost of delivery is a lot cheaper because it's open source," Grant said.

VMware partners can resell the DaaS and boost their margins by packaging their own services around it, Grant said. Horizon DaaS costs $35 per user per month, and partners will be able to get two to six times that by providing services, Grant said.

David Ruchman, chief technology officer at Powersolution.com in Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J., said the DaaS move is good news for VMware partners. "VMware is building off a rock-solid platform. A lot of partners like us already work with VMware's server virtualization technology, so this is a natural progression to extend that platform to client devices," Ruchman said. "They're trying to capture every aspect of the corporate IT infrastructure. They have the data center, and now they're going after desktops and mobile devices."

VMware will continue selling Horizon View, its on-premise desktop virtualization software, and Horizon DaaS merely gives customers another option for buying virtual desktops, Grant said. For example, some customers prefer to install the software in their own data centers for security reasons, he said.

While small businesses are a logical fit for DaaS because they typically don't have the financial wherewithal to build their own virtual desktop infrastructure, Grant said some enterprises can make use of DaaS too.

VMware is leveraging all the Horizon View client technology it has built over the years. The DaaS includes full support for mobile devices, including Android and iOS. It also supports all media services, which means things like VoIP and printing will work with the services exactly as they work with physical desktops.

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