VMware is shipping a connection broker for server-based virtual desktops, in a move that's expected to help consolidate the growth of desktop virtualization in general.
The VMware Virtual Desktop Manager 2 (VDM), available now, has been in beta for several months. It completes VMware's Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), by providing the management needed to authenticate (via Active Directory) and establish user connections to virtual desktops created with ESX Server and VirtualCenter.
Without VDM, the management element of ESX Server, called VirtualCenter, can't associate virtual machines with specific users. Up to now, many VMware customers have gotten around this with a range of third-party connection brokers for virtual desktops based on server software like ESX. Suppliers in this category include Citrix (via its XenDesktop product), ClearCube, Leostream, Provision Networks, and the U.K.'s Zeus Technology.
One analyst thinks VMware's release will stifle some of the market variety in brokers, as VMware, Citrix, and eventually Microsoft fill in a blank formerly left open for startups.
"VMware's release of VDM signals increasing consolidation," says Michael Rose of IDC. "The connection-brokering market used to be highly competitive, but now VMware has a product and that's really going to limit which companies can compete in this space."