Desktop virtualization is just starting to gain speed as an alternate deployment strategy. What could be simpler than rolling out a prepacked ISO bundled with all your corporate goodies? How about simple AD authentication, user-type customization, and end-user lockdowns. Hmmm... you still have those pesky deployment, patching, and support hassles with VMs, too.
Sentillion is a VC-backed HP spinoff in Andover, Mass., with a hundred-odd employees. It posted 2006 revenue of $29 million; 2007 numbers aren't out yet. Sentillion runs a number of business lines, including a single-signon solution, context management, and other health care specific services. According to David Fusari, CTO at Sentillion, the company launched its vThere product as a "virtualized remote access" solution in 2006 to give customers a simple deployment tool "inside and outside the four walls."
What's vThere, aside from a fairly catchy brand name? I'd say it's a mashup in the best possible sense. Sentillion leverages Parallels virtualization technology, Cisco VPN, Amazon S3 storage hosting, NaviSite hosting, custom packaging tools, and a firm understanding of niche markets to deliver a packaged desktop virtualization solution.
vThere has three primary components: an admin station/Image Creator for generating customer VMs; vThere.net to host customer VM image repositories; and the vThere player, a tweaked instance of Parallels workstation running on top of a Windows platform.