VMware acquires Desktone, makes network virtualization generally available

The company also announced a number of new management tools at VMworld Europe

VMware continues to push its plan to virtualize the whole data center, with the general availability of its network virtualization platform, and desktops too with the acquisition of desktop-as-a service company Desktone.

Less than two months after VMworld in San Francisco, VMware has gathered users and partners in Barcelona for the European version of its user conference. The main theme is once again virtualizing the whole data center, including servers, storage, networking and security.

"Virtualization has unquestionably been the most powerful tool for IT over the last decade for transformation and cost savings, and we are just getting started," said VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger during his keynote at the event on Tuesday.

A key part of VMware's strategy is the NSX network virtualization platform, which is now generally available. It offers networking and security functionality in software, and in the process the platform decouples management from the networking hardware.

Like server virtualization, VMware's approach to network virtualization lets data center operators treat their physical network as a pool of transport capacity that is used on-demand, the company said. The goal is to make networks more agile while reducing costs, according to VMware.

But VMware isn't just about the data center. The company is increasing its efforts to virtualize desktops too. On Tuesday, VMware announced it is acquiring Desktone, which offers a platform for delivering desktops and apps as a service.

With this acquisition, VMware instantly becomes a provider of desktop-as-a-service with the opportunity to set the course for the entire industry moving forward, said Sanjay Poonen, executive vice president and general manager at VMware's End-User Computing unit, in a blog post.

Using Desktone's technology, VMware will start beta testing a desktop-as-a-service offering this quarter. It will run on the vCloud Hybrid Service, which is getting a European presence with a new data center location in Slough, England.

To help desktop virtualization take off on a larger scale, VMware also promises to improve performance to the point where it can keep up with applications running on a traditional desktop; simplify management; and cut the costs before the end of the year, according to Poonen.

"We have to boldly solve [these issues], and as an innovative company we are going to do that," Poonen said.

Better management is key to making all this happen, a fact VMware is very much aware of. At VMworld, the company announced a number of tools, including vCloud Automation Center 6.0, vCenter Operations Management Suite 5.8 and vCenter Log Insight 1.5.

Automation Center 6.0 will let IT staff design any custom IT service, including Hadoop-as-a-Service. The new release of Operations Management Suite will come with better performance analytics for applications such as Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft SQL Server, while Log Insight 1.5 has improved scalability, especially for querying log data, as well as Active Directory integration and improved health monitoring, according to VMware.

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