Desktop Virtualization Momentum to Build Though More a 2011 Opportunity

Barclays Capital released yesterday their Q4 VMware channel survey. They are raising their FY10 license growth expectation to 10%, up from 5.5% to reflect the improving server demand environment.

However there is an interesting comment about the VDI market.

We expect VMware to continue to make inroads in desktop virtualization with its new VMware View virtual desktop infrastructure platform, though we are more bullish on Citrix System’s ability to monetize the opportunity in 2010 given the maturity of their platform and established
XenApp installed base (Citrix claims 100 million) which is a natural advantage as it attempts to convert customers to desktop virtualization.

To date, VMware claims an installed base of over one million View users. We believe VMware should see success within some of its larger enterprise accounts that have begun to standardize on VMware while its new PC-o-IP protocol functionality should attract new users given improved performance. Our checks indicate that performance over the WAN and over bandwidth constrained networks remains an area for further improvement and a key investment focus. Channel partners also indicate that unlike server virtualization, VMware has yet to put together a clear go-to-market strategy with the necessary channel support tools and incentives to drive near-term growth. In our survey, we believe it is interesting to note that just 15% of VMware channel partners thought VMware would dominate the virtual desktop market. In our survey of the Citrix channel, 37% of respondents indicated that Citrix would dominate the market when asked the same question. We view this as recognition by the channel of Citrix’s initial leadership position. We see desktop virtualization as an incremental growth drive for VMware beginning in the second half of 2010 as the Windows 7 enterprise upgrade cycle commences but do not see a major inflection until 2011 at the earliest given the relative immaturity of the View platform.
Source: Barclays Capital

I understand that XenApp (Citrix) has been on the market for a long time and have a large user base deployed, however I live and breath the virtualization market on a day-to-day basis as a consultant visiting different organizations. I honestly don’t see how Citrix is going to be able to keep their share market when most corporate environments are VMware shops for their server environment; and most likely these will be the same professionals managing the VDI environment.

VMware Inc.: Raising FY10 Ests on Server Outlook »


  1. I have to strongly disagree with your assumption that the Admins who manage the server virtualization in an organization are also the same ones who will manage the desktop virtualization infrastructure. Server virtualization really only cares about the hardware. Most servers that are virtualized only run 1 backoffice application. Desktop virtualization is a completely different area.

    Not only do you have to virtualize the server (XenServer, Hyper-V or ESX), but you also have to deal with client-side of an application. Users directly interact with this aspect so they will notice poor delivery. Also, you have to work with the desktop ops group, the application teams, the networking teams, the server hardware teams, etc. The list is large. This is one reason why desktop virtualization is more difficult to get going: You have to have alignment across the groups for the common goal.

  2. Hi Daniel,

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    I agree with you. However as a consultant I frequently see the server team being responsible for the overall desktop virtualization project with some touchpoints with network teams. Organizations are aiming to cut down staff in the desktop area when virtualizing desktops.

    I believe there is need for a new type of professional, hybrid, with skills across desktop and virtualization to fill the gap. The desktop virtulization market is still very immature and organizations will soon realize these differences and requirements.

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