VMware is claiming it doesn't need to deliver on its promise of a bare-metal desktop hypervisor, but says that if it does choose to release a so-called Type 1 client hypervisor it would be better than Citrix's.
"Let's set the record straight there," says Vittorio Viarengo, vice president of desktop marketing for VMware. "If there's one company that can nail a client hypervisor, it's VMware."
[ Also on InfoWorld: VMworld 2010 opens this week, with important changes. | Last month, VMware execs had no timeline for the company's delay-ridden bare-metal desktop hypervisor. | Make sure to keep up with all the latest virtualization news with InfoWorld's virtualization newsletter. ]
VMware certainly believed that statement when it said it would deliver a bare-metal desktop hypervisor by the end of 2009. But more recently VMware executives have said building such a technology "is not an easy computer science problem to solve," and that it is no longer making any promises on when VMware's bare-metal development would turn into a marketable product.
At VMworld in San Francisco this week, VMware will release version 4.5 of VMware View, its desktop virtualization platform, but it won't include a bare-metal option.
Another company, MokaFive, says it will have a bare-metal hypervisor on the market early in 2011.
But VMware now says customers aren't ready for a bare-metal hypervisor. VMware's project is in its advanced development labs and could be ready fairly quickly once the company decides to turn it into a product, Viarengo says. But it's not VMware's top priority.
"Just from a priority perspective, it took a back seat for now," Viarengo says.
Bare-metal desktop hypervisors install directly onto a computer's hardware, rather than on top of a host operating system as Type 2 hypervisors do. Analysts and some vendors believe this will provide greater isolation between virtual machines, therefore improving security and making it more feasible for IT to install corporate operating systems and applications onto employee-owned machines.
But bare-metal is still in the early stages of development, and not just at VMware.
Today's bare-metal client hypervisors are "not robust at all," and more of a "niche technology," IDC system and virtualization analyst Ian Song said in a recent interview.