While installing a Type 2 hypervisor on top of an operating system is relatively easy, the hardware on today's PCs would in many cases not be compatible with a Type 1 hypervisor, says Scott Davis, CTO of VMware's desktop business unit. The goal of letting users access corporate applications on personal machines is best met by Type 2 technology, at least for now, he says. Today's Type 2 hypervisors do a better job ensuring that corporate OS images can run on the same machine as personal desktop images without causing security risks, he says.
"We decided from a priority perspective that there are ways to solve a wider range of use cases with a Type 2 approach," Viarengo says.But just as Type 1, bare-metal hypervisors replaced Type 2 technology on servers in the data center, bare-metal virtualization is likely to play a role in the future of desktop technology. VMware is unlikely to scrap its bare-metal plans entirely, but is at risk of falling behind the competition by waiting.
Citrix's XenClient could start shipping on PCs sold by hardware vendors as early as the first quarter of next year, Burton Group analyst Chris Wolf has said, adding that "If VMware doesn't even have a product in beta by that point, you would have to say VMware is at least a year behind."
VMware's public statements indicate the company believes it's not risking much by not having a bare-metal hypervisor ahead of rival Citrix. Remarks by Viarengo and Davis are similar to ones made by VMware CEO Paul Maritz in July when the company reported its financial results.
"We are providing client-side -- big client-side -- functionality with our offline View capability, which comes as part of [VMware View] 4.5," Maritz said, as quoted by The Register. "The feedback that we got from our customers is the market is not ready yet for a bare-metal, naked hypervisor. So instead we are supplying essentially a Windows-within-Windows hypervisor, which gives us much better coverage over the installed base in particular. The challenge with the bare-metal hypervisor is: 'how do you address the installed base?' So we made that change based on customer feedback."
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