At VMworld this past fall, we announced an OEM agreement with RTO Software to integrate their Virtual Profile technology into VMware View. This was and is a strategically important technology for VMware and is destined to become a critical component of the View solution, providing the foundation for robust persona management. As a matter of fact, it’s critical enough that we are pleased to announce the acquisition of RTO Software by VMware and that I am pleased to welcome the talented RTO team to VMware’s Desktop BU!
We’ve been talking about provisioning users, not devices, and the importance of composition or layering in a desktop virtual machine – that a desktop VM is comprised of independent virtualized component parts that are dynamically brought together on demand into an encapsulated VM. One of those critical parts is the user persona, a user’s profile, data files and settings. Clean, efficient user persona virtualization is vital to our vision and that is precisely what RTO’s industry-leading Virtual Profiles will deliver for VMware View. With persona management, end-user specific information such as user data files, settings and application access is separated from the desktop image and centrally stored, enabling increased flexible access, greater portability and seamless file management and backup.
This is an exciting technology. For those unfamiliar with the specifics of what Virtual Profiles actually does, the technology seamlessly virtualizes, caches and synchronizes a desktop user’s roaming profile, while improving both the performance and data integrity of the profile. When a user logs on, instead of monolithically delivering the entire user profile and making the user wait for all of it, Virtual Profiles performs a “just-in-time” delivery. Windows thinks the entire profile is present, however the contents of each segment or file is brought down and subsequently cached when accessed. When files are updated and closed, Virtual Profiles automatically synchronizes the files with the profile server, maintaining data integrity across user sessions in real-time and speeding up logoffs. This preserves user configuration integrity independently of the desktop image; and also propagates those changes to any other concurrent user sessions that may exist, maintaining data integrity across sessions as well. Registry updates are handled in a similar manner; but at finer granularity. Profile registry changes are automatically synchronized with the stored profile on the server. Since only what has been written to the registry locally is copied back, hive corruption is prevented.
The RTO team has produced additional innovative tools and technologies such as Discover and Pinpoint which we expect to influence View going forward as well. As an integrated component of VMware View, RTO technologies will allow IT organizations to simplify and automate the capture and management of end user personality while providing a rich experience to end-users. Virtual Profiles, in tandem with View Composer and ThinApp, represents the next step on the journey towards VMware’s vision of the composited desktop, where end-users will benefit from a consistent user experience while IT organizations will realize reduced infrastructure costs and lower desktop management costs. The RTO Virtual Profile technology is targeted for integration with VMware View in mid 2010.
For more information please see the frequently asked questions (FAQ) document here: http://vmware.com/go/rtosoft