Desktone leaves the stealth mode and launches a VDI solution for service providers

Today a new startup enters the crowded VDI market: Desktone.

The company already exposed few details about its technology last year, but only today announces its strategy and offering.

Desktone is a US company founded in 2006 and based in MA.
So far it collected $17 million in a first round of investments from Highland Capital Partners, SoftBank Capital, Tangee International and Citrix.

The company is managed by a notable management team with several members coming from the successful Softricity experience: its CEO, Harry Ruda (former co-founder), its Director of Strategic Development, Jeff Fisher (same role in Softricity), its VP of Product Management, Julian Weinstock (same role in Softricity).

Desktone appoaches the VDI market in a new way: instead of offering a connection broker like most competitors in the space, the startup targets service providers with an architecture that it’s designed to resell hosted desktops.

Called Virtual-D, the Desktone VDI solution is made of several components like:

  • a management console for ISP administrators
  • a self-service portal for customers
  • a desktop manager which integrates with 3rd party hypervisors and provides the actual connection broker capabilities
  • a policy manager which defines provisioning rules through SLAs or other parameters
  • a guest OS agent (Windows only) to monitor the virtual desktop performance and automate the provisioning according to the policy manager

These tiers are arranged in elements which communicate with each other using a P2P network.
Additionally, each element can support different hypervisors (even if the first release only supports VMware ESX) and different hardware, so that a service provider can start with some elements powered by VMware and Dell for example, and add several others over time powered by Citrix and HP.

This approach gives the ISPs maximum flexibility in designing their elements and provides the scalability to extend the offering over time.
The only risk is that an ISP may design its element in a way that it’s not performing good enough to grant a successful experience to its customers. Desktone may want to introduce something like an element certification program over time to avoid this kind of shortcomings and provide guidance to its customers.

The product has several others interesting features like the integration with Microsoft Active Directory and RSA SecureID, the support for multi-tenant configurations and an API for 3rd party solutions plug-in (like billing products).

The company didn’t provide a price for its Virtual-D and sells it only through a network of sales partners.

The Virtualization Industry Radar has been updated accordingly.