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VMware to Broaden Reach With Thinstall Purchase

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VMware Tuesday announced it had agreed to acquire Thinstall as it looks to expand its tentacles beyond data center virtualization to help customers better deploy and update desktop applications.

With its announced acquisition of Thinstall, VMware is expanding into the application virtualization space.

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Thinstall 3.3 Virtualization Suite acts as a thin virtual operating system (VOS) that merges a virtual machine environment with the real system environment. It transparently streams large applications from a shared network drive, running the local application without the need for installed client or server software.

By eliminating the need for a client or server agent, Thinstall’s software eliminates another point of failure. It also lets customers run applications in either managed or unmanaged Windows environments without requiring elevated security rights.

“It’s a really big week for us,” Ed Albanese, senior product manager for desktop products at VMware, told “It’s the first time as a company we’re moving into application virtualization.”

“Thinstall’s agentless desktop virtualization technology allows customers to plug into existing infrastructures without any issues,” he said. “Before, customers had to sign support agreements or buy more server infrastructure to get the benefits of application virtualization.”

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The company’s desktop virtualization software decouples applications from underlying operating systems, enabling systems administrators to isolate and move applications freely across their desktops.

Ideally, it reduces both the time and cost of installing new applications and testing them in a production environment. According to Forrester Research, enterprise customers spend an average of more than $500 a year per desktop managing applications.

VMware today also announced it had acquired the services-related assets of Foedus, a Portsmouth, N.H.-based consulting and services provider that helps companies design and install virtualization software — particularly the applications it bought through the Thinstall deal.

Financial terms of both deals were not disclosed.

The news marks VMware’s latest efforts to expand support and build new services around its core offerings. Last month, the company announced a global agreement with SAP under which the German software company will provide support for all of its business applications running on VMware’s ESX Server software.

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