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VMware Buys App Virtualization Vendor

VMware, the world's largest maker of virtualization software, is expanding its empire with the acquisition of application virtualization vendor Thinstall.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. It's expected to be finalized in the current fiscal quarter, according to a VMware press release.

The acquisition moves VMware more firmly into the realm of application delivery. Currently, most of VMware's business is centered around server virtualization -- decoupling server operating systems from the underlying hardware, enabling multiple copies of varying OSes to run on a single physical box.

Application virtualization involves a similar idea of separating an application from the underlying OS, like Windows XP or Windows Vista. It's often used a method of "sandboxing" applications -- keeping applications separated so they don't cause conflicts with one another. They can also be deployed across multiple OSes, freeing them from the bondage of having to be paired with a specific OS.

"We are pleased to be joining VMware, the industry leader in virtualization," said Henrik Rosendahl, Thinstall CEO, in the release. "As organizations continue to standardize on virtualization infrastructure, they are looking to extend the benefits of server virtualization to the desktop. With Thinstall products, VMware customers will be able to reduce virtual desktop deployment time, improve agility and increase administrative flexibility."

Virtualization industry watcher and author Brian Madden blogged about the purchase Tuesday, speculating that the acquisition is meant to help VMware compete in the application virtualization space with its chief competitors.

"The folks who run VMware aren't stupid," Madden wrote. "They know what Citrix's acquisition of XenSource means, and they know what Microsoft is trying to do with Hyper-V. In order to survive, VMware needs to climb up the application stack and into some higher value areas that are closer to the applications. This is where Thinstall comes in."

Madden thinks the purchase is good for everyone involved. "The bottom line is that it's no secret I think this is a brilliant move on VMware's part ... What a great day in our industry!", he wrote.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.

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