VMware acquires RTO Software

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Last week VMware announced the acquisition of RTO Software, one of the few companies in the presentation virtualization market that are focused on the so called persona management.

RTO Software was founded in 2000, today it counts 12 employees, and offers four products: Virtual Profiles, PinPoint, Discover and TScale.

Both VMware and Symantec OEM’ed the RTO Software flagship product, Virtual Profiles, in VMware View and Symantec Workspace Virtualization (SWV) and since 2009. Then, at the beginning of February the Symantec version (Workspace Profiles) suddenly disappeared.

Now VMware confirms the acquisition of most RTO Software assets, which will become part of the company Desktop Business Unit, for an undisclosed amount.

The recently appointed VMware CTO for Desktop Virtualization, Scott Davis, summarizes what Virtual Profiles 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 only RTO Software asset that VMware didn’t acquire is the TScale product, an application memory optimization technology for presentation virtualization.
Apparently, the reason why this one was not included in the deal is that Citrix is OEM’ing it inside Presentation Server with the name of Memory Optimization Management.
According to Brian Madden, who offered an extended insight about the acquisition, Citrix and RTO Software have a multi-year agreement (which seems harder to trash than the Symantec one), and so VMware didn’t touch the fourth component of the portfolio.
Madden also reports that RTO Software will continue to exist, selling TScale and working to release a TScale for Hyper-V.

Customers that are using the first three products and have their support contract expired will only have the chance to buy View. VMware doesn’t plan in fact to sell Virtual Profiles, PinPoint or Discover as stand-alone products.

This is the acquisition #15 for VMware (virtualization.info tracked the previous ones in this article).
Symantec may want to re-include persona management in its portfolio, looking for an alternative partner to deal with (AppSense is a well-known candidate for this. It doesn’t surprise their post about the acquisition).