VMware really wants to get a piece of the desktop market. After acquiring and/or releasing products for desktop management (VMware View and ThinApp)

VMware announced at VMworld ’09 that they had an OEM agreement with RTO for Virtual Profiles. VMware wanted to integrate the product into VMware View, it’s Virtual Desktop Infrastructure product. Now, almost a year later, VMware announced the acquisition of RTO Software.

Here’s a quote from the VMware View-Point blog:

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.

Thanks Arjan Hendriks for Buzzing this.