Does Virtualization Really Provide ROI?

Heading into 2013 the hot topic around the IT water cooler seems firmly focused on the “Virtualization War” being waged between Microsoft and VMware.  There are arguments to be made on both sides of the debate and who will come out on top is anyone’s guess at this point.  Microsoft has a history of coming to market late with a product, only to devour the entire market with a low price point.  While Microsoft looks to finish buying out the current Virtualization Market, VMware has seemingly decided to ignore Virtualization as an “end game” and continues to push past it towards full cloud adoption to compete as a service to rival Microsoft Azure.

As is often the case in these full scale technology wars, it is often the needs and wants of the end user that are ignored while an entire industry stays solely focused on a battle between goliaths.  Regardless of who manages to lure away each other’s executives, or which smaller firms are bought out to provide a deeper arsenal and better market positioning, it is our contention that regardless of who wins, ThinManager is still a superior technology for managing virtualized environments.

As noted in our previous article comparing ThinManager to Citrix, as well as the discussion about where real return on a thin client system can be found, we must begin with the often ignored factor of a platform being able to manage the end device.  While widely regarded as an industry leader in the advancement of managing Virtualized environments, VMware View falls short of the mark as it relates to client management due to its managed images needing clients that require an operating system.  Any platform that requires an end user OS also requires time and resources being expended to keep those devices updated and operating properly.

So while VMware and ThinManager both operate on a “one to many” ratio, ThinManager requires far less resource and hardware management, which is a seemingly forgotten piece of the puzzle when determining ROI.  After all, true ROI must be measured by the total cost of labor hours as well as hardware and licensing costs.

Taking this comparison one step further, the Centralized ThinManager solution continues to pay bigger dividends every time an end device is replaced or added to the architecture of a facility. In a ThinManager environment, that device only needs to be plugged in, and it is instantly configured as the configuration is maintained at the server.  In a VMware environment, that device has to be manually configured before it can share data and deliver applications, requiring even more resource expenditure before being operational.  And the more clients you have, the more time will have to be spent performing maintenance and configuration in a VMware environment.

Yes, there are things that VMware brings to the table that are proprietary and unique to their platform such as PCoiP Protocol.  However, it is an equivalent trade off, at best, for its lack of RDP and ICA Protocol.  Add to that VMware lacks tiling support, client-to-client shadowing, session shadowing, MultiSession, and inability to connect to other non-VMware virtual machines across a network and one must begin to question the assertion that VMware is the answer to all things related to managing a virtualized environment.

Lastly, the lack of VMware support for both applications and management of Terminal Services / Remote Desktop Services (both of which are supported by ThinManager) creates a very large problem as most network facilities in the modern industrial landscape use Windows Server in some capacity.  It is one thing to compete against Microsoft in the battle for virtualization dominance, but it is another thing entirely to ignore the most widely adopted and used operating system on the planet.

While VMware and Microsoft are locked on each other with tunnel vision to the exclusion of the rest of the global landscape, there are more and more viable options for creating an efficient and well managed virtual environment…and ThinManager is on the top of that list.   After all, true Return on Investment comes from the money and resources you don’t have to expend while ensuring the least possible downtime for your facility operations.



To use the ThinManager ROI Calculator, visit here.

To read about successful ThinManager Platform deployments, visit here.

To see when the next ThinManager 2-Day Training Session is being offered, visit here.


Tom Jordan

V.P. of Marketing - Automation Control Products