2017 in Review: A Big Year for Virtualization M&A


It has been such a busy year for mergers and acquisitions in desktop virtualization acquisitions with activity at Citrix, Ivanti, HPE, and NComputing that it left market watchers’ heads virtually spinning.

Citrix made another stab at the app management market by acquiring Unidesk. The company’s previous foray into this space with the purchase of Ringcube and its AppDisk wasn’t as successful as was initially expected, but the Unidesk deal promises to be more productive.

Unidesk provides various strong features such as true layering, elastic layers and cloud connectors – but switching to it is still relatively complicated because it requires users to change the method of image management.

In the course of 2017, Citrix also spun off Citrix Online and merged it with LogMeIn. Landesk was just as busy reinventing itself. In 2016, it bought AppSense and merged with HEAT, while this year the company rebranded into Ivanti and followed up with the purchase of RES. The upshot is that the company now offers a gamut of products, from organizing security management, supply chains, reporting and analytics to managing the user environment.

In the past decade RES and AppSense have been fierce competitors but now Ivanti will be able to combine both platforms into one package. RES’s work in automation also means that Ivanti can link up many of its products.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) started the year by buying storage startup SimpliVity for $650 million and followed with another storage company acquisition in March, the all-flash and hybrid storage array expert Nimble, for $1 billion. Both companies have desktop virtualization-oriented platforms.

The SimpliVity acquisition will help HPE keep existing customers who may have migrated to other HCI vendors while the purchase of Nimble will strengthen HPE with a more robust mid-tier storage presence via new all-flash and hybrid-flash storage arrays that complement the company’s existing storage offerings.

NComputing bought KVM-based desktop virtualization platform VERDE, previously owned by Nimboxx. Before VERDE, NComputing owned vSpace, a specifically session-based platform.

VERDE, now renamed VERDE VDI, has been updated with support for Windows 10, as well as a new HTML5 client. It competes directly with companies like Workspot, Parallels, and Ericom, which sell to the part of the market that is not catered to by the much larger Citrix and VMware.

VERDE VDI could make a big impact in the Asian market where NComputing already has a significant presence.