Virtualization Pro

Nov 4 2009   8:43PM GMT

Freakonomics: How H1N1 boosts desktop virtualization adoption

Bridget Botelho Bridget Botelho Profile: Bridget Botelho

Desktop virtualization vendors are spinning their wheels trying to get enterprises to adopt the technology, but it turns out, all they really needed was a good pandemic.

I met with some of VMware Inc.’s desktop virtualization reps yesterday to discuss the next version of VMware View (4.0), which is due out next week, and learned there is a correlation between desktop virtualization adoption raCartoon by Charles Pugsley Finchertes and the 2009 H1N1 flu (formerly known as Swine Flu).   

Though he couldn’t share specific numbers, Raj Mallempati, the desktop virtualization marketing manager, said VMware’s VDI adoption rates increased in direct correlation with H1N1 flu. In fact, he said VMware sold a VDI license in Australia for the first time when H1N1 started alarming people there this summer.

“It makes you think, did VMware invent swine flu?” Mallempati joked.

They saw the same spike in desktop virtualization adoption when the SARS virus hit a few years ago, he said.

VMware claims to have around 1.5 million VMware View license holders so far, which is between 6-7% of the company’s revenue, according to a VMware rep.

While these correlations could be coincidental, deploying desktop virtualization certainly makes sense for corporations that don’t want to lose productivity every time a deadly virus pops up (gotta love capitalism). With VDI, employees who don’t want to come into work because they are afraid of the sneezer in the next cubuicle can access their desktops from home. Or if they are sick, they can still work from their quarantine and not infect everyone else in the office.

So, although I haven’t seen any marketing campaigns fear-mongering customers into buying desktop virtualization as a way to avoid H1N1, it wouldn’t surprise me.

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