This week (28th July 2021) HP announced that they have signed a definitive agreement to acquire Canadian-based Teradici for an undisclosed sum. An interesting move by HP, which comes just two weeks after HP announced it had joined the IGEL ready program that would see IGEL’s Edge OS become available on HP thin client devices.

Who are Teradici?

The Teradici name might not necessarily be instantly recognisable, however, for those who focus on end user computing solutions, PCoIP will be very familiar. Teradici are the inventors of PCoIP, the display protocol used to display the screen content of virtual desktop machine running in the cloud or datacentre, to an end user’s local device. PCoIP was the first ‘proper’ protocol used by VMware and made its first appearance with VMware View 4.0, back in 2009. More about VMware later.

However, Teradici didn’t just stop at creating software solutions. They also manufacture hardware in the form of the Tera2 processor, a highly integrated and purpose-built processor which you will find in all PCoIP-based Zero Client devices.  In addition to the Zero Client hardware, Teradici manufacture a remote workstation card that enables organisations to deploy rack mount workstations into the datacenter and connect to them, while at the same time delivering that high-end graphics capability that is required. This last point is particularly interesting, as that is something HP is already doing and has been for a while.

If I turn the clock back to the early 2000’s, when I worked as a pre-sales consultant in HP’s PSG (Personal Systems Group), one of the core technology solutions we delivered was RGS or Remote Graphics Software, which is known today as HP ZCentral Remote Boost. This enabled customers to access datacenter-based workstation hardware across the network.

I implemented this with several VMware View solutions back then, as PCoIP was a few years off at that point, and RDP was, well, not great when it came to graphics quality and USB redirection. In fact, HP even had a very early form of connection broker called Session Allocation Manager, or SAM.

Anyway, enough of the history lesson. Today, the PCoIP protocol, joined now by the PCoIP Ultra protocol, are firmly focused on delivering remote solutions from the cloud, using Teradici’s CAS, or Cloud Access Software solution, used by cloud providers, such as Amazon Workspaces. This, according to some of the press reports, would appear to be one of the key reasons for the acquisition. This will enable HP to address all major public cloud providers with a solution, and coupled with the newly announced IGEL relationship, help to secure the edge too.

What about VMware?

That’s a very good question. The press releases suggest that HP will continue with the partner and OEM relationships, however, over the last few years, VMware have focused on their own Blast Extreme protocol, rather than PCoIP, with most of the new features such as session collaboration only being available with Blast. I remember, back when I was working at VMware, either the customer thought VMware owned Teradici or if not, why don’t they acquire them. Good question indeed.

For today, PCoIP remains as a protocol choice (as does RDP), when deploying VMware Horizon and I would think that it would stay that way for the foreseeable future. Especially as the majority of already deployed solutions will be using PCoIP and customers have purchased Tera2-based zero client devices. However, I don’t expect to see many of the new features making their way into Horizon anytime soon. For example, there is no support for PCoIP Ultra in Horizon.

For more information:

To read the HP press release, follow this link:

https://press.hp.com/us/en/press-releases/2021/hp-inc-to-acquire-teradici.html

To read about the HP and IGEL partnership, follow this link:

https://www.igel.com/blog/igel-os-on-hp-thin-clients-hp-joins-igel-ready-program/

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