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Aqua Connect Terminal Server 3.1

Aqua Connect recently launched an Aqua Connect Terminal Server 3.1, an update designed to improve performance and a number of requested features.
Written by Dan Kusnetzky, Contributor on

Aqua Connect recently launched an Aqua Connect Terminal Server 3.1, an update designed to improve performance and a number of requested features. I've posted on Aqua Connect in the past (see Access Virtualization for Mac OS X - Aqua Connect ACTS 3.0 andAqua Connect Access Virtualization for Mac OS X for more information the company). In general, if an organization has a requirement to use virtual access mechanisms connect to Mac OS X-based server workloads, Aqua Connect is the only game in town. Neither Apple nor Citrix offer native capability in this area.

Here's what Aqua Connect has to say about their new product

Aqua Connect, Inc., the leader in Mac terminal services, today announced the release of Aqua Connect Terminal Server 3.1. Aqua Connect Terminal Server 3.1 contains feature upgrades including audio capabilities, local printing support, OpenGL support and clipboard options.

The newly added features will be available to all users who utilize Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Protocol. One of the most exciting updates is providing users the ability to stream audio to an Aqua Connect session. Network printing services have also been upgraded to allow users the ability to print to a local printer.

The 3.1 release has also focused on increasing compatibility with existing and future applications. Most applications that utilize OpenGL will be supported in the new release. Users can now copy and paste text from their desktop into the terminal session. Terminal sessions can now be run in a greater variety of screen resolutions that upgraded to allow users the ability to print to a local printer.

Beyond upgrading the feature set, the 3.1 release also includes performance and speed increases via the RDP protocol. Users on certain Windows and Linux machines will experience improved performance including all users who employ bitmap caching.

Snapshot analysis

Ask users of virtual access products, such as those offered by Citrix and Microsoft, about their experiences and it is very likely that stories of easier provisioning, easier management, higher levels of security and administrative and operational cost reductions would often repeated. Organizations that have chosen to rely on Mac OS X-based servers had no way to enjoy this same advantage until Aqua Connect took up the challenge and created its terminal services technology.

This means that if organizations want to access Mac Server-based applications using thin clients designed to support Microsoft's remote graphics protocol (RGP), Aqua Connect is the only game in town.

The company doesn't act like it's the sole supplier of this type of technology. I've heard many stories that indicate that while small, Aqua Connect is very responsive.

Unasked for shoot-from-the-hip advice

Aqua Connect keep doing what you're doing! Apple, Citrix are you listening? Aqua Connect would be a wonderful addition to your portfolio of technologies.
Apple
Apple, wake up! Do you want to be a member of the organizational datacenter club? Strong focus on virtualization is increasingly seen as one of the keys to that door and you're clearly behind the power curve there.

Your terms and conditions make it impossible to host a Mac OS X workload in a virtual machine. Mac OS X is only authorized to run directly on a machine made by Apple. This rules out most forms of desktop virtualization. Apple doesn't offer access virtualization or application virtualization and streaming products.  That rules out the other forms of desktop virtualization.  Aqua Connect's products are about the only way organizations wanting a uniform, virtual access solution for their entire computing environment; an environment that includes Windows, UNIX, Linux and Mac OS; can fulfill their requirements.

Furthermore, Apple really doesn't offer processing virtualization, network virtualization, security or management software for virtualized environments.

Apple, do you want to play in the next generation datacenter? You need to do some things now.  Acquiring Aqua Connect would be a good start.  They offer good technology but don't have the critical mass to reach a broad market. You can help.

Citrix
Citrix, you offer a complete portfolio of virtualization products for virtual access, application virtualization, processing virtualization, security and management of your virtualized environments. While you make it possible for users of Mac-based client systems to access workloads running elsewhere, you don't offer anything to help people who'd like to access Mac Server-based workloads much help. Aqua Connect would fill that small hole in your product portfolio.

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