Virtual Computer NxTop Connect

Virtual Computer launched NxTop Connect at Citrix's Synergy. The company is doing its best to simplify virtual desktop environments.
Written by Dan Kusnetzky, Contributor

Virtual Computer launched NxTop Connect at Citrix's Synergy. The company is doing its best to simplify virtual desktop environments. It is addressing the fact that there are a confusing array of different approaches to creating and deploying a virtual desktops ranging from accessing remotely executing applications using access virtualization, accessing or delivering applications to the desktop system using application virtualization, or using virtual machine software in a number of creative ways to create virtual client systems that may exectue locally, on a workgroup server or back in the datacenter.

More about NxTop Connect

Virtual Computer, the market leader in distributed desktop virtualization, today announced NxTop ConnectTM, a flexible, secure, and fully managed endpoint solution for enterprise customers. With NxTop Connect, organizations can future‐proof their desktop virtualization strategy by deploying a heterogeneous collection of endpoint PC devices all managed from a single console. Through a seamless interface, endpoint devices can securely and simultaneously run one or more locally executing operating systems such as: Windows XP or Windows 7; any number of server‐hosted virtual desktops from VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) vendors such as Citrix, Microsoft and VMware; on‐ demand applications via XenApp; and cloud‐based computing applications.

Thinly Provisioned Clients
Historically, enterprise customers have been forced to choose between “thick clients” that glue the operating system to the hardware, and “thin clients,” which lack mobility, cost as much as a new PC, and can only connect to server‐based infrastructure. NxTop Connect allows these same customers to take advantage of the spectrum of PC hardware from low‐cost appliances to high‐end workstations, all managed from the same console and capable of performing any required operation. The concept of a “thinly provisioned client” provides the ultimate in flexibility for enterprise customers and enables a powerful set of deployment scenarios, including:

  • Distributed execution of centrally‐managed virtual machines with near‐native performance on any variety of laptop or desktop PC (Note: this requires Intel VT or AMD‐V.)
  • Remote connectivity to server‐hosted desktop and application sessions using popular products such as Citrix XenApp, Citrix XenDesktop, Microsoft Remote Desktop Services, and VMware View ‐‐ all running in a fully isolated and secure environment.
  • Fast‐boot into a secure web‐browsing environment to take advantage of cloud‐based services or isolate high‐risk web activity from sensitive corporate applications running on Windows.

All services provided by NxTop Connect run either individually or simultaneously, creating a secure, flexible computing platform. This can only be achieved using bare‐metal hypervisor technology built around a centralized management system.

Snapshot Analysis

As I've pointed out in other posts, desktop virtualization is really the expression or implementation of three different types of virtualiztaion — access virtualization, application virtualization and processing virtualization combined with management and security. The key to success is deploying the correct mix of technology needed for a given workload and then having the right management environment to make that raw technology into a useful business tool.

It is deployed to support a number of things depending upon which technology is utilized.

  • Access virtualization
    • Centralization of processing and storage to reduce overall costs
    • Allow access to applications and data from just about any intelligent networkable device, over just about any network from just about anywhere
    • Allow access to virtual clients (VDI)

  • Application virtualization
    • Isolate applications from one another on the same client system allowing previously incompatible applications to happily co-exsist
    • Allow applications from one version of an operating system to run on a newer version
    • Allow applications to be delivered to remote systems in a number of ways ranging from downloading an application in a piecemeal fashion, downloading it temporarily or a permanent installation automatically
    • Allow applications to be updated on the fly

  • Processing virtualization
    • Encapsulate entire workload, including operating system, data management, data, application frameworks and applications
    • Encapsulated "virtual clients" can run locally or remotely in the network somewhere. Several could run on the same system at the same time to allow controlled, locked-down corporate desktops to co-exist with a user's own personal desktops.

As you can see, when one looks "under the hood" of a virtual desktop environment, it becomes very complex, very quickly. Virtual Computer's NxTop family of products is designed to address several of these categories and make them simple, powerful and easy to use. The key to their product strategy is a powerful, flexible management environment.

If you're at Citrix's Synergy, it would be worth dropping by their booth and taking a look.

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