VMware and Sun drive momentum for virtual desktops

The still-nascent virtualisation market appears to be building additional layers on an almost daily basis at the moment with key players rolling out new products in a drive to ensure that momentum is upheld.VMware’s latest enhancements to its Virtual Desktop Infrastructure product were announced late this Monday.

The still-nascent virtualisation market appears to be building additional layers on an almost daily basis at the moment with key players rolling out new products in a drive to ensure that momentum is upheld.

VMware’s latest enhancements to its Virtual Desktop Infrastructure product were announced late this Monday. The company says that the new offering works with Sun Microsystems’ Sun Ray software and virtual display clients to create a desktop virtualisation environment that can replace traditional PCs with virtual machines that are managed and centralised in a single data centre.

According to VMware, this style of virtualisation deployment is especially effective over wide area networks (WANs), which might include remote users, enterprise branch offices or offshore developers. The solution utilises Sun’s Appliance Link Protocol (ALP), a bitmap-based display technology designed to work with virtual desktops over networks with high latency.

Happy to go on the record and talk about their deployment of this virtualisation package is the University of Maryland. Located close to the US capital and the National Security Agency headquarters, the university is a major public research body which serves more than 36,000 students and employs more than 12,000 staff.

According to a statement from VMware, the University’s facilities management function, which supports over 400 desktops, selected VMware Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, Sun Ray Software and virtual display clients to ‘improve’ desktop manageability, lower IT costs and develop desktop accessibility.

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“As a major research university, it’s critical that our students, faculty and staff get access to the applications they need, when they need them,” said Jim Maloney, network operations manager for the University of Maryland. “This joint solution has helped us significantly reduce the time we spend managing our growing desktop infrastructure as well as cut down on energy costs through virtualisation.”

VMware says that the combination of Sun Ray Software and virtual display clients to a VMware Virtual Desktop Infrastructure deployment provides the added benefits of using a client that has no operating system and so reduces the chance of malware attacks.

As part of a VMware and Sun OEM agreement covering this technology, Sun has stated that it will take on the role of providing frontline support for this joint solution.