VMware Monday announced several moves of interest to enterprises using or considering thin client machines in conjunction with virtualization. The virtualization giant also served up new professional services offerings for enterprises rolling out thin clients and desktop virtualization.
First, a new certification program for thin client machines means enterprises can choose from more VMware-certified hardware options that work with VMware's VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) technology. With a VDI setup, virtual machines hold end users' PC environments; those VMs live on servers in the data center.
For a list of the certified thin client devices, see VMware's certified compatibility guide.
As we recently reported in an update on VMware's desktop virtualization plans, many CIOs have been in watch and wait mode with regards to desktop virtualization, but two technology improvements now in the works from VMware may make it a more attractive option for more enterprises.
VMware also Monday debuted a new integrated desktop solution for wide area networks (WANs) for customers who want to use VDI in concert with Sun Microsystems' Sun Ray server software and thin clients. The Sun WAN technology makes use of Sun's Appliance Link Protocol (ALP), which both vendors are pushing as a speedy choice for delivering virtual desktops via networks with high latency.
Other benefits of a Sun Ray/VDI deployment: Clients have no operating system and use one-tenth the power of a traditional PC, according to Sun. Sun will be directly supporting customers who buy this joint offering.
Sun's working hard now to establish its place in the virtualized enterprise environment; customers looking to the company's xVM server virtualization technology have been moving a bit more slowly than VMware customers, since the product is less mature, Burton Group senior analyst Chris Wolf noted in our recent update on Sun's competitive stance in the server virtualization market.
VMware also announced new professional services choices for companies implementing VDI. These include "jumpstart" programs for companies that want training and best practices for rolling out VDI and application virtualization, and new offerings for enterprises extending virtual environments to remote and branch offices.