RealTime IT News

Virtual Desktop Gets Group Treatment

Convinced that the demand for desktop virtualization software is picking up, VMware and more than 20 rivals, partners and allies today announced the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Alliance.

The alliance, which includes founders IBM, HP and Sun Microsystems, was formed as a haven for hardware, software and service providers to build virtual desktop software products together.

Jerry Chen, director of enterprise desktops for VMware, said an uptake in corporate offshoring, outsourcing and telecommuting has led to increased concerns about security and compliance.

The problem is that corporate computers often connect to the network from an unsecure location. Virtual desktop software, Chen said, is a viable solution to this problem.

For example, Chen said customer Prudential plc has used VMware's virtual infrastructure software to allow its call center workers in India to remotely access the virtual machines from a data center in the U.K.

With virtual desktop software, IT administrators can host and manage desktop virtual machines in their data centers while offering remote users the same desktop tools regardless of where they are.

IDC analyst Al Gillen said the security and compliance reasons behind the push for virtual desktop software make the market a potentially large one.

How long it lasts as a sidebar to traditional virtualization, where it is typically used more to run multiple versions of an operating system or application on one physical machine, is another question.

Chen said VMware will work with each member to create, test and integrate joint desktop hosting offerings based on VMware virtual infrastructure and the partner's hardware or software product.

Other charter members of the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Alliance include Altiris, Appstream, Ardence, ATOS Origin, Check Point Software Technologies, Citrix, ClearCube Technology, Devon IT, Dunes Technologies, Fujitsu-Siemens, LeoStream, NComputing, NEC, Platform Computing, Propero, Provision Networks, Route1, Softricity, Wyse Technology and Zeus Technology.