IBM rolls out virtual desktop offering

Through its partner program, IBM unveils a virtual desktop offering for small businesses

With an eye on the small and medium-sized business market, IBM is working through resellers to roll out a VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) package that costs US$150 per user annually.

The IBM Virtual Desktop for Smart Business offering should help ease the high administrative overhead normally associated with setting up VDI deployments, said Dan Cerutti, general manager of IBM's Smart Business Solutions unit. In many cases, small organizations do not have the IT expertise to deal with the complexities of VDI. This package will allow integrators to offer a headache-free VDI, he said.

"We've dramatically simplified how you order and buy these things. Everything is included in the Virtual Desktop Solution," Cerutti said.

The VDI package will allow workers to access desktops from a variety of devices, including iPads and thin clients. They could access both Microsoft Windows and Linux-based operating system desktops. Users can even run the desktops without connectivity, by use of a USB drive.

IBM will not offer this package to customers directly; instead it will offer it to resellers and integrators who service small and midsized organizations. Thus far, IBM has found about 100 partners worldwide to vend this product, Cerutti said.

The partners could install the equipment and software on the customer's premise, or manage it internally as a hosted service. IBM may offer the package itself as a hosted service in the near future, Cerutti said. No minimum number of users is needed to sign up, though the service requires a one-year contract.

The desktops are managed centrally, on IBM System X servers running Suse Linux. The desktop virtualization is done through the Verde software, offered by Virtual Bridges. This approach uses a KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) hypervisor for the server, along with bare-metal, or Type 1, hypervisors installed on the client. The package also includes IBM's Smart Business Foundation, a collection of management tools that ease configuration and maintenance.

For desktop OSes, the package can run Windows XP and Windows 7, as well as Linux desktop offerings from Canonical, Red Hat and Novell.

The typical setup for the end customer involves establishing a few "gold masters" or operating system instances, along with a set of applications, that can be used by a set of employees. Each employee's desktop can have access to personal data, as well as personal preferences such as bookmarks for their browsers. IBM estimates that 200 desktops can be run from a single IBM server.

The IBM Virtual Desktop for Smart Business is the first of what will be a number of pre-configured IBM systems aimed at easing deployments for small to midsized organizations, all to be offered through partners. Other packages will soon be released to cover document management, analytics, collaboration and customer relationship management applications, Cerutti said.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

Tags virtualizationIBMdesktop virtualizationVirtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joab Jackson

IDG News Service

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?