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2010 VMware Virtualization Forum
Review by Daniel P. Dern
VMware  ISBN/ITEM#: DPD100603
Date: 03 June 2010

Links: VMware Virtualization Forums /

Thin clients, cloud services, and other tools see at the June 3, 2010 VMware Virtualization Forum in Boston show that virtualization isn't just here to stay, but, like the iPod and iPhone, is extending and creating marketplaces.

The exhibitor area at the June 3, 2010 VMware Virtualization Forum 2010 here in Boston was nowhere as large as the one at the EMC World 2010 here four weeks earlier, but the two-dozen-plus exhibitor tables were more than sufficient to show how far virtualization has come, and where it's going. Plus there were a few cool products there, to boot.

What's clear is that virtualization isn't just here to stay, but it's becoming something that more and more vendors either a) use in how they deliver their product, b) support, in what their product does, and/or c) add value to, i.e., they're part of the virtualization ecosystem.

What's also clear is that virtualization isn't just for enterprises. Vendors have more products than ever -- and VARs and SIs the related services -- to let small and medium sized businesses, along with education and non-profits, use server and desktop virtualization.

Here's some highlights from my quick walking sweep of the tables, more or less in the order I talked with them.

  • Wyse had its P20, here for use with VMware View. This stateless zero client uses hardware PCoIP engine to provide the workstation-class performance needed by multimedia-intensive apps like video editing, CAD, 3D model ling, and by some office apps. Wyse also had its Intel Atom-powered X90cw Mobile Thin Client, which looks like a notebook, but, per the name, isn't -- there's no hard drive, just flash RAM with Windows Embedded, and as a thin client, doesn't retain server-side data.
  • Samsung was showing its NC240 and NC190 24-inch and 19-inch widescreen PCoIP display, i.e., including the thin-client components and ports in the monitor chassis, to reduce the number of things on the desktop.
  • SpringSource (which is now a division of VMware, which is in turn owned by EMC) was talking about, which will let Java developers deploy Spring Java apps, similar to Microsoft's Azure platform for Windows developers. (You can also run Spring Java apps on Google App Engine, the sales rep pointed out.)
  • Remember timesharing? Most of today's desktop PCs have more power than those old mini-clunkers... and we let most of those cycles go unused. HP was showing, among the things on the table, one interesting doohickey aimed at the EDU market: its MultiSeat thin client, which has the goal "to increase the number of computers per student," according to the booth rep. Starting with an HP quadcore desktop running Microsoft Multipoint Server, you can connect up to eight MultiSeat thin client devices, via USB; each MultiSeat handles a keyboard, video and mouse, so the desktop system can support up to nine (including the desktop's own k, v and m) simultaneous users. The PC and all the multiuser software licenses runs around $700 and the endpoints MSRP for around $120, so the per-user system costs are less than the peripherals (unless you've got old CRTs kicking around).
  • Teradici was showing their PCoIP technology, a display protocol that can support "high resolution, full frame rate 3D graphics and HD media, with full USB peripheral interoperability, locally over a LAN or remotely over a high-latency WAN" -- just the ticket for thin client infrastructures for multimedia/graphic/video-intensive users and applications.
  • Shavlik Technologies, which I know as an update/patch manager, does more than ever, it turns out. For example, asset inventory, and power management.
  • Pano Logic was showing its various thin/zero client products for use with VMware environments.
  • RSA -- which is now EMC's security division -- was showing their solutions for VMware view, for securing virtual desktop environments.
  • Need to be more VMware-savvy? Global Knowledge offers courses; the training company claims they "schedule and deliver more sessions of VMware Authorized courses across North America than any other VMware Authorized training partner."

Like I said: virtualization's got a growing ecology. Not everything may be as cool as all the iPhone accessories, perhaps, but there's a lot of useful, interesting stuff.

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