Special Coverage Series

Network Computing

Special Coverage Series


VMware Launches New VDI Software, Updates VDI Suite

News roundup: VMware upgrades VDI suite; GreenBytes releases virtual appliance for virtual desktops; NetIQ makes SSO for cloud easier; Seagate NAS simplifies backup for SOHOs; ITinvolve launches latest SaaS-based ITSM release.

VMware has released a new product and upgrades to its suite of VDI products. The suite consists of three packages, all under the Horizon brand: Horizon View, Horizon Mirage and Horizon Workspace, a new product.

Horizon View 5.2 is the back-end infrastructure for virtual desktops. New to the 5.2 version is the ability to support remote access of virtual desktops via HTML5-based browsers. This lets users log into their virtual desktop from any device, without the need for a full client.

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The 5.2 release also supports hardware-accelerated 3D graphics to support virtual desktop environments for graphics-intensive work such as engineering and game development. The new version can also render some components of the Windows virtual desktop that don't have a native touch interface to respond to touch and gestures. For example, a file menu in Windows can be opened with touch instead of a mouse click. The company says it can enable touch on the fly without the need to rewrite the application.

Horizon Mirage helps manage virtual desktop images by dividing them into layers. The 4.0 version lets IT update different layers within an image without disrupting other layers. For example, when updating a user's desktop from XP to Windows 7, Horizon Mirage will maintain the user's applications and personal data.

Horizon Workspace is a portal for users that provides uniform access to applications, data and user desktops via PCs and mobile devices. Workspace also provides a centralized management interface for IT. Windows and Mac desktops require an agent to access Workspace. The agent synchronizes files between the local device and the backend infrastructure.

VMware says the suite will be available in the first quarter of this year. The suite is licensed per user and starts at $300. Each component can also be purchased individually.

GreenBytes Offers Virtual Appliance for VDI

GreenBytes has launched vIO, a virtual storage appliance version of its IO Offload Engine desktop virtualization product. The virtual appliance version aims to simplify deployment of virtual desktops. One vIO can provide IO Offload for 100 or more persistent virtual desktops. The company also offers its pre-configured IO Offload Engine hardware appliance that supports up to 4,500 persistent desktops.

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The vIO can divert OS and disk activity from primary storage to high-speed flash. It also uses inline deduplication software to improve performance. GreenBytes vIO will be available March 1. Pricing was not disclosed.

NetIQ Simplifies Single Sign-On for Cloud, Social

NetIQ's CloudAccess 1.1 virtual appliance is designed to help IT teams securely manage cloud applications and services and provide a consistent single sign-on experience for users. It includes connectors to automatically provision users for 200 SAML-enabled cloud applications, including Google Apps, Salesforce and Office 365. CloudAccess 1.1 also includes a toolkit to help enterprises extend its capabilities to any SAML-enabled, third-party SaaS application.

NetIQ has also released SocialAccess 1.0 to help organizations such as retailers and state and local governments engage with customers and stakeholders more easily through popular social media platforms, including Twitter and Facebook. Also a virtual appliance, it enables these organizations to share select identity information via OAuth and OpenID Connect to provide protected online services.

CloudAccess 1.1 and SocialAccess 1.0 are both available now. License costs were not provided.

Seagate Releases New SOHO NAS

Seagate's latest NAS product, Seagate Business Storage, is aimed at SOHOs, remote offices and small businesses looking to set up on-premises backup. It comes in one-drive, two-drive and four-drive configurations, with capacities ranging from 2 Tbytes to 16 Tbytes.

Seagate Business Storage can be used as a centralized backup repository and includes backup software for Windows machines. It's also compatible with Apple's Time Machine. The drive can be accessed remotely by Android and iOS applications, as well as through a secure connection from a laptop. Select files residing on the NAS can be encrypted for added security. Seagate Business Storage is available now; pricing ranges from $199 to $1,499, depending on capacity and configuration.

ITinvolve Releases Winter 13 ITSM Update

ITinvolve, which offers SaaS-based IT service management, has launched its Winter 13 social IT service and knowledge management offerings. The Winter 13 release includes the ability to use the company's social knowledge management and visualization capabilities alongside existing service desk or ITSM deployments to help resolution times and improve coordination across IT teams.

ITinvolve's portfolio of ITSM tools include ITinvolve for Service Management and ITinvolve for Social Knowledge Management, which works alongside other IT management tools to gather and federate data and information from many sources, including CMDBs, wikis, SharePoint sites, Visio diagrams and spreadsheets.



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