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Sun Intros VDI 3, a Sun-Only Virtual Desktop Set

Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq: JAVA) has struck out on its own in issuing an upgraded offering for virtualizing desktops with its recent release of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Software 3.

In the past, Sun has partnered with VMware in virtualization on the desktop and it still is; Sun is the supplier of a protocol that speeds up VMware's own delivery of virtual desktops over RDP,
Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)'s Remote Desktop Protocol. RDP by itself is too slow to deliver smooth full motion video or data intense multimedia. With this release of VDI 3, Sun is adding the option of a Sun-only virtual desktop software set, said Chris Kawalek, product line manager.

"Many will use VMware for the majority of their desktops and Sun for a subset of users," he said.

Sun has built the RDP protocol into its VirtualBox hypervisor so that desktop virtual machines may be generated on a central server and desktop presentations sent to users without requiring RDP being added to the client itself, Kawalek said. When the guest operating system is Windows XP or Vista, RDP is available through them. But for users of Windows 2000 and Ubuntu Linux, RDP must be added to the virtual guest, and can be through Sun's hypervisor services, he said.

Sun VDI 3.0 will support a wider range of desktop operating systems, including those named above, than some virtual desktop infrastructure product sets. In addition, it supports OpenSolaris for x86.

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