In a move that highlights the growing importance of desktop virtualization, Provision Networks has arranged for IBM to reference its software in future sales of the IBM Virtual Client Solution. (See IBM Picks Provision.)
Desktop virtualization is gaining momentum as a way for companies to streamline the configuration of laptops and desktops, save on software licensing costs, and simplify management. (See Desktop Virtualization Brokers Emerge.) The technologies involved in the trend come from a slew of vendors, and partnerships are intricate and downright confusing.
Provision Networks claims to simplify matters by covering three market segments. The firm started off in 2004 by licensing the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) from Microsoft to offer enterprise terminal services, competing with Citrix. According to Provision CEO and co-founder Paul Ghostine, the limitation of this approach was that Microsoft's protocol only delivered full desktops, not individual applications for those desktops.
In 2005, therefore, the company implemented VMware Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) to create virtual machines populated with desktop operating systems and applications. The resulting Virtual Access Suite for VDI became the company's flagship in 2006.
Then this year, Provision focused on integrating its RDP terminal server capabilities with the VDI integration it offered in 2005. The result, according to Ghostine, is a product that supports terminal services like Citrix, dedicated remote desktops like those offered by IBM on BladeCenter servers, and a broker for shared remote desktops like the ones offered by Dunes and Zeus.