HP to Craft Virtual

By Scott Ferguson  |  Posted 2007-10-18 Print this article Print

Desktop Experience with Neoware"> "I think a lot depends on the type of organization, but we are in an industry that changes all the time and companies are open to this type of change," Donofrio said. "If you look at the security, the cost savings, the energy savings, I dont think this can be stopped."

The one area where ODonnell sees HP making the biggest change is integrating Neowares image managing and OS streaming software into the Palo Alto, Calif., companys own CCI (Consolidated Client Infrastructure) software. In addition, HP servers support both VMwares VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) and Microsoft Virtual Server.
Like a traditional server-based virtual environment, virtualized client computing divides the hosts physical resources—memory, storage, microprocessors—into multiple virtual machines and each of these VMs are able to support operating systems and applications, all connected through a companys network.
Unlike traditional thin-client computing, the virtualized computing model offers an enterprises employees a virtual PC that is complete with hardware resources, while offering the IT department control through the network for tasks such as patching and upgrades for operating systems and applications. The result, ODonnell said, is a group of servers housed within the data center that control different images for different departments—human resources, manufacturing, office workers—and the OS and applications are streamed to the proper thin client, workstation, PC blade or even a traditional HP desktop. If it seems familiar, its because it is. On Oct. 10, Dell introduced a "streaming" centralized computing model that combines standard OptiPlex desktops—the hard disk drives are removed—with PowerEdge servers and storage along with OS streaming software from Citrix. This particular package, however, does not include virtualization within the servers, but each server can hold up to 100 desktop images. About two years ago, IBM offered its own Virtualized Hosted Client Infrastructure, by partnering with both Citrix and VMware, which looks to get greater use of virtualization as well as an expansion of IBMs blade form factors. Click here to read more about HP software management services. Wyse also offers a similar software suite that allows the OS to be streamed and the software also works with VMwares VDI, Microsoft and Citrix. The difference comes down to services. HP, and to an extent Dell, can deliver services while a smaller player, such as Wyse, has to partner to provide services. By providing services, companies like Dell and HP, along with some other models being promoted by NEC and IBM, eliminate a obstacle, but ODonnell insists there is not an easy way for IT departments to remove a trusted standard, such as a locally managed desktop, to replace it with the type of virtualized client infrastructure promoted by HP and other vendors. "Again, this is not a greenfield," ODonnell said. "People already have something there and a lot depends on how hard or easy it is to convert one type of environment into a new type of environment." Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news in desktop and notebook computing.


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