Oracle VDI 3.2 Offers Enhanced Scalability, Multimedia

Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure 3.2 offers improvements in scalability, multimedia and administration. Oracle hopes to take advantage of the expected desktop refresh this year.

Oracle is rolling out the latest version of is desktop virtualization software, creating what company officials say is a complete offering, from the hardware devices through the software stack.

The company unveiled Oracle VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) 3.2 Aug. 11, with improvements in scalability, multimedia and administration.

"We are very serious about the desktop virtualization space," Monica Kumar, senior director of product marketing at Oracle, said in an interview with eWEEK.

Oracle VDI 3.2 is part of the vendor's larger desktop virtualization offering, which also includes such technologies as Sun Secure Global Desktop, which enables users to access wide arrange of operating environments-including Windows, Solaris, Linux, various Unix variants and mainframe applications-from almost any device.

The VDI offering lets user access their desktop environments through a variety of client devices, including Oracle's Sun Ray thin clients, which the company obtained through its purchase of Sun Microsystems earlier this year for $7.4 billion.

The new capabilities in Oracle VDI 3.2 include global hot-desking, which enables administrators to link to multiple data centers worldwide and helps ensure a good user experience, and multi-company capabilities, which lets a single VDI deployment serve multiple domains and directories. This will help larger enterprises and service providers that may have complex directory services architectures, Wim Coekaerts, senior vice president of Linux and virtualization engineering at Oracle, said in an interview.

VDI 3.2 also can redirect requests to other data centers if one is unavailable, which results in greater disaster recovery capabilities.

The enhanced software also offers improved vide support for better video playback on virtual desktop operating system, and enables users to send audio to their Windows XP virtual desktops.

Oracle also now offers built-in Windows virtual desktop provisioning, desktop re-provisioning that enable Windows virtual desktop images to be updated while keeping user settings and data, memory sharing and ballooning, which allows for greater virtual machine density, and better backup, notification and storage of Oracle VDI settings.

In addition, VDI 3.2 supports Windows 7, XP, Vista and 2000, and Oracle Enterprise Linux, Ubuntu and SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, and can integrate with other virtualization technologies, including VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V.

The enhanced VDI offering comes at a good time in the industry, Coekaerts said. The combination of new processor technologies from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices with Microsoft's rollout last fall of Windows 7 and a recovering economy are giving businesses reasons to rethink their desktop situation, which can open the door to desktop virtualization.

"A lot of customers are looking to move from XP to Windows 7, so they're looking at a hardware refresh," he said. "They're looking to transform their desktop environments."