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Jun 13 2011   7:36AM GMT

Understanding VERDE that powers IBM Virtual Desktop

Sasirekha R Profile: Sasirekha R

Understanding VERDE that powers IBM Virtual Desktop

IBM Virtual Desktop involves an open architecture providing flexibility and supports virtual Windows as well as Linux desktops (including Ubuntu, Red Hat and Novell platforms); and a variety of storage, directories, peripherals and remote display protocols. IBM Virtual Desktop for Smart Business incorporates the VERDE product – a leading, purpose-built desktop management and provisioning solution from Virtual Bridges – integrated with the IBM Foundation for Smart Business.

Virtual Bridges is named a “Cool Vendor” in the Cool Vendors in Personal Computing, 2011 report by Gartner. According to Virtual Bridges, VDI Gen2 and VERDE are just about the coolest technologies on the market today. VERDE is an end-to-end desktop management solution combining virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), offline VDI for disconnected and mobile use and remote branch desktop virtualization capabilities.

Gold Master Image provisioning model is the most important feature of the VERDE solution that reduces the number of images requiring management – reducing storage and maintenance costs as well as providing malware resistance to all sessions. With this model, only a few desktop images (Gold Masters) need to be created with the required OS and the applications that different classes of users need. Users always run a read-only copy of the latest authorized copy of the Gold Master Image with all their personal settings, documents written to a separate User Disk.

Each VERDE server is responsible for authenticating and authorizing users to Gold Images and running the selected virtual desktop sessions on the servers. Multiple VERDE servers can be part of a VERDE Cluster with a designated Cluster Master for hot stand-by. VERDE can scale up to ten thousand clustered servers or scale down to a single-server configuration. VERDE Cluster servers are completely stateless and use a Distributed Connection Brokering architecture increasing the scalability of the overall solution.

The VERDE Web-based monitoring console provides real-time visibility to all virtual desktop sessions running on VERDE cluster servers – grouped by user or server or based on type of Gold Image. The console also provides real-time server utilization metrics – lightly loaded and can run more VDI sessions (green), system load is near the recommended max (yellow), system is either at MAX or over the PEAK limit (red).

The VERDE client authenticates users and provides access to users’ desktop sessions running on VERDE servers. The VERDE Client can run on Windows, Linux, MAC workstations, Netbooks and PDAs. A user can launch more than one virtual desktop session simultaneously by running multiple client sessions. The client protocol is optimized to provide the best user experience based on the end user location [LAN, WAN or at a branch location].

Some of the other important features and capabilities of VERDE include:

  • Consistent user access to personal desktop environment from home, office and other network connected locations.
  • VDI at LAN speeds with VERDE Cloud Branch
  • Provide standard application environments to users regardless of desktop hardware and operating system – Windows, Mac, or Linux on the client, with standard application profile served from VERDE server.
  • Deliver Windows applications and desktops to Windows users from a KVM-based server – cheaper, more secure, and more reliable – with all the advantages of consolidation and central management

Virtual Bridges points out that it is the first vendor to:

  • Introduce VDI combined with disconnected use, or integrated Client-Side Hypervisor, managed from a common management infrastructure.
  • Introduce replicated branch infrastructure, known as Cloud Branch, which brings the power of VDI down to the branch and SMB level (connected over a slower and less reliable WAN) while retaining the power of centralized management.
  • Support both Windows and Linux guests in an integrated common management model giving users the flexibility to deploy more cost-effective alternative “cloud” desktops.

Virtual Bridges is recognized by CRN as the hot emerging vendor – ref. http://www.crn.com/slide-shows/channel-programs/226500092/10-hot-emerging-vendors-for-august-2010.htm.

As IBM points out, VERDE helps increase the adoption of VDI and making it mainstream by  addressing the  cost, complexity and coverage challenges traditionally associated with VDI technology. While the offline VDI, Windows as well as Linux support, and connectivity from almost any provides maximum coverage, the unified console reduces complexity and VERDE comes at a significantly less cost compared to traditional VDI without compromising on security.

Of course, any virtualization initiative is not complete without a mention of Cloud and yes, Verda does deliver desktop as a Public/Private Cloud Service.

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