While we wait around to find out what's going on with the supposed IBM acquisition of Sun, it appears as though Sun isn't just sitting around waiting for the phone to ring. Sun Microsystems just announced the availability of Sun Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Software 3.
Sun VDI Software 3 incorporates a number of the company's technologies such as Sun's Open Storage, OpenSolaris, VirtualBox, and MySQL. And the new software has the ability to use Sun's own hypervisor platform so that the solution isn't tied to or dependent upon VMware's platform. But users are given a choice. They can use Sun's hypervisor, opt to use the improved integration offered with VMware, or use a combination of the two technologies.
Rather than waste a lot of disk space across common virtual machines, Sun integrated VDI with its Open Storage technology to save on storage. Instead of storing every virtual machine in its entirety, the VDI solution only stores the entire master image and then stores the remaining differencing files found in the user's virtual machines.
Customers can deploy from a wide range of virtual desktop operating systems, including Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 2000, OpenSolaris, and Ubuntu.
Other additions in Sun VDI Software 3 include integration with the Solaris ZFS file system, better support for Microsoft Windows Active Directory, built-in support for Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) clients, simplified installation, and expanded support for VMware.
There are some drawbacks with the solution. Evidently, Sun has still not added the ability for users to work offline, which is a big problem should the network go down. The company realizes this is an important issue to users, and they said they are working toward a resolution. At this time, there is no support for Mac OS, although the Mac can be used as a client device when using one of the supported operating systems.