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Standout VMworld Products

(Blogging from San Francisco) The show floor at VMworld had a distinct feel this year: a plethora of products around cloud computing and desktop virtualization. There were at least double the number of products in both categories as last year, and it felt like more. Here's a review of a few that I found most intriguing.

Wyse Technology. Wyse is doing some of the coolest stuff out there, and had a couple of killer products. It announced the Wyse P20 Workstation class zero client, one of the first clients to take advantage of PC-over-IP (PCoIP), VMware's high-speed protocol for delivering remote desktops to end-user devices. PCoIP shows great promise for things like 3D graphics, and Wyse wasted no time in getting a zero client to market.

The other Wyse product that excited me was its PocketCloud mobile application. PocketCloud (a $29.99 download from the Apple AppStore) lets you access a PC or virtual desktop on the iPhone or iPod Touch. VMware CTO Stephen Herrod's keynote showed a demo of PocketCloud, and I was blown away by the technology. Having your desktop available on the phone opens up new possibilities for virtualization management.

VKernel Wastefinder. Some products are so simple, yet powerful, that they give you an "Oy! Why didn't I think of that?!" moment. That happened to me at the VKernel booth, when I saw Wastefinder, part of its new Optimization Pack.

Wastefinder basically scavenges your storage, looking for orphaned virtualization leftovers. And it's amazing what it finds. Some of the virtual items admins create and forget include snapshots, templates and zombie VMs. They end up hanging around your storage, taking up space and serving no useful purpose. One VKernel client reclaimed 4 terabytes of storage just from getting rid of those deadbeats. Definitely worth a look (as is the new Optimization Pack, which combines three apps into one virtual appliance).

Neocleus. I've been developing a keen interest in the way hypervisors are evolving (see my recent story on the subject), and so stopped by the Neocleus booth.

Neocleus is the first to market with a legitimate bare-metal client hypervisor for desktop virtualization -- in fact, its NeoSphere product is now at version 2.1. It should be noted that Citrix and VMware are both working on a bare-metal client hypervisor, but they're not yet available.

Imagine running a locked-down corporate OS and a personal OS more opened up on a user's laptop or desktop. Or running an older Windows OS, for application compatibility, on the same machine that's running Windows 7, to get the VDI advantages and upgrades inherent to that OS. You can do it, right now, with Neocleus.

Again, this is just the barest sampling of what's available, but I'm confident in saying that innovation is at its peak in the virtualization market.

(Full disclosure: I have no relationship, financial or in any other way (except as a reporter covering the industry), with these companies. I just know what I like.)

Posted by Keith Ward on 09/03/2009 at 12:48 PM


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