Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ: JAVA) announced a major upgrade Tuesday of its Virtual Desktop Infrastructure software. VDI 2.0, available now, supports a range of operating systems (Windows XP and Vista, Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris and Windows Mobile) and works with PCs and Macs as well as Sun's own Sun Ray thin client.
Price is $149 per concurrent user with one year of service, and a free trial download is available.
While competing with other virtualization players, Sun said it's reached an agreement with market leader VMware (NYSE: VMW) to run on the VMware Infrastructure 3 software to host Windows virtual machines (define), or VMs.
In VDI 2.0 Sun has added what it calls a virtual desktop connector that lets it use native protocols to give users access to Windows, Linux and Solaris. "We don't pipe them to the client device but leverage the server in the middle to get a high-quality connection," Chris Kawalek, product line manager for desktop and virtualization marketing at Sun, told InternetNews.com.
Kawalek said organizations that already have VMware can further leverage Sun's VDI 2.0 for better management of virtual resources. "You can statically or dynamically control the life cycle of machines," Kawalek said.
One example, temporary workers might be given a fixed length of access, like the 30 days of a contract, to give IT better control and resource management. Kawalek said IT could also use VDI 2.0 to set up specific users' VM to refresh to a known "good state" after they log out each day to insure any viruses or questionable software picked up while Web surfing is mitigated.