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Desktop VM managers make a virtual two-horse race

Quoting InfoWorld

The virtualized desktop is finally coming of age. Once the purview of the technorati, desktop virtualization is rapidly evolving into a viable solution for delivering mainstream applications and services – thanks in large part to the efforts of innovative third-party developers such as Kidaro and Sentillion. By pushing the boundaries of what defines a virtualized environment, these vendors are obliterating the technical and logistical barriers that have long stymied enterprise IT efforts to leverage desktop virtualization, both to reduce TCO and to minimize the overall corporate security surface area.

But first, a point of clarification: desktop virtualization, as described in this article, refers to the deployment of corporate applications and data within discrete VM images that then run independently on a host-client system. This is different from the virtualized desktop model promoted by VMware and its partners, which typically involves running multiple VM images on a centralized, hypervisor-brokered server, although VMware also offers ACE (Assured Computing Environment), a decentralized solution (see VMware ACE lags the pace).

Kidaro and Sentillion, as well as VMware ACE, provide centralized authentication and validation of VMs, including the ability to isolate and revoke rogue images. They bolster security through encryption of the local VM disk image or file structure, and through encryption of the VM network connection, which is typically handled within the VM by a VPN client. They also offer the ability to restrict the VM’s access to local resources such as USB, disk, and clipboard. And they integrate with Active Directory to simplify authentication and identity management.

Beyond these essentials, Kidaro and Sentillion both provide a variety of additional unique and highly innovative features that differentiate their products from the more basic VMware offering, and also from each other. The solution you choose will come down to your evaluation priorities, with Kidaro’s host integration prowess squaring off against Sentillion’s deployment convenience to woo prospective customers.

...

Be there or vThere?
Both Kidaro Managed Workspace and Sentillion vThere offer excellent, base-level management functionality that matches or beats VMware's ACE offering. Considering Kidaro’s seamless host integration and Trim Transfer technology and Sentillion’s strong VPN support and robust hosting benefits, these solutions more than justify the modest price premium over the generic VMware solution. A preference for Kidaro or Sentillion will depend on how your organization’s specific needs match up to their respective value-added propositions.

If you’re mostly concerned with usability and you need to keep the solution entirely in-house, then Kidaro Managed Workspace is a great choice. On the other hand, if you’re managing a far-flung enterprise and don’t object to a hosted model, Sentillion’s vThere can take much of the stress out of managing a large virtualized user base, and it's a bit less expensive. In the end, both products are winners, so you really can’t go wrong.

Read the entire article, here.

Published Thursday, April 19, 2007 5:54 AM by David Marshall
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