Virtualization Technology News and Information
Neocleus Ships NeoSphere Next Generation Client Virtualization Solution
Neocleus, the leader in client-side virtualization, today announced NeoSphere, a ground-breaking desktop and laptop management platform and the first Neocleus product built upon Neocleus’ second generation, Type 1 client hypervisor. NeoSphere centrally manages and controls multiple concurrent isolated operating system (OS) instances as virtual machines (VMs), which execute locally on a single laptop or desktop. Neocleus will demonstrate NeoSphere for the first time at the upcoming Citrix Synergy Conference, May 4 – 7 in Las Vegas, NV. The product will begin shipping to customers and partners this May.

Securing and managing today’s laptops and desktops has become a major endeavor for organizations. As organizations grow more dispersed and the client computing infrastructure becomes more complex, IT is faced with either having to compromise its client computing environment or incur escalating costs to manage, support, and secure desktops and laptops for the growing number of use cases within the enterprise. By providing IT with the flexibility to deliver solutions that were previously too costly or impossible to address, NeoSphere offers the most robust platform for addressing IT’s systematic challenges. The most prominent use cases NeoSphere tackles include:

  • Side by side execution of two separate and isolated OS instances. One instance could be a 100 % secure locked-down operating environment containing all the corporate applications, data, network connections, and hardware configurations while the other OS could run an open image with applications that have a high intrusion threat such as music sharing software, games and social networking websites.
  • Operating two separate corporate images side by side on the same laptop or desktop; ideal for running two environments on separate, secure networks, managing application migration during mergers and acquisitions, and multi-project initiatives or environments with outsourced workers.
  • Running two versions of Microsoft Windows natively on the same machine to allow those legacy applications that have not yet been updated to Windows Vista or the upcoming Windows 7 to still be used while end users also leverage the benefits of the later operating environment in a separate VM.
  • Creating new efficiencies in desktop and laptop management by delivering a single “gold” image to a variety of different hardware platforms, thus dramatically reducing the amount of time necessary to prepare and test the corporate OS environment prior to delivering it to end users.
  • Controlling hardware components without ever touching the laptop or desktop by centrally virtualizing the hardware components of the desktop and laptop and allowing IT administrators to turn various hardware components of the endpoint device on and off on a per-VM basis.

NeoSphere leverages the company’s second generation Type 1 client hypervisor to address these challenges. The product allows two fully functional virtual machines, or “spheres” to run simultaneously and natively on a single desktop or laptop. Each sphere is centrally controlled by IT policies and requires no incremental hardware in the data center. Spheres are distributed to PCs where they execute locally in 100% secure isolated VMs. Users seamlessly move between environments without any degradation in performance. The spheres have full access to the power of the underlying hardware, including native access to the RAM, CPU, hard disks, network cards, USB devices, touch screens, and other devices attached to the local desktop or laptop. NeoSphere offers the broadest hardware support of any client-side virtualization product in the industry with future plans to support the Apple iMac and MacBook platforms.

“The virtual and mobile nature of today’s enterprises requires solutions that better protect corporate resources while also delivering a high performing end user productivity environment that enables users to securely work where and when they want,” said Dr. Ryusuke Masuoka, Director, Trusted Systems Innovation Group, Fujitsu Laboratories of America. “Through collaborative research and development the combination of our trusted computing, security and embedded device expertise coupled with the innovation of Neocleus’ virtualization platform and management system promises to allow IT to deliver solutions that provide predictable protection for corporate assets with the assurance of knowing the configuration of the computing environment accessing the resources.”

Using NeoSphere, IT administrators centrally control each sphere as though they were sitting directly at the PC, including the manipulation of all aspects of the underlying hardware. For example, the Desktop Administrator can centrally turn off all USB devices for the corporate image on each of the desktops in the organization. With the flick of a switch, they can selectively turn these back on for select users as well. They can also transition hardware components from one environment to another. With NeoSphere, a DVD drive can easily be “moved” from the personal environment to the corporate one, or vice versa, or the Desktop Administrator can make it available to both environments.

The NeoSphere product is designed to work in conjunction with existing systems and tools familiar to desktop administrators. There is tight integration with applications such as Microsoft Active Directory and SQL Server. The system is designed to work in conjunction with all OS patching and updating products as well including existing change and configuration management systems such as Microsoft SCCM, Symantec Altiris Client Management Suite, Tivoli, HP Radia, BigFix, Novell ZENworks, and others. In addition, NeoSphere works in conjunction with existing application virtualization solutions such as Microsoft App-V, VMware ThinApp, and InstallFree.

"In today's economic environment, companies have no choice but to cut their IT spending while simultaneously making their IT services more agile, efficient and secure," said Rachel Chalmers, Research Director, Infrastructure Computing for the Enterprise, The 451 Group. "At the same time, employees need to be able to reach these services wherever they are in the world. Enterprise access devices need multiple personalities, and client computing needs to let IT address the different profiles of its user base. NeoSphere offers IT a way to balance shifting end-user demands and the need for a more efficient and streamlined client computing infrastructure without escalating costs."

Published Wednesday, April 29, 2009 6:47 PM by David Marshall
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