by Andy Patrizio
IBM has introduced a software system for supporting several virtual desktop solutions on a set of IBM-specified reference infrastructures, allowing you to take your work desktop anywhere.
Called the IBM SmartCloud Desktop Infrastructure, the solutions use a variety of desktop virtualization technologies that allow organizations to centrally manage desktops while allowing employees with access to applications from virtually any device.
IBM System x Vice President Roland Hagan said in a video accompanying the announcement that the SmartCloud initiative was designed to “help businesses manage the transition to an ‘anywhere, anytime’ workplace affordably, while minimizing risk.”
He said clients have given IBM three reasons for implementing desktop virtualization: the Bring Your Own Device to work movement; that companies want to support but have IT concerns; increased concerns with security and compliance because of the many places employees work outside the office; and the complexity of supporting so many different devices, including smartphones and tablets.
That’s the purpose of this virtual desktop: to avoid the physical constraints of computing by letting users run a desktop, laptop, PC or Mac, tablet or smartphone. It is designed to support platforms across various industries, including healthcare, education, financial services and retail, as well as the public sector, local, state and federal government agencies.
SmartCloud Desktop Infrastructure provides a set of IBM-specified reference infrastructures with a choice of several virtual desktop solutions, including Citrix and VMware as well as an IBM solution provided with Verde’s Virtual Bridges, running on IBM System x servers.
SmartCloud Desktop also offers IBM’s Tivoli Endpoint Manager for management of the different devices and IBM Security Access Manager for single sign-on across the enterprise. The overall infrastructure is based on IBM’s System x servers.
Such a system is needed because we’re no longer in a one-PC-model-fits-all world any more, said Charles King, principal analyst with Punt-IT. “Before the whole BYOD thing, the primary reason companies insisted on the same kind of computer or smartphone was to create an easier management schema for their IT guys. That’s simply not going to be operating procedure for the vast majority of companies from here on out,” he said.
“So what IBM is doing is helping IT managers and staff be flexible enough that they can provide full flexibility and security, whatever devices people bring into the workplace,” he added.
It is possible to build your own infrastructure similar to what IBM is offering, but IBM offers a turnkey solution, meaning you will have to spend less time and money if you just go with pre-configured systems like this”. added King.