Wanova, which has just come out of stealth mode having landed its first batch of venture capital dough, has claimed a new - and more importantly, a usable - twist on virtual desktop infrastructure, or VDI. There are a lot of different approaches to VDI, but the basic idea is that you host virtualized instances of PC operating …
Citrix XenClient anybody?
Sounds just like it, take a look here:
One standard corporate image, streamed down to laptops. Citrix ensures it's fully encrypted on the client side, so there are no concerns if a laptop is lost or stolen, and you get to run two virtual machines on each laptop. So you can have a secure corporate setup, and another version for home use.
This VDI thing - I can't shake the feeling that it's Citrix desktop all over again. That somehow got stuck in a time-warp from 1999 and has reappeared with a bunch of (forgetful) venture capitalists willing to plunk down a load of cash for something that's been done before.
No matter how you wrap up thin client computing, you still have to put a PC on user's desk - though we don't call them PCs, so that's all right then. After that, you don't use this PC (sorry: thin client) to actually run the stuff the user wants. You put a number of delays in the system and a honkin' great server - that has to keep running 24*7 even if there's only one lonely git in at weekends - and run their stuff on that instead. Along with all the other users who will each have to compete for resources at peak times, which is exactly when they need their own MAX performance - which their PC (ooops, again) has plenty of - going to waste as ill its doing is running a pretty front-end, and trying to compensate for all the inefficiencies designed into the thin clients, by thick suppliers.
@ Pete 2 - did you even read that?
The point here is that you are running locally but the network connection syncs the state/config of the local VM back to a server. As such you can work offline but when online be able to pick up the VM from the server and run it anywhere either by streaming it locally again, or by running it in the traditional thin-client (keyboard, video and mouse) mode.
I don't know the details and needless to say the vendors won't be so upfront on the negative aspects such as bandwidth requirements (sync at the file system level via 3G roaming anyone?) but this approach negates the need for 'honkin great servers' running 24 x 7 regardless of the load.
Conflict resolution ?
The key to this working is what happens when I turn my laptop back on and try and save a file to a directory I deleted from another machine.
So far, sounds like Dropbox would work for most people... https://www.getdropbox.com/referrals/NTU2ODAyNDk