Virtual Bridges Expands Virtual Desktop Ecosystem with IBM and Canonical

In December 2008, IBM and Canonical announced they were teaming with Virtual Bridges to provide the company's Virtual Desktop Infrastructure technology as part of a Microsoft-alternative desktop offering, and since then the partner network for Virtual Bridges offerings has more than doubled, the company reports.

VERDE is Virtual Bridge's flagship Virtual Desktop Infrastructure technology (VDI). The new joint desktop offering combines VERDE with the desktop Linux OS, Ubuntu from Canonical, and IBM's collaboration and productivity software, Open Collaboration Client Solution (OCCS). The combined solution provides "a very methodical, conservative approach to lowering the cost of desktop ownership," Jim Curtin, president and CEO of Virtual Bridges, tells 5 Minute Briefing. "It is not a big bang approach," Curtin explains. Users can gradually migrate to Linux "or you can go to Linux right away and have all the applications you need."

Cost is a constant number-one concern, no matter what the economic picture, he notes. "Everyone is always looking for a competitive advantage in lowering cost and so the exciting part of the story in December-and now-is the virtual piece. The market is moving toward virtualizing the desktops for easier management, better control, better security, and all that leads to lower costs. Virtualization is really driving down cost by centralizing the management of these desktops."

With VERDE 2.0, Virtual Bridges has added clients a major new feature-the ability to use their virtual desktop software when they are offline. Users can be disconnected from the Internet and still be able to use applications locally. This expands VERDE from being VDI-only to being a true desktop management infrastructure offering.

Midas Networks in Austin, Tex., is now offering clients VERDE 2.0 as a hosted desktop offering. This "software as a service" offering looks like a traditional desktop but the hosted applications permit the users access their desktops on any network-connected device where ever they happen to be.

"We're seeing the move to a Linux desktop-even in a staged deployment-is highly compelling financial opportunity for companies," observes Inna Kuznetsova, director of IBM Linux strategy. "Virtual Bridges' extended network of partners means that more companies around the globe can take advantage of the cost savings of virtualized PCs, centralized IT management, and open source software." For more information about Virtual Bridges, go here.