Many layers of virtualization!
I have mentioned before how much I like VMWare and how I have been using it not only to support my Labs requirements for years, but also as a secure client to my company network, ala VMWare ACE. I have also been looking at other application Virtualiszation technologies and Server Based Computing approaches, so it was nice to see a couple of the ideas nicely presented in this article on using VMware ACE combinted with SoftGrid, here is an extract:
What is perhaps less well known is that VMware can also provide an important service for desktop hardware. This is partly because its desktop capability is still evolving. The VMware desktop capability, VMware ACE, is currently in beta release. It provides a standard virtual hardware configuration for the desktop, including the OS, web browser and all the applications – all of which are distributed from a central point. VMware ACE solves a major desktop support problem by enforcing standardization and thus making local software installation of any kind unnecessary. It is not the resource utilization that is the issue here, but manageability.
However, on its own VMware ACE does not solve all the support issues. This is where Softricity’s SoftGrid plays a complementary role. In fact the role it plays is complementary enough for VMware and Softricity to be jointly marketing the capability.
SoftGrid is also a virtualization capability, but of a different kind. SoftGrid virtualizes each application, ensuring that there can be no conflicts between one application and another. Let me emphasize this, it is important: No application conflicts. As with VMware ACE, a single image is defined centrally and distributed to the desktop, so there is no need to install software locally. Each application is installed in a “virtual partition” which runs on the desktop for those users that are registered for the application. Each is configured and managed centrally and deployed “on demand” to authorized users.
Now because everything, the VMware ACE virtual machine and the SoftGrid application partitions, runs locally, none of the local services of the Windows desktop are lost. Everything from attached devices to “cut and paste” capability is still available, and the desktop functionality is much the same as if neither VMware nor SoftGrid were operating.
In lots of cases Windows Terminal Servers will be a better option, but for its niche its a nice technical combination. read the full article here.