VMware ACE, I like it and use it
VMware have just announced ACE, this is how they describe it:
VMware ACE is an enterprise solution for IT desktop managers who want to rapidly provision standardized and secure PC environments throughout the extended enterprise. VMware ACE installs easily, improving the manageability, security and cost-effectiveness of any industry standard PC. VMware ACE enables IT desktop managers to apply enterprise IT policies to a virtual machine containing an operating system, enterprise applications, and data to create an isolated PC environment known as an “assured computing environment”. VMware assured computing environments are self-policing, protect enterprise data, and enable safe access to enterprise resources.
I like the idea, I have been using VMWare myself for exactly this requirement. On one of my home servers that sits on my home network I have a Windows XP VM, configured with corporate firewall, AV products, locked down configuration and VPN client. I use this VM to connect to the company network.
This has two advantages, The company network is pretty well isolated from my home network and I am well isolated from it, (since its pretty big and represents a fairly large threat). I would prefer to be able to just fire up a Windows Terminal Server session over the internet when I need to get into work, but until that’s possible this solution works fine.
VMWare are taking the same concept, making it slicker and putting some controls in place that in my implementation depend on my self discipline 🙂