Oracle Outlines Desktop Virtualization Ambitions

Michael Vizard

As part of an aggressive push into all things virtualization following the acquisition of Sun, Oracle will push an approach to desktop virtualization that will emphasize versatility.

According to Wim Coekaerts, Oracle senior vice president for Linux and virtualization, the biggest issues with most rival approaches to desktop virtualization are that they are anchored around one operating system and put too much emphasize on a single desktop virtualization protocol.

Oracle, in contrast, is trying to drive adoption of an open broker that allows any type of virtual desktop client to communicate with any type of virtual machine. Obviously, Oracle would prefer that virtual machine to be the Oracle VM, but there's no reason that Windows, Linux or Macintosh desktop pieces should not be able to communicate with any backend system.

Most recently, Oracle has released Oracle Desktop Infrastructure 3.2, which added enhanced audio and video capabilities to support multimedia applications across the network and the ability to work across multiple directories to allow groups of companies to deploy desktop virtualization under a common cloud computing framework. Other major enhancements include improved memory sharing to provide better performance and the ability to personalize desktop settings.

A big part of the Oracle desktop virtualization strategy relies on the Sun Ray technology that the company added to its portfolio with the acquisition of Sun Microsystems. But at a time when desktop virtualization firms such as VMware and Citrix are arguing over the merits of desktop virtualization protocols, maybe the time has come to consider other flexible approaches. Obviously, Sun didn't have the necessary clout to challenge VMware and Citrix. But as part of a larger Oracle virtualization strategy, the Sun Ray technology may yet live again now that customers are more familiar with the concept of desktop virtualization and the issues associated with proprietary protocols.

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