HP updates desktop virtualization software

Hewlett-Packard (NASDAQ: \HPQ \) hopes to widen the use of its desktop virtualization products with new software that will improve video playback and allow the use of USB peripherals such as webcams, the company announced Monday.

HP is also rebranding its desktop virtualization suite as the HP Virtual Client Essentials, and adding Linux support for its broker software, called Session Allocation Manager, which runs only on Windows today, HP said.

Most of the updates concern HP’s Virtual Desktop Infrastructure suite, which allows a company to run multiple images of a desktop OS in virtual containers on a server, instead of having to manage a separate OS on each employee’s PC.

Virtualized desktops are catching on at some businesses but companies need to provide workers with an experience similar to what they’d expect from a standard desktop PC, and that hasn’t always been the case with multimedia content, said industry analyst Roger Kay, president of Endpoint Technologies Associates.

HP said it has solved that problem by developing an enhanced version of Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Protocol, which transfers presentation data between thin clients and Windows applications running on a virtualized server.

The existing RDP works fine for relaying basic on-screen data, such as keyboard strokes and mouse movements, but it’s not good at carrying rich content such as a training video or webcast, said Manoj Malhotra, product marketing manager for HP’s Client Virtualization group.

“The server gets overloaded when it tries to decode a video stream for a large number of users, and some employees end up having a poor experience,” he said.

HP’s enhanced RDP shifts the burden of decoding video away from the server and onto the thin clients, he said. That will allow companies to stream video to a large number of employees without a deterioration in performance, he said. The new protocol also lets them plug in a wide range of USB peripherals, which don’t work well with the existing RDP, according to HP.

The enhanced protocol will be preinstalled starting in January on HP’s thin clients running Windows XP Embedded, and on its Linux thin clients later in the first quarter, Malhotra said.

HP said the enhanced RDP is aimed at basic productivity workers. The company also has its own RGS (Remote Graphics Software) protocol, which it positions for applications that use higher end graphics, such as CAD programs, or that multiple users access at once.

While the enhanced RDP will be free, HP charges for its RGS protocol. But on Monday it said it has cut the price of RGS to US$35 per seat, from “between $99 and a few hundred dollars” per seat, Malhotra said. It’s also allowing customers to use RGS on non-HP servers, which previously was not permitted, he said.

He predicted that the RGS protocol will become more widely used, but HP still expects the enhanced RDP to be used for about 75 per cent of virtual desktop deployments.

Would you recommend this article?

Share

Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.


Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Featured Download

Related Tech News

CDN in your inbox

CDN delivers a critical analysis of the competitive landscape detailing both the challenges and opportunities facing solution providers. CDN's email newsletter details the most important news and commentary from the channel.