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IBM Unveils Industry’s First Public Desktop Cloud

IBM has partnered with Citrix, Desktone and Wyse as well as VMware in the venture

At VMworld on Monday IBM announced what it called the industry’s first public desktop cloud. It will be available in the Americas and Europe starting in October.

IBM describes it as its biggest cloud computing endorsement to date enabling anywhere/anytime access for everything from distance learning to business computing.

The new IBM Smart Business Desktop on the IBM Cloud is a subscription service for virtualizing desktop computing resources, providing a logical, rather than physical, method of accessing data, computing power, storage capacity and other resources.

Any Java-enabled device including desktop PCs, thin clients, netbooks, home PCs and kiosks/public PCs can access its platform-independent, hosted applications and full client image anytime through a browser.

IBM says it will work with almost any traditional desktop application.

IBM has partnered with Citrix, Desktone and Wyse as well as VMware in the venture.

Desktone claims the first and only virtual desktop hosting platform designed specifically for the cloud, providing multi-tenancy and seamless multi-data center support, called key elements in designing and building a scalable, cost-effective global desktop cloud offering.

Like other public clouds there’s no upfront capital outlay or one-time expense and IBM is promising the “highest levels” of security, resiliency, reliability and quality for the virtual desktops.

It says it will minimize the risk of data theft and loss, centralize data protection and eliminate unauthorized access.

There will be three standard cloud-based offerings, dedicated infrastructure and customer premise solutions.

IBM’s web site described the Smart Business Desktop Cloud as coming in two implementation strategies: so-called project-based services for organizations interested in client virtualization that want help with strategy, planning, design and implementation and managed services for organizations that want IBM to design and implement a solution, as well as manage the virtual desktop solution.

IBM says the service will be available in an implementation/cost model that suits each customer’s need, including highly regulated industries like financial services as well as the “more with less” demands of public sector or service organizations.

Supported by the government’s stimulus spending, the Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network is partnering with IBM on a grass roots project called CBO Connect to provide desktop computing to over 200 sites nationwide.

The CBO Connect is a coalition of community based organizations consisting of non-profits, schools and libraries where visitors have access to 21st century classrooms that offer desktop cloud computing, interactive video conferencing for distance learning, video distribution system with digital signage, and other classroom and administrative services.

HITN was founded in 1983 to advance the educational, cultural and socio-economic aspirations of Hispanics in the US and Puerto Rico and reportedly reaches more than 30 million households in key Hispanic markets across the country.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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