Quest announces vWorkspace iPad and Zero PC connectors

Quest's desktop virtualization connectors extend the life of PCs for business and add greater mobility for end-users

In an effort to push desktop virtualization adoption, Quest has announced expanded device support for its vWorkspace product, which manages, secures, and provisions virtual desktop environments, as well as brokers connections and delivers virtual applications and desktops from multiple hypervisors. Quest hopes the expanded support will provide businesses that leverage vWorkspace more ways to embrace the benefits of virtual desktops, including lower costs and greater mobility.

[ VMware has dissed bare-metal desktop hypervisors, saying customers aren't ready. | Also on InfoWorld: Citrix XenClient extends desktop virtualization to mobile.| Keep up to date on virtualization with InfoWorld's Virtualization channel. ]

Quest recently introduced vWorkspace connector software for the Apple iPad and other mobile devices, extending the perimeter of IT resources for which Quest provides device management. And when attempting to expand the deployment of desktop virtualization through greater mobility, you couldn't do much better than connect with the iPad. Analyst firm Gartner recently said they expect the unit sales of media tablets to nearly triple to roughly 55 million next year. That growth trend is being driven in large part by sales of the iPad.

"Apple iPads exist in corporate America because of their popularity as a personal computing device, not because IT departments decided iPads served some strategic objective," said Mike Pagani, director of product marketing at Quest. "But as they are prevalent in today's business environment, and represent a very capable device, Quest created the vWorkspace Connector for iPads to help both IT departments and users maximize value."

Enabling desktop virtualization on the iPad also improves mobile user productivity by giving them greater desktop and application availability. The Quest vWorkspace connector allows the iPad to act as a thin client device for a virtualized desktop. In essence, it allows iPad users to run Windows 7, Linux, or any number of business-critical applications while mobile and away from their desks.

According to Pagani, delivering a virtual Windows desktop to an iPad creates a standardized environment that simplifies management across any number of users. iPad users will be able to get all the richness of Windows applications in a familiar, lightweight, and mobile device that improves productivity.

But for IT departments, perhaps the bigger news from Quest is the release of the vWorkspace Connector for Zero PCs, a concept the company says will help corporations save money while extending the life of older PCs. 

With the vWorkspace Connector for Zero PCs, businesses can repurpose aging computer systems that aren't quite fitting the bill any longer by turning them into virtual thin clients running vWorkspace. The connector breathes new life into those machines that don't meet the specifications necessary to upgrade to Windows 7 and allows them to run the newer operating system much like it does with the mobile iPad device.

The vWorkspace Connector for Zero PCs virtually eliminates both CapEx and OpEx associated with upgrading or refreshing PCs.

"Cost savings start with the elimination of the procurement process -- a time and resource intensive project -- and continue with the elongation of the entire refresh cycle," said Pagani. "Zero PCs eliminate the downtime associated with swapping out computers, training users on new systems, and the potential time waste from loss data. Aging systems otherwise headed for the trash are now candidates for migrating to Windows 7, using the vWorkspace Connector for Zero PCs. This further simplifies management for IT staffs, plus leverages a company's investments in data center servers."

If you are ready to give the vWorkspace Connector for Zero PCs a try, you can get the beta release from the Quest vWorkspace Community. Quest is still in the trial phase with iPad connector, but it should be available for download at the Apple App Store sometime soon.

This article, "Quest announces vWorkspace iPad and Zero PC connectors," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in virtualization and cloud computing at InfoWorld.com.

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