The new capabilities in Oracle VDI 3.2 include scalability enhancements such as global "hot desking," which allows administrators to link multiple, global data centers and helps provide for a good user experience, regardless of location; multicompany capabilities, which enable a deployment to share resources and serve multiple domains and directories, helping service providers and large enterprises with complex directory services architectures; and the ability to redirect requests to other data centers if one becomes unavailable, which provides greater disaster recovery benefits.
Oracle Virtual Desktop Infrastructure also provides multimedia improvements, including support for upstream audio and playback for Adobe Flash content and Windows Media Player on Oracle's Sun Ray Clients and most PCs. Improved video support allows users to view multimedia content as they would on a local PC desktop. Sun Ray Clients provide additional support for many USB devices within a Windows XP virtual desktop. Printers, scanners, and external hard drives can be mounted for use, while still providing the security advantages of a virtual desktop architecture.
In addition, version 3.2 offers enhanced management and administration, including policy-based memory sharing between desktops; tools to back up and restore the VDI systems; fast system provisioning that dramatically reduces the creation time of new Windows desktop clones; and re-provisioning, which allows the underlying Windows virtual desktop images to be updated while preserving user settings and data.
Oddly enough, Oracle is still not ready to offer support for Oracle VM, the company's own Type-1 Xen-based hypervisor platform. Instead the company is continuing where Sun left off and using VirtualBox, its hosted virtualization platform or Type-2 hypervisor, as the Oracle VDI platform of choice. While VirtualBox has proven to be an excellent stand-alone hypervisor and a favorite among developers and open source community members, there are still many questions as to its scalability for a VDI environment and whether it can or should be the base virtualization platform to make Oracle a leading contender in this expanding VDI market.