Oracle's virtual desktop infrastructure is no longer reliant solely on the company's own storage infrastructure, giving customers a range of new options that won't tie customers into one vendor.
With release of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure 3.4, the platform supports local storage and the open standard Network File System, which creates more and potentially less expensive alternatives as VDI projects expand at companies.
Oracle also announces software improvements for its zero-client hardware platforms as well as its Virtual Desktop Client for PCs that enables full 720p HD video over the devices, an improvement over its previous support for 720p video at a frame rate too low to be considered HD.
Upgrades to Oracle VDI and its Sun Ray clients support the extended application protocol data unit (APDU) smart card standard that allows reading of more data on the smartcard. This means data can be automatically given to applications from the card rather than users having to enter it manually.
The software also embraces 802.1X extensible authentication protocols that bases authentication on the port being used by the machine attempting to authenticate. Before the software supported smart card authentication in addition to user name and password.
Oracle has tweaked its USB standard support to squeeze five-times higher speeds out of its VDI for USB devices. These devices can have trouble with VDI because they were designed to deal directly with local machines and applications, not with applications being accessed over a network that introduced latency.
(Tim Greene covers Microsoft for Network World and writes the Mostly Microsoft blog. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/Tim_Greene)
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