Enhancements include IBM Bluemix support, which significantly strengthens VERDE as an MSP offering.
Today, NComputing is announcing the launch of VERDE VDI 8.1, the solution they acquired with VERDE Workspaces, a company which itself was basically a reboot of Virtual Bridges. The acquisition gave NComputing a much stronger VDI play in the enterprise, something that is further enhanced with this release.
The technology in the original Virtual Bridges VERDE VDI offering was purpose-built for desktop computing and provided the same level of support for Linux as for Windows, something that neither of the market leaders did. Virtual Bridges’ growth was, however, derailed by venture investor impatience, which derailed a relationship with IBM, and led to the strip-mining of the company’s assets and its eventual dissolution. VERDE VDI went to NIMBOXX, a hyper-converged startup which soon had money problems of their own. That allowed Jim Curtin, Virtual Bridges’ original CEO and co-founder, to establish a new company, VERDE Workspaces, and buy VERDE VDI back. He decided earlier this year to sell the company to NComputing, and became NComputing’s VP and GM of Global Software.
The VERDE VDI 8.1 release is essentially a reboot and update of the original solution, which takes it in the direction Curtin had wanted to go before his ouster by the venture funding, and which will come to fuller fruition with a fall release.
“When I left Virtual Bridges in 2013, I was about to push into multi-tenancy and leverage our cloud range,” Curtin said. “After that, it basically went into freeze for two and a half years. They came out with an 8.0 version that they literally released a day before they shut down, so it had no market exposure.”
Curtin described the 8.1 release as a modernized version of 8.0.
“This release rebrands it, adds enhanced security, client upgrades, feature upgrades, bug fixes, and a little bit of integration with NComputing, through an HTML5 connection,” he said. “The big integration, with full support of RX300, will be in the 8.2 release in the fall.”
Curtin said that the product’s traditional feature strengths against the market still exist today, despite the product’s being frozen in time for two and a half years.
“We are still ahead of the market in Linux,” he said. “Our technology gives the customer just one throat to choke down to the thin client. Even Dell can’t promise that VMware and Wyse will always work well together. We feel the customer will value that. Our security robustness is also second to none and that’s a major driver in the market today.”
Curtin said that 8.1 also brings forward features that had been developed before, but not properly taken advantage of.
“Cloud Branch with multi tenancy and role based access control is a cascading hierarchical management model layered on top of VDI infrastructure,” he said. “It’s like Akamai for VDI. It takes elements of the data centre and puts it on the edge, replicating it down to the branch so it’s a headless operation there.”
Curtin said that provides multiple advantages.
“It gives LAN performance across the WAN because it comes from a local server,” he said. “It provides continuity if the server goes down. It also reduces network bandwidth in and out of the branch.”
MSP-ready hosting comes from the IBM Bluemix cloud platform, which now is supported with this release.
“VERDE needs bare metal access,” he said. “It doesn’t run on someone else’s hypervisors. Bluemix supports bare metal deployment, so is ideal for us. We are excited about building that MSP capability out with the 8.1 release. Bluemix provides a new use case for Cloud Branch, hosting IBM Bluemix. The multitenancy and access control it gives on top of that lets MSPs manage customers. You can put a hundred-user unit in in two to four hours on Bluemix, and an MSP can manage those hosted in the IBM cloud for their customers.”
The Bluemix hosting also lets NComputing further accelerate VERDE VDI’s advantage as a lower cost VDI solution. VERDE VDI, Bluemix hosted with VDA, costs much less than other solutions, at only $420 per year.
“VDI was originally driven by Windows 7, and is now being driven by Windows 10,” Curtin said. “Security is the bogeyman. Companies now know that perimeter security doesn’t work and the only way to protect data now is to centralize it. That has huge relevance to VDI, but it still has to be cheaper to use than in the past, and has to address more use cases.”
Curtin said that the VERDE technology, backed by NComputing’s much greater resources than the technology ever enjoyed before, provides an extremely strong market opportunity.
“We have a rebranded product, with all the bells and whistles and, the money behind it,” he said. “We now have three regional GMs and their sales teams, and are investing in demand-gen and lead-gen. It couldn’t be a better time for us.”