More than one year ago IBM signed a partnership with the startup Desktone to implement a 1,400 seats VDI architecture powered by their technology at the Pike County Schools.
That move cleared the IBM plan to become a Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) cloud provider which became a reality at the end of last month.
Two weeks ago in fact IBM announced the upcoming availability of its new Smart Business Desktop, a IaaS architecture powered by VMware, Citrix, Desktone and Wyse products.
The company website doesn’t clarify which vendors will provide which components but it’s pretty easy to guess (Citrix helped with a specific announcement): VMware will provide the hypervisor (ESX) and management layer (vCenter), Citrix will provide the connection broker (XenDesktop) and remote desktop protocol (HDX), Wyse will provide the thin clients and Desktone of course will glue the whole thing with its self-service portal for customers and policy manager for the cloud provider.
IBM plans to launch the Smart Business Desktop offering in October 2009 with a subscription model.
For the very first time a hardware virtualization architecture will be an alternative to the web-based architectures that Google represents so well. Hopefully virtualization.info will be able to access the IBM cloud and report about it after some extended use.