Virtual Computer is trying to make desktop virtualization easy by having centralized management with distributed execution so you can deploy hundreds if not thousands of VMs. The difference is that the VMs are run on the endpoint devices, and cuts costs and infrastructure requirements. The NxTop platform, as it is called, has its own bare metal hypervisor that sits on the desktop and manages the various VMs.
The new version 4 has over 50 enhancements. The most notable is a centralized storage option, where the VMs need to stay inside the datacenter and boot off a storage array, like a regular VDI solution but without the need for a specialized VDI network and storage array. Also you can deploy their management solution on both vSphere or Citrix Xen in addition to their existing Hyper-V support. There are added policies to support managed access to port controls and faster access to Windows with simplified logins and user management. Using their solution, you also can create large collections of shared computers for training classes for example.
NxTop’s VM collection is actually stored as VHDs, the same format that Microsoft Hyper-V uses. This makes it easier to convert existing VMware VMDK disk images over to its collection.
Virtual Computer has long had the ability to lockout users if a computer is stolen and also a remote kill switch feature for further protection. The next time a stolen laptop sees the Internet, it’s hard drive will be wiped clean.
Virtual Computer will be showing the latest version at the VMworld show in Vegas this week. Pricing is for $160 per machine plus $40 annual maintenance.