150 IBM Partners Promote Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)

It's hard to blame Edward L. Abrams for sounding so darn upbeat. The reason: Roughly one month after IBM launched a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) push, roughly 150 channel partners are now selling the solution. Abrams, VP of marketing for IBM's midmarket efforts, provides deeper details in this FastChat Video with The VAR Guy.

First, a little background. The IBM VDI effort involves a partnership with Virtual Bridges, a small but savvy virtualization company in Austin, Texas. Leveraging Virtual Bridges software and IBM hardware, channel partners can centralize customer desktop applications on IBM servers. Next, customers can use all types of devices -- desktops, notebooks, netbooks, tablets and more -- to access the centralized applications.

Roughly 150 channel partners sell the IBM-Virtual Bridges solution, and roughly 300 partners have expressed interest in the offering. VDI deployments are occurring worldwide, Abrams said, from small businesses up to large enterprises. Several inflection points are driving the deployments. For instance, customers running Windows XP and Windows Vista may consider VDI as they mull Windows 7 deployments. Also, the proliferation of mobile devices -- particularly iPads and smart phones -- is driving customers to centralize their desktop applications on servers, notes Abrams.

The Virtual Bridges technology, working in tandem with IBM's hardware, doesn't put a significant workload on the network, Abrams added. "It's pretty much standard x86 hardware on the server. I don't see a lot of big hurdles to VDI," said Abrams. "The market is exploding. This is the new reality."

Hmmm... Perhaps so. The VAR Guy has been watching IBM and Virtual Bridges poke around the VDI market for more than a year. Earlier efforts involved promoting virtualized Linux desktops on centralized servers. But this current effort, focusing more on giving mobile users access to centralized applications, seems to be catching on faster. Apparently, 150 channel partners are already in the market promoting the one-month-old VDI solution. And Abrams says more surprises could be coming in April. The VAR Guy will be standing by for more details.

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