Stories by Tom Henderson

Mint is fun, client-focused Linux distro

When <a href="">Ubuntu</a> decided last year to abruptly replace the familiar Gnome UI with its own <a href="">Unity</a> interface, many users were upset. And according to the latest numbers from DistroWatch, Linux Mint has been the major beneficiary, so we decided to test Linux Mint 12.

Cloud activity to explode in 2012

In testing cloud computing services and observing the growth of cloud activities, we've noticed that there are distinct phases that organizations go through in adopting cloud.

Ubuntu targets smartphones, clouds

Ubuntu 11.10 has some jagged edges and documentation isn't easy to locate, but Canonical is certainly dreaming big with this latest update, dubbed Oneiric (dreamy) Ocelot.

4 valuable additions to your cloud security toolkit

If you ask IT execs why they're hesitant about moving to the public cloud, security comes up at the top of the list. But security vendors are responding to these concerns with a raft of new products. Here are four interesting cloud security tools that we tested.

Windows Server 8 first looks

Microsoft's proposed Server Manager for Windows 8 Server Editions helps explain a lot of what Microsoft proposes in Windows Server 8: Ease and flexibility.

vSphere5 sets the virtualization bar

VSphere 5.0, the latest iteration of VMware's "Cloud Operating System," boasts a wealth of updates, including new tools to manage fleets of VMs, and vast tiers of virtualized, vMotion-enabled storage links. (See "VMware makes cloud jumping easy".)

NComputing X550: Low-cost, simple, effective

The X550 is a genuine old-fashioned terminal server with a twist. One or two PCIe ports are needed in a server box to host NComputing's Ethernet boards. A small, smartphone-sized box called the XD2 has speaker, Ethernet, PS/2-style mouse and keyboard jacks and a VGA jack. Two PCIe cards yields 10 machines, and the 11th is the host computer itself. The host machine can run Windows XP, 2003 Server or 2008 Server editions.

Pano Logic: Fast, easy, VMware-based

Pano Logic's Pano Cube is a very small 'designer'-looking cube containing three USB jacks, VGA and audio/mic jacks. It ostensibly has no CPU or memory/storage inside, permitting it to be used strictly as a KVM+ access device. Pano Logic also makes a USB dongle called Pano Remote for Windows-based machines that logs them onto a VM as well, but we couldn't find any use for it. Pano Remote does have the ability to constrain data transfer between a host and client PC, including print data, but this was not extensively tested.

Wyse: Effective, but proprietary

Wyse makes a number of devices that can display Windows (or other OS) sessions. We tested the Wyse V10L/VXO terminal device, which is a lightweight and book-sized terminal.

MokaFive LivePC: VDI with a twist

MokaFive is an image and virtual desktop management platform that's a VDI 'crossover' product for mobile desktop use. MokaFive is VDI that's up-close-and-personal because it's downloaded or distributed as an image directly to a Windows PC or Mac and lives not on a VM server, but inside the client Windows PC or Mac workstation.

Quest vWorkspace 6: Strong security features

Like XenDesktop, VWorkspace works with many VM server platforms, including Virtual Iron, VMware ESX/vCenter, Microsoft Hyper-V, Parallels Virtuozzo, and also supports Microsoft Terminal Services. External (meaning remote) access uses a vWorkspace SSL proxy gateway that's installed on a dedicated gateway Windows 2000/2003 server in a physical or virtual machine.