Zeus Technology launches connection broker for virtual desktops

Mountain View, CA – 23 April 2007

-- ZXTM VDB intelligently connects remote desktops, assuring security, availability and regulatory compliance --

Zeus Technology, a leading provider of award-winning application traffic management and load balancing software, today announced its entry into the virtual desktop market with the launch of ZXTM VDB (ZXTM Virtual Desktop Broker), a connection broker for any virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) remote desktop.

ZXTM VDB provides secure remote access to desktops that are running in virtual environments such as VMware’s ESX Server or Microsoft’s Virtual Server. It allows users to connect to the computing resources they need via a thin client such as the Wyse S10, or a computer with remote desktop protocol capabilities. Its sophisticated policy-based engine means that administrators can define ‘pools’ of desktops – such as an administrator, power user or basic user - that are assigned to users based on their security and resource requirements.

ZXTM VDB allows organizations to reduce the cost of managing large desktop fleets by consolidating desktop hardware and reducing maintenance and upgrade costs. The solution improves manageability by making it easier for IT managers to maintain desktops, roll out upgrades and patches, migrate users and recover from hardware failure. This is particularly compelling for organizations that maintain significant numbers of replicated desktops, such as those with a large call centre or back office.

The solution enforces a strong security model through client authentication and Zeus’ ‘gateway’ architecture, which makes it impossible for rogue users to bypass the connection broker and attack the desktop directly. Because the desktop resides within the data centre the solution also allows for stricter compliance with data protection regulations. For example, companies can pursue offshore outsourcing without having to worry about data residing on unprotected PCs in other countries. Organizations with a mobile workforce can provide employees with remote access to corporate data, without worrying about data theft should their laptop be lost or stolen.

“Dell has chosen Zeus Technology Ltd as part of the Dell Virtualization ecosystem in recognition of their market leadership in connection brokering and load balancing for network traffic. Zeus have utilised their knowledge and experience to provide Dell with an appliance that will form a fundamental component of our Virtual Desktop Solution,” said Nigel Goodwin, Virtualization and Consolidation Practice Lead - EMEA. “The Zeus ZXTM VDB connection broker provides Dell with a scaleable solution for secure multi-entry point connections to virtual desktops. Using industry standard directory look-up and mapping, ZXTM VDB enhances Dell’s practice of standardisation and provides our customers with point solutions without vendor or technology lock-in.”

“VDI is fast becoming a compelling alternative for organizations looking to improve manageability, reduce costs and improve security across their IT infrastructures,” said Paul Di Leo, CEO of Zeus Technology. “Connection brokers are a critical component of a virtual desktop environment, providing an intelligent link between the virtualized desktop and the end-user client. ZXTM VDB differentiates itself through enhanced security, flexibility, ease of deployment, reliability and cost effectiveness.”

Key features of ZXTM VDB include:
- Single point of entry: ZXTM VDB is the single point of contact for all remote desktop users, securing desktops by checking users’ credentials before connecting them
- Connection management and rules engine: Users are connected to desktops based on rules defined by the administrator. In the simplest case, users are assigned to particular pools and are connected to an available virtual desktop. More complex rules based on a number of parameters can be created using a powerful rules engine
- Automatic reconnection: If the user loses their connection to a session on a particular desktop, ZXTM VDB will reconnect them to this desktop when the network recovers
- Connection Draining: Allows the administrator to take virtual machines out of service for maintenance or upgrade without disrupting logged-in users
- Monitoring: ZXTM VDB monitors availability and will only connect users to desktops known to be working correctly. If a virtual desktop fails, ZXTM VDB will raise an alert and will not try to connect users to that machine until it detects that it is working properly again
- Administrative interface: ZXTM VDB is managed from an easy to use web-based interface. In addition to allowing the configuration of pools and rules, this reports on all connections to the pools, and allows the administrator to forcibly disconnect users.

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