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Is there any software that itself works on a cloud computing provider? For example, VMWare ACE running on an Amazon EC2 platform? Or perhaps a vendor that provides a virtual desktop solution and hosts it on its own infrastructure?

I'm specifically looking for Virtual Desktop solutions like ACE that place the image on the local computer to be able to work off-line if needed.

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I'm confused by this question. It seems you want something that works from the cloud but also not on the cloud. That would almost seem contradictory. What is wrong with using ACE locally? –  Joseph Jun 16 '09 at 2:40
    
The advantage would be scalability. You could scale the amount of ACE desktops supported on a vendor’s cloud infrastructure rather than building out your own servers if demand peeks (say in a seasonal business that increases staff by 25% during the high season). –  Yishai Jun 16 '09 at 12:34
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Yeah, IBM just announced an initiative to do that:

http://www.ibm.com/ibm/cloud/smart_business/

From the page:

IBM Smart Business Desktop Cloud

The IBM Smart Desktop Cloud allows users to connect to a virtual machine operating system on a central server, using a thin-client or PC, running Java™ and an Internet browser. Security-rich and scalable, the Smart Desktop Cloud delivers a resilient, standards-based desktop environment and system image (Windows or Linux).

IBM Smart Business Desktop Cloud is available with IBM Project Based Services, if you'd like help designing and implementing a solution, and can manage the cloud once it's up and running. Or, IBM Managed Services is available for organizations that are interested in having IBM not only design and implement a Smart Business Desktop Cloud solution for them, but also to manage the centralized data - including updates and information security.

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Thanks for the info! The thing is their solution seems to require the desktop be server-only. I'm also looking for a solution that allows a laptop user to disconnect and run the desktop, and resync the next time they connect. Those exist (ACE does I think, and I know others do) but combined with the option of running the server in the cloud, I haven't seen yet. –  Yishai Jun 16 '09 at 15:33
    
No, that doesn't exist yet. –  Brent Ozar Jun 16 '09 at 16:23
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