Xtreaming Technology Inc. is a new US-invested start-up company working out of Shanghai, China investing in building diskless related products. Their Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) product uses OS-streaming and allows any PC to boot up a full version of Windows XP or Vista from across a network and run it locally.
We’ve seen this technology before with Ardence (later acquired by Citrix) but VHD is a much more advanced diskless system than we’ve seen before. VHD wants to turn your Office diskless and uses a login so that a unique virtual hard disk follows each user to any workstation. The system also delivers a menu when the PCs start up so that users can choose which virtual hard disk to boot. Further VHD features include:
- Hardware isolation tools so that PCs with different chipsets and cards can boot from a single image.
- Works with third party DCHP programs so that the system can run across several different LANs (or even the Internet!)
- VHDs can be set to Persistent (retains users saved data) or Refreshed (every boot provides a fresh Windows environment)
- Storage format uses .vhd which means you can use Virtual PC or VMware to edit disk images.
- Concurrent Disk access between multiple disk servers s that even if one disk server fails the PCs can continue to be used.
Their beta version is available on their website: