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Lenovo To Peddle ‘Cloud-Ready Clients’

For cloud computing to be truly effective, the cloud must recognize the client device and its capabilities

Lenovo, the Chinese outfit that bought IBM’s PC unit, said Tuesday that it’s got “Cloud Ready Clients” that are “optimized to interact with the cloud and give end users the best possible experience when accessing applications and services.”

It claims that “for cloud computing to be truly effective, the cloud must recognize the client device and its capabilities, and the applications and resources have to be capable of exposing themselves to the cloud.”

The widgetry was developed in combination with Intel and apparently include all Lenovo ThinkPad laptops and ThinkCentre desktops built around second-generation Intel Core or Core vPro processors and Intel- developed APIs that “expose key hardware attributes of the client to cloud applications.”

Whether this stuff is different from anybody else’s widgets is unclear, but along with the boxes, Lenovo’s going to be hawking what it calls Secure Cloud Access (SCA) a delivery method powered by Stoneware’s webNetwork that’s supposed to improve the way cloud-based applications interact with end-user devices like the Cloud Ready Clients, smartphones and tablets.

Lenovo says SCA gives users access to their web-based or local Windows applications on nearly any device through a browser-based interface that mimics the look and feel of their normal Windows desktop. It delivers applications based on the device and adjusts security and performance settings to that device.

It’s supposed to let businesses quickly deploy a private or hybrid cloud inside the data center on physical or virtual servers, simplifying application delivery and services. Users access the web-based desktop through an Internet connection and a Java-enabled browser like Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari.

Apparently SCA recognizes situational cues like the user’s authentication method, the device’s processor power, free memory and graphics, available bandwidth, time of day and location and allocates local or cloud resources based on these cues to optimize application delivery.

Lenovo claims enhanced security with support for SSL or VPN access and integration with Active Directory, eDirectory or LDAP solutions.

It says additional levels of authentication can be deployed in situations or on devices where authentication doesn’t already exist. SCA is supposed to minimize cloud virus contamination by granting users access to their organizations’ applications and print and file resources without permitting any access to the organizations’ intranet.

And, by allowing single sign-on to applications (Windows or web, internal or hosted) and services, SCA is supposed to simplify access so businesses can reduce the management overhead associated with password resets. There’s even a Lenovo Cloud Ready Client with a built-in fingerprint reader to complement or replace application-unique passwords.

Lenovo said SCA is available in North America direct and through the channel at prices starting at around $80 a user.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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