We've been seeing Macs more and more at the conferences, training classes, and other public functions we attend. At BriForum this past summer, we even got to see presenter Joe Shonk switch to a Mac mid-conference, when he closed the lid on his Vista laptop, stormed off to the Apple store, and came back holding a shiny new Macbook Pro.
Since they've been gaining more popularity, I started keeping my eyes open for anything from the Mac world that would fit into our niche. For the past few years, that's only mean VMware Fusion and Parallels, but today an announcement graced my inbox from a company called Aqua Connect, who sells a product called "Aqua Connect Terminal Server." Aqua Connect Terminal Server (which I'm calling ACTS from now on) installs on top of OS X server and the latest version, 3.0, runs on Mac OS 10.5 Leopard Server.
Prior releases provided a remote desktop via the X11 and VNC protocols, which is a real holdup for people that actually try to use ACTS from a remote location. The protocols are bursty and not optimized for slower connections. With version 2.0, ACTS provided session shadowing and reconnection, as well as centralized user control.
Yesterday, version 3.0 was announced, which most notably introduces RDP protocol support. Other new features include LDAP , Open, and Active Directory integration; user, session and CPU prioritization; user auditing; and terminal options.
Not that I expect everyone to get excited about providing Mac desktops to their users, but it is pretty cool to see the technology that we're so accustomed to branching out to other platforms. It'll be interesting to see what happens with SPICE now that Red Hat owns Qumranet (I'm not forgetting ICA, I just don't think it'll ever happen). We're not too far away from being able to provide any application on any platform via any connection to any device. Any Any Any? Try Any Any Any Any!
I haven't actually seen ACTS 3.0 yet, but I'm hoping to get my hands on it soon. A trial is available, and once I get a copy of Leopard Server, I'll throw it up and check it out.