It’s Official, The Year of VDI is here…and it’s spelled WVD !

Give me a lever long enough, and I can move the world.
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It sure has gotten interesting in the Windows end user computing space; even more so if you add the word “cloud” to that statement.

Many of us gray haired veterans openly joke about when the “Year of VDI” will finally arrive. The entire ecosystem – from Dell to VMware to Citrix to Amazon, IGEL, 10Zig, Stratodesk, Scale Computing, and Nutanix Xi Frame – has been waiting for the idea of running a Windows operating system on dedicated hardware at your fingertips to give way to consuming Windows applications and desktops as virtualized, abstracted, cloud services available anytime, anywhere, to any device, as needed, when needed, if needed (and priced that way too).

While many vendors may look at their contribution as being unique, the reality is we all are in the business of amplifying and extending the management of Windows in agencies, organizations, and enterprises across the world. We help people manage Windows at scale – that is the market we are in.

So, when Microsoft decides its time to embrace a modern approach to Windows, applications, desktops, virtualization, and the cloud – I tend to agree with them. I tend to listen. For the past year I’ve scarcely thought of anything else. Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) is nearly here!

Specific offerings like Xi Frame, AWS Workspaces, Appstream 2, or even Parallels certainly have their place, however, are they truly helping you manage Windows at scale in your enterprise (strategic) or are they simply solving a point in time or siloed use case (tactical)? While many of these solutions intend to and will evolve over time, others may not, while others will not.

Interestingly, VMware and Citrix have been adding products and features and PowerPoint check boxes around the periphery and increasing the price each time they delve into phones or networking or storage offerings to amplify your spend. However, when you really look at it, it’s plumbing. It’s super expensive plumbing. I wonder how many customers truly use what they are paying for? I suspect very few. I suspect fewer still escape the enormous pricing and contract pressure they feel at ELA renewal time.  And the complexity of configuring hosts, storage, networking, security, updates…yikes!

Things are changing….

Fundamentally they we all are in the business of augmenting and extending Windows at scale. And when I use the term scale – it does not necessarily mean large size, but rather scale relative to your resources. Said a better way, how can you leverage your current resources to deliver a functional workspace so the employees you hire can do the job you expect them to do?

Your end user computing solutions today already start with Microsoft – and when you no longer need to look at others to provide the overpriced, under powered, or ill-featured plumbing, we should pay attention. Office 365, Teams, FSLogix, and PowerBI – just to begin the list – unleash (individually) the power of your people. Now we are going to couple and integrate that with the delivery of the run-time (OS)? We have no idea how powerful this union can become when we have historical, contextual, aware, and iteration within the same stack you are already using today. This is sooo easily the year of the desktop!

Oh, remember how VDI was often a tad bit expensive?  Yes, Windows Virtual Desktops should delight you from a CAPEX perspective, and more than likely crush any other OPEX offers you see. Check your Microsoft Licensing Entitlements, compelling stuff.

If you are running Windows today in and across your agency, organization, or enterprise, WVD is coming to deliver on the promises we have been made for nearly a decade. Secure, centralized management of Windows, at scale, on any device, anyplace, anytime.

Welcome to Windows Virtual Desktop.

This video demonstrates seamless migration to WVD with Liquidware:

How to Migrate to WVD in a few Clicks

What excites me is for the first time in a decade Microsoft – by and through innovations in Azure, WVD, FSLogix, and MSIX – is answering, in a first person voice, how progressive organizations can and should leverage Windows, Azure, and WVD. Not simply as status quo components of your stack – but competitive differentiation (and not simply the kind on PPT :)) Microsoft is assuredly delivering on both the tactical and strategic needs of hundreds and hundreds of millions of enterprise users and admins.

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And for those needing workspace life-cycle management and advanced adaptive workspace management solutions – Microsoft has selected and put Liquidware front and center. In the coming weeks you will learn more about exactly how we are collaborating to give Visibility (StratusphereUX), User Environment Management + Profiles (ProfileUnity), and image sprawl control over apps and desktops (FlexApp) to those exploring WVD.

View this video to learn how Liquidware and FSLogix are “better together”:

Liquidware and FSLogix Integration Video

Liquidware and others in the market stand ready to ensure your success with validated solutions. Before, during, and after you begin to explore WVD, Liquidware’s Essentials Suite is purpose built to aid you on your journey.

Review this white paper authored by our own experts that includes a free cost calculator!

Free WVD Whitepaper + Cost Estimator

From selecting users, applications, and architectures to migrating masses of users, settings, and data to the cloud, onto delivering applications and profiles in harmony with FSLogix and MSIX / AppAttach, next diving into troubleshooting, login delays, and exploring metrics with business intelligence tools – Liquidware has over a decade of lessons learned and we cannot wait to share that experience with WVD customers.

In working with the team from FSLogix we can clearly see the importance Microsoft places on this business by enlisting true end user computing veterans to mind the store. Our collaboration with FSLogix from a product and operational perspective is momentous.

See for yourself in this video the power of the combination:

FSLogix and FlexApp Video

Now, a sigh of relief. We in the Microsoft ecosystem get it – and stand globally prepared to help you explore, expand, and standardize on Microsoft once again. Before, during, and after you make your design and technology delivery decisions our portfolio is purpose built to solve your most pressing challenges of assessing, designing, migrating, and validating your WVD deployment is optimized to offer your organization the strategic benefits of wisely selecting Microsoft and Azure for your future Windows deployments.

In the coming weeks there will be noise, news, and nonsense. What matters is the network of Global System Integrators, Partners, and vendors like Liquidware who stand ready to deliver success.

It was among the highest compliments in my tech career the day Microsoft not only asked us to be in the WVD ecosystem but when they invited us into their new customer engagement initiative for WVD, (details to follow!)

No matter how deep down the rabbit hole you have gone with another vendor – we can help leverage the investments and decisions you have made.

It is the year of the desktop.
It is the year of WVD.

We are Liquidware, and we are here to help.

 

T.Rex

August 2019

Microsoft Application Strategy Discussion 2019

I have spent most of my career discussing applications and how to manipulate them. It is safe to say that 2019 has seen some techtonic shifting in the application space.

Microsoft, has surfaced (no pun intended) to mix it up in the application space again. MSIX is a new application installation format with a goal to become the new defacto standard for application packaging baselines.

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All About Microsoft WVD – Availability, History, Keys for Success, Cost Calculator

Microsoft WVD (Windows Virtual Desktop) has set the Microsoft Windows world on its ear! Everyone is interested to learn more about Microsoft’s forthcoming Azure-hosted virtual desktop that promises to be more turnkey then any solution we’ve seen to date.

Microsoft’s public preview is currently underway, allowing your organization to kick the tires of one of the most anticipated desktop delivery platforms ever launched. Liquidware is a chosen inaugural partner of the Microsoft WVD partner ecosystem. As a Microsoft partner of WVD we’ve been aware of the development and the solution for the past two years.
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Process Optimization with Stratusphere UX

Six months ago we added Process Optimization to the Stratusphere Connector ID Key (CID Key). With the upcoming release of Stratusphere UX 6.1.3, we’ve added some important enhancements to the feature. For those not familiar, Process Optimization helps minimize the effects of poorly performing applications and processes by prioritizing the CPU resources available to those that are in-focus by the end user. In short, this set-it-and-forget-it Stratusphere UX feature provides a user experience safety net. A safety net to ensure in-focus applications get the resources they need, but also to guard against unplanned-for background processes (and memory—more on that in a bit) causing a negative effect on user performance.

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Provisioning Microsoft Teams the FlexApp way

To continue our Microsoft 365 blog series, today we will be focusing on Microsoft Teams and how Liquidware can help businesses manage and deploy it.

For those that don’t know, Teams has been developed as the successor to Skype for Business and Microsoft’s answer to group-chat applications such as Slack. Unsurprisingly, Teams has seen a massive uptake within businesses and there has been significant push on developing new features as quickly as possible (Microsoft have taken the approach of basing Teams on Electron).

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FlexApp Integration with Amazon AppStream 2.0

At the end of 2018, the Amazon AppStream 2.0 team released a new dynamic application framework feature that allows third party tools to help manage application entitlements and deliveries in real time. Liquidware is excited to announce that both ProfileUnity … Continue reading

Deploying Stratusphere UX Connector ID Key with Intune

As part of a series of posts, we’ll be exploring how Microsoft 365 and Liquidware’s Adaptive Workspace Management suite can complement each other and provide businesses with more productive and secure end users.

Microsoft 365 provides administrators with some great modern tools in order to manage and analyse their end user estate, such as Azure Active Directory, Windows Information Protection and MyAnalytics. Stratusphere UX is able to extend this toolset by providing user experience (UX) reporting and allowing for device assessment. This enables administrators to determine which users are best suited to take on new Microsoft 365 services such as Windows Virtual Desktop and get the most out of your Microsoft licensing.

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FlexApp and PVS: A Winning Combination

In my last blog, (please read this first as it goes into the actual architecture of FlexApp and how it’s different) I said I’d talk about a specific example of why you cannot simply say ‘all layering is the same’.  In that write up, I pointed out a number of differences architecturally, but I really want to bring this home and show how these differences matter.  My example is with Citrix Provisioning and how Citrix App Layering and FlexApp interact with it. Continue reading

FlexApp Is Different Than Other Layering Products…Very Different

I was chatting with a customer the other day about FlexApp and they told me that “it’s a different kind of layering and I like it” – it’s not the first time I’ve heard that. This got me thinking ‘why are FlexApp customers having an all-around better experience when compared to other layering technologies. When I look at public forums like Twitter, user groups, forums, etc the overwhelming opinion appears to be that all layering products are essentially the same and if an application won’t work in one, it won’t work in any others. I feel your pain and I just want you to know “Not all layering products are the same.” While Citrix App Layering (CAL), VMware App Volumes and FlexApp share the “layering” moniker, FlexApp couldn’t be more different from the competition (see 9 things that FlexApp does that no one else can or does). It’s these differences that allow us to package applications that others cannot, deliver those FlexApps to the appropriate end point or user and do this in an extremely efficient manner very, very quickly. Continue reading