The release of ProfileUnity and FlexApp v6.8 today is our best release ever! This release has several enhancements and new industry-first features that raise the bar.
FlexApp received numerous new features so let’s start with application layering and what’s new:
- Object-based Cloud Storage – FlexApps can now be seamlessly stored and retrieved from object based cloud storage. This is an industry first and supports Amazon S3, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure Blob.
FlexApp Caching – Blocks level caching of layers.
FlexApp Caching – If you leverage cloud object-based storage you’ll want to ensure that your layered apps are always available, regardless of the stability of your cloud connection. FlexApp Caching ensures that FlexApps work smoothly by caching blocks of the layer to the local session. FlexApp caching helps ensure seamless application layering performance even if your cloud connection is temporarily lost. Benefits include faster execution of apps and enhanced FlexApp stability on less than reliable networks. FlexApp Caching is another industry-first innovation from Liquidware.
Liquidware logo = Cloud Apps – Zero Packaging
- FlexApp Cloud Apps – FlexApp now features over a dozen pre-packaged cloud-hosted applications. These apps are ready to deploy for pilot projects and easily cloned for production environments. You guess it…this is another industry first. Cloud Apps means you’ll have zero packaging required to get started!
- Amazon AppStream Support – Amazon AppStream is similar to publishing apps with RDS or Citrix Virtual Apps (formerly XenApp). FlexApp’s support of AppStream one AppStream server to publish multiple applications, minimizing the number of base images and servers required. This is another industry-first, FlexApp’s support of Amazon AppStream is an exclusive, you won’t find it anywhere else.
ProfileUnity has received updates as well in this release. They include:
- A new Licensing Server – ProfileUnity and FlexApp’s management console will now act as a licensing server to enable true concurrent license models. Benefits include accurate in-use ProfileUnity and FlexApp license counts, especially helpful in healthcare, government, and education.
- Faster ProfileUnity and FlexApp client execution – startup of the agent been streamlined, reducing login times for most customers by several seconds.
If you are a current customer it is very easy to upgrade to our best ProfileUnity and FlexApp release ever.Simply check the “About” tab in the admin area of your Management Console and see the update notice to upgrade your environment. If you’d like to try ProfileUnity and FlexApp you can download now and begin testing today!
In previous posts I’ve written about real time visibility, and whether it’s a necessity or red herring. I’ve also written about quantifying the user experience and putting user metrics at the center of your workspace visibility effort. And regardless of whether you employ physical PCs, on-prem multi-session shared infrastructure or cloud-based solutions to deliver your end user workspaces, I hope you subscribe to the following core tenet… User-centric visibility is paramount in the monitoring and diagnostics of the end user workspace.
With the widespread adoption of Microsoft Office 365, OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox Enterprise, etc., Windows user profiles are now more bloated than ever before. In virtual workspace environments this can be a big challenge because if your users don’t have very fast access to their large user profile, user experience suffers greatly. Some type of profile containers/disks are now available from most desktop virtualization vendors. Profile disks, offloading the user’s profile to a virtual disk hosted on an SMB or in the cloud, is the very baseline type of profile that you must have to have a profile persist in virtual non-persistent desktop environments.
I want to start by discussing monitoring in general. Monitoring products are in a funny place in the IT world. Many companies consider them a luxury and not necessarily a requirement. When they do start going down the monitoring road they almost always start by looking for a product that can do it all. This will typically lead to the conclusion (correctly) that there is no singular product that can do it all. One thing I learned while growing up with grandparents and my dad being produce farmers, you always pick the right tool for the job. As they say, and I believe this applies to monitoring software as well, if all you have is a hammer, everything is a nail.
I’m excited to share some detail about our latest release of Stratusphere UX. Version 6.1 packs a ton of new features, including a new custom dashboard builder, a host of new Advanced Mode Inspectors, SpotCheck views and an all-new process optimization feature.
User experience can be an elusive goal in your end user workspaces. With this release we deliver a solution that continues to lead the market with features to help you quickly resolve issues, minimize risk, save time and money.
ProfileUnity has been around for a number of years in the Liquidware portfolio. It delivers user environment management, including user profiles, secure policies, and access to user authored data. Sounds simple right? After all, there are other one-off tools in the market that handle these individual things. What sets ProfileUnity apart? Why use it when you may already have “free” single use case tools or a solution provided by another vendor? Read on my friends…
First off, the Liquidware portfolio (ProfileUnity, FlexApp, and Stratusphere UX) is completely agnostic by not favoring a particular desktop delivery platform. Really, what we are managing is Windows. That’s it. We have no requirements for a particular broker, hypervisor, cloud, anything. In fact, with all three products, you can manage Windows across physical, virtual and cloud. Are your desktops completely physical today and you are looking at moving some or all of them to virtual or full cloud. Or are you even going back to physical desktops? Liquidware has you covered the entire way.
Brief Overview: Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) was announced a few days ago at Microsoft Ignite in Orlando. We at Liquidware think it’s a really big deal. You may have seen that Liquidware is mentioned in Microsoft’s announcement blog as already having incorporated support for WVD.
What is Windows Virtual Desktop and Why It’s a Really Big Deal!
With Microsoft’s announcement they are evolving their modern desktop technologies (formerly RDmi) to deliver, for the first time ever, a turnkey Windows Virtual Desktop hosted exclusively on Microsoft Azure Cloud. More specifically, WVD is a multi-user version of Microsoft Windows 10 that is only available on Microsoft Azure – workloads and storage will be hosted on Azure. This is significant because previously customers had to procure everything they needed on prem or in the cloud of their choice and then assemble the parts. The solution is touted to be cost-effective because, as of now, any customer with a Windows 10/Microsoft 365 and E3/E5 or F1 subscription is eligible for WVD at no additional charge except for Azure compute and storage costs (which you’d have to pay in any cloud scenario).
Microsoft is marketing WVD as truly turnkey saying you can, “Quickly virtualize and deploy modern and legacy desktop app experiences with unified management—without needing to host, install, configure and manage components…”
This blog is really about what I thought I knew about layering products and how much I simply didn’t know. I’ve been working with layering for about as long as anyone and I made the mistake of thinking that all layering products were essentially the same. Sure they each did things a little differently but in the end the concepts were the same and their abilities were, for all intents and purposes, the same. Boy was I wrong.
For those that don’t know me, I’ve been in the EUC space for 20+ years. I cut my teeth on WinFrame in what feels like a lifetime ago (in technology time it actually was). In that time, I was a founding member of the CTP program and a Microsoft MVP for a number of years in Terminal Services/RDSH. I’ve worked with small companies and Multi-national corporations on their Citrix environments but six and a half years ago I took a job at a company called Unidesk. They had this technology called layering and it offered a way of delivering applications that was unique. Over those years layering companies have come and gone (including Unidesk) but layering has grown in popularity and has, in my opinion, really started to take off in enterprise application deployments. Why has it taken so long? Simple answer is every technology takes time to grow and when it reaches a certain point it either stays and grows or dies on the vine. Basically, smaller companies work out the “new technology” kinks and enterprises pick it up from there.
If you missed VMworld 2018 this year, you missed some great End User Computing momentum! This was Liquidware’s 10th VMworld but it was personally my 12th show. The week before leaving I came across my VMworld backpack from the second VMworld in 2005 and decided it was time to put it to use, more on that below.