Obviously the big story coming out of VMworld 2016 was the Dell / EMC merger. It felt like the tone of every conversation was of uncertainty around what the future would be for all parties involved including VMware. Time will tell but there has been much speculation about the direction of the new combined company.
One thing that was clear throughout the event was that the Application Layering space was of high interest. Most customer and partner conversations started with “How does FlexApp compare to something like AppVolumes?” As a refresher, feel free to check out the analysis I conducted earlier this year in the following comparison whitepaper.
As usual, cost was one of the major factors on the minds of customers and partners. The conversation would quickly turn towards the challenges many people face when contemplating the price of VMware Enterprise licensing. The concept that Liquidware Labs Essentials suite, including FlexApp could be combined with VMware Standard or Advanced Licensing to achieve the same if not better functionality for a third of the price received extremely positive feedback throughout the show and beyond.
Secondarily, the importance of a UEM solution within EUC projects has gained momentum and was a key topic during the event. Customers and partners were excited by the notion that ProfileUnity and FlexApp were tightly integrated to provide a cohesive UEM solution for the enterprise. As opposed to the offerings from competitors that were seen as individual, non-integrated platforms.
One tricky element of the conversations centered around architecture. Customers and partners were delighted to hear that at no additional cost, ProfileUnity and FlexApp included all of the elements for redundant, highly available infrastructure within the Point and Click clustering model. As compared to some competitors that require expensive SQL clusters and load balancers. Customers appreciated the value of the ProfileUnity and FlexApp solution.
Building on the momentum coming out of VMworld 2016, ProfileUnity and FlexApp version 6.5.6 was recently released and is considered a solid update focused on the following new features and enhancements:
- FlexApp playback is 30-50% faster
- We have optimized how FlexApp Layers communicate with the host operating system by streamlining the internal processes running in the background
- File Associations – New Feature Module
- Profile Portability can run post login, cutting login times dramatically
- You can now export select configurations of feature modules
- Import ADMX templates
- FlexDisk updates
- Multi vCenter support – In larger environments you might have a broker that spans over many virtual centers. FlexDisk can now provide layers no matter what Virtual Center is servicing the user
- Federation – Active active desktop designs can have desktops in two locations, users can login to either location at any time. With a Federated ProfileUnity Console, FlexDisk can deliver application layers to users at either site
- Mirroring – FlexDisk Mirroring now allows mirroring of applications to any location, any host, any virtual center and any storage. This enables FlexDisk to ensure the layer closest to the user is leveraged. This removes the FlexDisk management challenge for enterprises that have numerous datastores or multi hyper converged storage where users may login to various locations and infrastructure
- Direct to Host Mode – If virtual center load is high and Virtual Center is adding extra time to logins FlexDisk can bypass the Virtual Center and go directly to the host and attach layers
As we progress through the rest of 2016, look for some exciting “Automation” from both ProfileUnity and FlexApp!!!!