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.
Why layering though? Don’t we already have technology that will package and deliver applications to an image? Don’t we have App-v for on demand delivery? Why another technology to deliver applications? Layering wasn’t developed to replace those technologies. It was created to compliment those technologies and give administrators another way of delivering applications that aren’t necessarily covered by the others. Layering allows applications to be delivered on-demand while not being isolated away from the operating system. In other words, even though the application is delivered on demand like an App-v package it has full communication to the operating system and other applications like standard application deployment. There will always be a need for putting applications in an image and there will always be a need for isolation. Layering compliments what those two types of technologies do. It does not replace.
Part of the problem over the past several years is that the marketing hype for new technologies has gotten way out of control. Virtual desktops will replace all physical desktops, you won’t need any other delivery mechanism beyond layering, and the most recent, and perhaps my favorite right now, is that you won’t need a datacenter anymore because everyone will be moving to the cloud. Shoot, I’m still waiting for the paperless office promised back in the 80’s I believe it was. The point is new products are hyped so much now that people try them out, they don’t work the way they were promised, and those admins go back to their old ways. Over time, as the marketing hype calms down and the realities set in, then people can evaluate the technology on a realistic level.
Why do I bring all this up? Because, in a way, I helped with the hype but also because I fell for something that I shouldn’t have: All layering technologies are essentially the same. There isn’t much to differentiate one from another. As I have found out over the past month or so working at Liquidware, I could not have been more wrong.
Why Liquidware FlexApp? What sets it apart from other layering technologies? What attracted me to this company and their take on layering? Not only layering but the other two products as well. That is what I want to explore. I am creating a series of blogs that will focus on, not only the advantages of Liquidwares take on layering, but the advantages of ProfileUnity and Stratusphere UX. Individually they are great products but together they are unbeatable. After that, we’ll take a look at new features just released, upcoming features and cloud. FlexApp is first, so stay tuned!
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