What’s New in Stratusphere UX 6.1

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.

Whats-New

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.

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Real-Time Visibility: Necessary or Cover Up?

I’m often asked if Stratusphere UX offers real-time metrics and information about the user experience. It’s a good question, for sure. Who doesn’t need the ability to visualize end user workspace issues and get to the root cause quickly. That said, I would ask that you not associate immediacy as an important variable in the ability to determine root cause.

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Stratusphere UX Profile Score: User Experience Quantified

User Experience is the hot buzz-phrase du jour. Vendors in the end user computing space want to associate their product with it. Often you’ll hear and see claims like, “we enhance user experience” or “we make desktop user experience better.” And while I agree with these sentiments, I can’t help but think the issue isn’t about flowery marketing language, but about taking the subjective and making it actionable for the benefit of IT operations.

ux-profile_01

Meeting user expectations and delivering user experience is hard. Translating what is inside your users head and defining IT process and operations around meeting these subjective desires can be an almost impossible goal without the right visibility detail. About a year ago I wrote about Baselining the User Experience and Defining a Measure of Success with Stratusphere UX. I wrote about the shift towards using user experience as a definition of success and the opportunity to define SLA and KPIs that can quantify your approach.

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Performing a SpotCheck Inspection with Stratusphere UX

The ability to meet expectations and deliver the appropriate user-experience on shared infrastructure platforms such as VMware View and Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop can be a complex and a challenging endeavor. One of the ways you can stay ahead of the curve is through a point-in-time analysis called the SpotCheck. Liquidware engineers and our partner community have been using Stratusphere UX and this technique—leveraging known levels of acceptable performance and baselines—to identify infrastructure and platform constraints that can contribute to a poor user-experience.

The SpotCheck inspection takes a broad look at overall infrastructure and platform health as a means to provide a picture of resource usage and performance of the virtual or cloud environment. The objectives of the SpotCheck are as follows:

  • Provide a 360° view of virtual desktop resource use and performance
  • Gain visibility of critical issues, both known and unknown
  • Identify and provide analysis of performance issues
  • Establish real-world baselines to gauge normal/abnormal operations
  • Document and report on findings

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Using Stratusphere UX to Proactively Manage Spectre and Meltdown Efforts

Spectre and Meltdown, and the newly coined category of speculative execution side-channel vulnerabilities, have created new challenge for workspace administrators—namely, the challenge of being able to report on an enterprise scale, quantify performance impacts and mitigate negative effects. A colleague of mine wrote specifically about the performance challenges in “Meltdown and Spectre – Minimize impact and avoid performance problems.”

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What’s New in Stratusphere UX 6.0

I’m very excited to announce the general availability of Stratusphere UX 6.0. With this release, the solution has received an architectural upgrade, a dashboard builder, support Whats-Newfor new client devices, and application features to facilitate application strategy and reporting.

Under the Covers

Primary to this release is a new and highly-scalable architecture, which will support an increase of 400 percent in scale and increases of 40 percent in interface responsiveness and over 100 percent in reporting time. Additionally, Stratusphere UX 6.0 introduces a distributed Collector Appliance, for the aggregation and collection of Stratusphere Connector ID Key (an extremely lightweight in-guest agent) data and network data—related, Connector ID Keys now offer a feature to failover to another Stratusphere Collector in the event of an appliance or infrastructure failure.

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Baselining the User Experience and Defining a Measure of Success with Stratusphere UX

For over 25 years we’ve seen innovation and change in many areas of information technologies. For example, the shift from monolithic mainframe to distributed microcomputer-based computing. Networking has been completely reborn and wireless technologies have enabled pervasive access for all. Telephony is no longer a dedicated infrastructure and voice is simply another data type. All of that aside, there is a core segment of IT that has yet to ‘fully’ shift and emerge in a new and meaningful way. This segment is the user workspace.

IBM_KeyboardDon’t get me wrong, the desktop systems we have today are substantial more powerful and feature-rich than those IBM Model M ‘click’ keyboards we sat behind in the late 80s and 90s. And we certainly have newer approaches to deliver, manage and operationalize those systems—whether that be VDI, or some other host- or cloud-based workspace delivery approach. But for the most part, we still rally around the machine itself; especially as it relates to the user experience.

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Putting User Experience at the Center of the Workspace

In the past, I’ve covered topics such as Breaking Down Silos and Changing Your Point of View and Outside In versus Inside Out. In these and other posts, the theme has been about putting the user first. Regardless of where you might be in the user lifecycle: performing activities such as assessing, designing, migrating or methodologyvalidating a proof of concept or pilot; or operationally, looking at ongoing monitoring, diagnostics and troubleshooting; or perhaps you’re checking the health or optimizing your platform or infrastructure… In all cases the message and concept is simple: Put the user at the center of workspace delivery and management.

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