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.
Don’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.
I’ve blogged in the past about the login process (see “Boot and Login Visibility: Make a Solid First Impression with Stratusphere” and “Liquidware Cloud Login Analysis”). The importance of optimizing the machine boot and login process cannot be understated. It … Continue reading →
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 validating 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.
The move to virtual desktops, whether full on-premises VDI or a managed desktop as a service (DaaS) in the cloud, can be wrought with hidden challenges. Some of these challenges are technical, and some political; however, the result is the same: disruption, not meeting user expectations and greater risk to user productivity. These challenges or visibility gaps are amplified in larger environments as there are more fingers in the pie, often combined with distributed technical responsibilities.
Ultimately, the question you should be asking yourself is who owns accountability to the user experience. If delivered properly, the desktop or workspace should appear to be a consistent and familiar experience—regardless of whether it is delivered atop physical PCs, virtualized locally or delivered as a service in the cloud. But who gets the light shined on them when things go astray? Is it the desktop team? Perhaps the infrastructure folks who own the storage, servers and network are to blame? And in the case of DaaS, this demarcation becomes a lot more imprecise.
On the heels of release 5.8.5, we are thrilled to share version 5.8.6 of Stratusphere UX. And while much of this release focuses on behind-the-scenes enhancements and routine virtual appliance patches, we have introduced a couple of key features I wanted to highlight. Specifically, I wanted to share some detail on the newly organized and enhanced Advanced Mode Dashboards, as well as some goodness from our friends at NVIDIA.
I’m super excited to share that our Stratusphere appliance is now supported on EC2 in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. This is exciting for a number of reasons, but overall it’s a great way to get started with Stratusphere for use cases where off-premise hosting is of value. We envision two clear uses—user assessment or onboarding, and validation of machine performance in cloud-based virtual workspaces.
Regardless of the delivery approach, it is critically important to know your user behaviors, application use, PC workload consumption and overall user experience. Stratusphere has been able to assist in these cases for on premise installations, and now can do the same for those who wish to deploy our Stratusphere Appliance in the cloud.
We’ve recently released Stratusphere UX version 5.8.5, and I could not be more pleased. This release is packed full of goodness, and benefits our customers in a number of areas,
such as: significantly lowering the barrier to diagnostics, enhanced ICA/HDX Citrix information and metrics, official support for the Nutanix platform, and application and process-level GPU metrics. In this post I’ll highlight a few details of each, but look for future posts that will dive deeper into each of these features and functions.
Liquidware Labs has recently been named by Citrix® as Citrix Ready® Partner of the month. Citrix has raised the bar, creating an amazing ecosystem of complementary solutions, as well as a dynamic and trustworthy process by which partners are tested and validated. We could not be more pleased with this honor.
Most importantly, however; this recognition speaks to the importance of user experience and the value third party solutions bring to Citrix XenDesktop, XenApp and Citrix Cloud environments. User experience is ultimately the best measure of success. And Liquidware Labs provides industry leading solutions that many Citrix customers have come to benefit from, including; Stratusphere UX for monitoring and diagnostics, ProfileUnity for advanced user environment management, and FlexApp Application Layering—all components required in the visibility and delivery of user experience. Continue reading →
The infrastructure, software platforms and best practices to support virtual workloads have come a long way in just a handful of years. Details and an understanding of important metrics—memory, disk and compute—have become more commonplace as it relates both to sizing as well as what is required inside each virtual guests. From where I sit many of the barriers that presented challenges to reaping the full benefit of virtual workload delivery have been broken down. That is, except one… There is still one frontier that remains somewhat uncharted.
And that’s why I’m so very pleased to share that we’ve been working behind the scenes with NVIDA; an industry leader that has been Continue reading →
Few would disagree with the tasks and approach to building IT infrastructure and services. You assess the problem and architect a design. Often a proof-of-concept phase is employed whereby confirmation of the platform and capabilities are verified. Piloting the new infrastructure … Continue reading →