What you Need to Know Before using a Windows Profile Disk/Profile Container

TrustmeProfile Containers/Disks for Windows desktops enable Administrators to offload the entire user profile to a profile disk (VHD or VMDK). This approach allows for an otherwise large profile to be read at a block-level (very efficient) over the network. Liquidware ProfileUnity features the option to use a ProfileDisk™ and containers in ProfileUnity. They can be great – except when they are not.  Here are the Pros and Cons that you should know before you rely solely on a profile container/disk to provide an excellent user experience.

Pros

  • Great for offloading Office 365/Outlook caches
  • Ideal to solve Outlook indexing conundrums for virtual desktops like XenDesktop, XenApp, and VMware Horizon.
  • Really great at keeping cloud storage (Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, Amazon Drive, Google Drive, etc) on a virtual network drive.

Cons

  • Run in the user context only and therefore can’t pick-up or virtualize other areas of the user profile outside of shell folders.
  • Profiles are exactly like a local profile except it is on the network so they are susceptible to profile corruption.
  • They are locked to a Windows OS version so you must have a disjointed profile disk/container for every OS the user logs onto, the user cannot migrate their profile or co-exist it with another Windows version.
  • Network only – there is no method to go offline. Laptops that even occasionally leave the office are not a candidate for a profile disk/container.

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Next Gen Desktops Creating New Business Opportunities for the Channel

We’ve recently signed a new distributor, Prianto, in the UK. They were established to address the market needs for specialized distribution, as the smaller, more niche organizations were being swallowed up by the large, fulfillment players. In the few months since we started working with the team at Prianto, we’ve seen the momentum with ongoing and new partner engagements swell. In particular, we are seeing avid interest in moving desktop workloads to the cloud, with an emphasis on Amazon Workspaces.

One such partner is Nuvens; they specialize in AWS and NetApp and have a dedicated VDI practice. Nuvens’ co-founder, Chris Noon, explains why they have chosen to become a Liquidware Acceler8 partner.

“Nuvens is an AWS WorkSpaces VDI specialist partner. We help clients move from both traditional desktop client infrastructure and Citrix environments into the AWS WorkSpaces managed infrastructure.

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10 Ways FlexApp Has Raised the Bar for Layering

imagesEvery feature that has been incorporated in Liquidware FlexApp is in the product because either a customer has requested it or our experienced development and product management teams knows first-hand how important it is to a provide a seamless, enterprise, and scaleable application layering solution.

FlexApp layering has emerged as a leader as a scalable enterprise-ready layering solution. If you are evaluating layering solutions or working on a RFP (Request for Proposal), consider a solution that leads the market with multiple ways to save time, make users more efficient, and save money.

Here are 10 exclusive ways that FlexApp sets the bar for application layering in the industry.

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Application Layer Editing, Sledgehammer or Scalpel?

In comparison to traditional ways to install applications and other application delivery methods that have been around for quite some time – such as application virtualization – application layering technology is still in its early stages. Because app layering is relatively new, tools for editing existing layers are unfortunately sparse.

You might ask, “Why would I need to edit an application layer?” Well, you could find yourself needing to edit registry keys for an application layer because you want the application to behave differently. So, how would you edit registry keys for a layer that is already created? The default answer for all layering vendors (assuming they can even edit layers, you should ask!) is to put the layer back into capture or packaging mode and make your registry changes there. Sure, this will work, but this is a “sledgehammer” approach when a “scalpel” may be better. When you put a layering tool into capture mode, it records all changes that happen to the operating system. This is a bit heavy-handed when you’re only trying to make a single registry key change.

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ProfileUnity and FlexApp Keeps Leading with Advancements in v6.7

CaptureProfileUnity and FlexApp v6.7 was recently made generally available with new and innovative features that further simplify User Environment Management and Application Layering. The new version includes advancements that you won’t find in basic profile management and layering solutions from Citrix, VMware, or any other vendor.

Let’s get right to the innovation.

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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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Application Layering VS Operating System layering

Managing desktops is always one of the main struggles facing enterprises. Add in complex application management and the issues increase drastically. Software solutions are often geared towards relieving this pain. Over the last few years, the concept of converting the … Continue reading

Citrix Synergy 2017 Round Up! Citrix App Layering, FlexApp Layering, Monitoring, & More!         

Citrix Synergy 2017 is still fresh on our minds. If you didn’t make it to Orlando this year here is a look our experience.

dsc_1103.jpgI cannot recall a more enthusiastic attendee crowd at a Citrix Synergy! This year many attendees seemed to make a beeline for our booth. Maybe it was our re-brand to “Liquidware,” or latest version of FlexApp Layering and demos of XenApp Session isolation – and how it compares to Citrix App Layering, or perhaps it was our involvement in becoming one of just a few select M7 party sponsors. Let’s breakdown the highlights.

Liquidware Labs chose Citrix Synergy to announce to the end user computing marketDSC_1097 that we’re now simply “Liquidware.” The time for VDI experimentation in the industry has come to an end. Now more than 1,700 organizations using Liquidware solutions in production to run their physical, virtual, and cloud based desktops. We gave out cold hard cash to celebrate. Everyone that participated won a minimum of $1 and many people won a lot more! Look at this attendee that won $100! Using Liquidware solutions is like money in the bank!

We also announced several new features for FlexApp layering at Synergy. If you have not checked out FlexApp you are doing yourself a HUGE disfavor. We encourage you to try Citrix App Layering first, if it does not work for your needs you should check out FlexApp! Unlike Citrix App Layering, FlexApp truly decouples apps from the underlying operating system. With this approach, applications are not prone to “breaking” with OS update and changes. You can truly package most apps once and they work across OS versions as long as they are the same bit (32/64). And yes, FlexApp can layer complicated applications with drivers and services too. When you choose FlexApp, you can go on building and maintaining your base OS images with Citrix PVS or MCS just as you always have and let FlexApp do its thing to layer apps just in time just after user logon. In the forthcoming version, FlexApp Layering will deliver apps to Citrix XenApp users with session isolation…or on a per user basis without affecting other user’s sessions. Industry first Click-to-Layer capabilities were announced too, enabling users to get FlexApps on demand just by clicking their icon on the desktop. If a user doesn’t need an app, it’s not delivered, it’s that simple. If you don’t have time to compare Citrix App Layering to FlexApp, we’ve done it for you. You be the judge.

Furthermore, we announced that we’re extending ProfileDisk features to Citrix XenApp users. ProfileDisk will now support multi-session XenApp sessions and each user can get their robust profile from VHD! This takes care of Office 365 use cases where the profile can be very large due to Outlook and OneDrive caching and sync. ProfileDisk automatically takes care of Outlook, while our VHD profile containers can easily keep the current sync of OneDrive, Dropbox and more. This gives a quick logon without bloating XenApp servers and we’ve long supported XenDesktop in this capacity.

Stratusphere UX was prominently on display as well, we were showing off the latest reports, discussing the ease of scalability to deployments with thousands of users, and revealing new agents for Mac OS to close friends. NVIDIA asked us to show off our latest GPU metric and reports in their booth and our very own Chris Walker attracted quite a crowd!

VMblog.com stopped by and interviewed us about what we were showing as well. Here’s their 3 minute video overview. 

DSC_1124Liquidware was one of just  a few exclusive vendors to sponsor the week’s most sought after party, the M7 Partner event. The M7 are a group of key Citrix partner integrator that lead the way in selling, consulting, and implementing Citrix and Liquidware solutions. We were happy to step up and be a major sponsor this year in the absence of other vendors that were absorbed by acquisitions this past year. The competitive landscape for User Environment Management, Application Layering, and Monitoring has changed dramatically in the past year and Liquidware continues to lead on all three fronts. If you haven’t given our Workspace Environment Management solutions for physical, virtual, and cloud a try yet you need not wait any longer. Download and try them today.