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.
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.
ProfileUnity has been around for a number of years in the Liquidware portfolio. It delivers user environment management, including user profiles, secure policies, and access to user authored data. Sounds simple right? After all, there are other one-off tools in the market that handle these individual things. What sets ProfileUnity apart? Why use it when you may already have “free” single use case tools or a solution provided by another vendor? Read on my friends…
First off, the Liquidware portfolio (ProfileUnity, FlexApp, and Stratusphere UX) is completely agnostic by not favoring a particular desktop delivery platform. Really, what we are managing is Windows. That’s it. We have no requirements for a particular broker, hypervisor, cloud, anything. In fact, with all three products, you can manage Windows across physical, virtual and cloud. Are your desktops completely physical today and you are looking at moving some or all of them to virtual or full cloud. Or are you even going back to physical desktops? Liquidware has you covered the entire way.
Brief Overview: Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) was announced a few days ago at Microsoft Ignite in Orlando. We at Liquidware think it’s a really big deal. You may have seen that Liquidware is mentioned in Microsoft’s announcement blog as already having incorporated support for WVD.
What is Windows Virtual Desktop and Why It’s a Really Big Deal!
With Microsoft’s announcement they are evolving their modern desktop technologies (formerly RDmi) to deliver, for the first time ever, a turnkey Windows Virtual Desktop hosted exclusively on Microsoft Azure Cloud. More specifically, WVD is a multi-user version of Microsoft Windows 10 that is only available on Microsoft Azure – workloads and storage will be hosted on Azure. This is significant because previously customers had to procure everything they needed on prem or in the cloud of their choice and then assemble the parts. The solution is touted to be cost-effective because, as of now, any customer with a Windows 10/Microsoft 365 and E3/E5 or F1 subscription is eligible for WVD at no additional charge except for Azure compute and storage costs (which you’d have to pay in any cloud scenario).
Microsoft is marketing WVD as truly turnkey saying you can, “Quickly virtualize and deploy modern and legacy desktop app experiences with unified management—without needing to host, install, configure and manage components…”
This blog is really about what I thought I knew about layering products and how much I simply didn’t know. I’ve been working with layering for about as long as anyone and I made the mistake of thinking that all layering products were essentially the same. Sure they each did things a little differently but in the end the concepts were the same and their abilities were, for all intents and purposes, the same. Boy was I wrong.
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.
If you missed VMworld 2018 this year, you missed some great End User Computing momentum! This was Liquidware’s 10th VMworld but it was personally my 12th show. The week before leaving I came across my VMworld backpack from the second VMworld in 2005 and decided it was time to put it to use, more on that below.
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.
The experts at WhatMatrix recently awarded Liquidware FlexApp first place when compared to standard/included Application Layering from VMware and Citrix. Many criteria were considered and you can see the full report here.
Microsoft Inspire is their worldwide partner conference and it will be held at the Mandalay Bay Conference Center next week in Las Vegas – July 15-19, 2018.
We’re proud to have been asked and to be participating in a speaking session on Remote Desktop Services (RDS): Partner business opportunities for hosting Windows desktops and applications on Microsoft Azure.
The panel will be chaired by Microsoft’s Principal Program Manager Lead, Remote Desktop Services, Clark Nicholson.
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.
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.