Liquidware Labs, the leader in desktop transformation, announced today at VMworld that user-installed application functionality will be available in the award-winning profile and user environment management solution, ProfileUnity.
This feature, dubbed FlexApp (formerly codenamed AppSnapp), removes significant barriers in the adoption of virtual desktops, thus extending VDI to a larger user base. ProfileUnity FlexApp lowers initial capital expenditures and the cost of ongoing support, maintenance and operations while also supporting existing user management practices. ProfileUnity FlexApp also ensures a superior user experience by delivering "follow-me" user-installed application and settings persistence in non-persistent, stateless VDI and physical PC environments. A challenge in VDI implementations is to find a method to allow users to fully customize their environment and install applications they need to be productive. Enabling user and department applications to be installed within virtual desktop environments is largely considered to be the "last-mile" in equipping users to leverage a shared-image, stateless virtual desktop. ProfileUnity FlexApp technology overcomes this limitation and expands the reach of virtual desktops across the enterprise to a much broader set of users than previously possible with VDI. With ProfileUnity FlexApp, authorized desktop users will now have the ability to install applications during a virtual desktop session-even within shared-image, stateless, non-persistent and floating pool environments. When users log off, the application installation will not be lost and will be returned to their desktop environment upon next login. ProfileUnity FlexApp also features the ability for departmental managers and administrators to install applications and apply them to individuals or to their entire organizational unit within Microsoft Active Directory. "Our new ProfileUnity FlexApp functionality will broaden the market for virtual desktops, deliver user specific 'follow-me' applications and settings, and allow IT administrators to manage both physical and virtual users within a single platform-agnostic user management solution," said David Bieneman, CEO of Liquidware Labs.
Now with the introduction of ProfileUnity FlexApp, the company's solutions continue to extend users' existing Windows investment in software and business processes, including enabling provision of stateless, non-persistent shared image desktops through VMware View Composer. In this way, ProfileUnity FlexApp can deliver more users into a managed virtual environment for less cost and with a better user experience than ever before. The technology was also developed to complement application virtualization technologies, such as VMware ThinApp. While application virtualization technologies are appropriate for virtualizing and isolating many enterprise applications, they do not deliver user installed application capabilities for virtual desktops. It is for this reason that user-installed application capabilities will complete the 'last mile' in application virtualization and broaden virtual desktop acceptance in the industry. ProfileUnity FlexApp takes a very lightweight and database-free approach to delivering user and department administrator installed applications. The software empowers users and local administrators to install the applications they need to be productive directly in their virtual environment. Other solutions rely on an underlying operating system level “kernel mode” driver or a complex arrangement of layering to accomplish similar functionality.
ProfileUnity FlexApp technology also takes a refreshingly straightforward approach building on existing ProfileUnity functionality and simply snaps or parses user applications back into the virtual or physical Windows desktop environment during login. Additionally, this approach is fully compatible with VMware View Composer and other stateless thin provisioning strategies.
It will be important to see just how well this product will be able to capture what percentage of user installed apps. The expectations of the community are not that high…