Liquidware Labs are demoing their upcoming Department Installed Applications (DIA) enhancement to ProfileUnity FlexApp at VMworld 2012.  ProfileUnity FlexApp DIA addresses a challenging aspect of desktop administration: application management. We’ve already discussed if   user installed applications are a dream or a nightmare. There is a business gain to give access to applications on-demand, to allow users greater freedom to control their workspace: yet in a business environment, that freedom requires laws.

Liquidware Labs intend for ProfileUnity FlexApp to go beyond other user virtualization solutions by providing virtualized software distribution (VSD) in addition to user persona and data management. Unlike existing application virtualisation solutions, FlexApp can be used to allow both administrators and authorised users to install applications and make those installations available across the enterprise. In addition, because applications installed with FlexApp appear as native to the OS, there is a wider application compatibility with FlexApp than alternative application virtualization solutions.

The technology behind ProfileUnity FlexApp is tailored to work with non-persistent desktops and has been designed to provide a number of advantages:

  • Manage and deliver user profiles, data and applications with one solution running as a virtual appliance.
  • Drastically reduce the number master desktop images; migrate more user types to virtual desktops
  • Centrally administer and maintain applications.  Clear out unneeded or obsolete applications.
  • Deliver applications to individual users or entire departments based on Microsoft Active Directory groups.
  • Separately patch and manage OS from the applications.
  • Reduce software licensing costs by delivering applications only to users who need them.
  • Reduce storage costs by leveraging non-persistent desktops.

ProfileUnity FlexApp User Installed Applications (UIA) was introduced earlier in 2012. A major enhancement in the upcoming  5.2 release (at the time of writing scheduled for September 2012) is secure privilege rights, providing users with restricted and specific rights to install applications without the need to make them an administrator of the desktop environment.  Building upon UIA, the DIA feature relies on a new method originated by Liquidware Labs to virtualize only the location where the application binaries are stored.

If you’re at VMworld 2012, you have a chance to take a look at this upcoming release at Liquidware’s Booth #2536. The prospect is streamlined management of virtual and physical PCs, with much fewer desktop images to manage while enabling more workers to be compatible with virtual desktops.

User virtualisation is rightly being seen as more than profile management. Applications and data are key to the making a generic desktop a viable workspace. With ProfileUnity FlexApp’s Department Installed Applications Liquidware could be the first to deliver on the dream of a more dynamic application mechanism across environments – be they physical, virtual hosted desktops (VDI), or Presentation Virtualisation solutions such as Citrix XenApp.

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Andrew Wood (144 Posts)

Andrew is a Director of Gilwood CS Ltd, based in the North East of England, which specialises in delivering and optimising server and application virtualisation solutions. With 12 years of experience in developing architectures that deliver server based computing implementations from small-medium size business to global enterprise solutions, his role involves examining emerging technology trends, vendor strategies, development and integration issues, and management best practices.

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