Today I was speaking with Mat Clothier, CTO of the application virtualization new-kid-on-the-block Cloudhouse. Cloudhouse, a UK-based enterprise, aims to shake up the application virtualization arena to the core, and at first glance, its solution seems very compelling.
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- introduce your own applications into your desktop even in a locked-down corporate desktop and without the need for Administrative Rights
- Create a self-service ‘Follow-Me Applications’ set between various computing devices.
While newer tablet and smartphone devices have given users a very slick application discovery and installation method, PC environments have not been as quick to catch up. For home users, application conflicts and issues can arise when different versions of applications, or similar applications are installed. For corporate users, user self-installation is fundamentally a dark, unhappy place with issues around support, stability and licensing: in a corporate environment it is often easier to decree user installed applications is impossible.
And yet, it could be so much easier – for home and corporate users – if there was a facility to install an application in such a way that it integrates into your existing environment but could cleanly be removed at any time – not only uninstalling itself, but returning your environment back to the point it was before the installation.
Good things come to those who wait. Have AppSenseLabs released a proper reward for patience with StrataApps? It is very likely you don’t have user installed applications now: has the time taken for delivery of a user-installed tool been too long? Has the moment passed? What does StrataApps do, and what does it not do?
16 years after it introduced roaming profiles with the launch of Windows NT 4.0 Microsoft has decided to give it another go. In a blog post on Wednesday Karri Alexion-Tiernan (Director of Product Management for Microsoft Desktop Virtualization) announced the public beta of two new technologies, a major update to Microsoft App-V and an all new roaming profile solution User Experience Virtualization (UE-V). Both products will ship as part of a future Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) release.
The Virtualization Security Podcast on 9/16 was the first in a series of Virtual Desktop Security discussions we will be having. The special guest panelist was Bill McGee from Trend Micro who helped us to understand their implementation of Deep Security 7.5’s Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware (AV collectively) within the virtual desktop.
Trend Micro’s product makes use of enabling technology within vShield Endpoint to provide offloaded AV and Anti-Malware scanning of virtual machines using only one set of rules and one VM to do the actual scanning. Removing the per VM rule set and processing that currently takes place within the VM.
Citrix has released XenApp 6 which finally provides support for Microsoft Windows Server 2008 (W2k8) R2. Citrix made their name delivering Presentation Virtualisation; and have been rightly seen as the the leader in that market in terms of functionality, support and scalability. Citrix did have to completely re-write the XenApp code for R2 – which was a considerable undertaking yet, in the meantime other PV vendors such as Ericom, Quest, Systancia have had W2k8 R2 functionality for some time: it is unusual for Citrix to appear to be chasing, rather than leading, the pack.
While VDI is being considered by many companies, and its adoption will likely grow, Presentation Virtualization services are embedded as departmental solutions, branch office deployments, even as the core of multi-national businesses’ desktop delivery solutions: but, those solutions are primarily based around pre-W2k8 R2 services. W2k8 R2 offers greater scalability for Presentation Virtualization than previous versions, there will undoubtedly be a steady migration to this platform.
Given there is a cost to migrating from x32 to x64 in terms of validating applications and drivers operating in the new environment and that there is an increased cost to purchasing the new RDS CALs – is the new functionality in XenApp 6 as innovative as in previous releases? Are you going to get a very rapid return in your investment? Besides W2k8 R2 support, what does XenApp 6 offer your business? Indeed, has the focus on battling VMware XenDesktop allowed the competition to catch up further?