Now, this isn’t a question of how many times can I get now in the title in some sort of unusual Now Bingo game. In January, AppSense, quietly went about re-branding its Management Suite (consisting of Management Center, Application Manager, Environment Manager and Performance Manager) as AppSense DesktopNow although it’s all official now.
Now, the reasoning was straightforward: while AppSense has a history in helping organisations manage the user workspace, they’ve also been working hard to broaden horizons. AppSense now has two other significant offerings, DataNow and MobileNow.
Now, eschewing suggestions from Interflora, rather than say it with flowers AppSense celebrated Valentines Day by announcing a number of enhancements to DesktopNow, including new enterprise features and capabilities. What are these? Are they more than just some in-play re-branding and how important are these changes in a world that, some say, no longer needs the PC?
Norskale has released v2 of VUEM, their enterprise grade User Environment Management (UEM) product.
User Environment Management is a key capability in delivering a modern flexible, reliable, and secure application delivery environment. While UEM can provide consistency across different platforms (be they desktops, laptops, or a hosted or shared virtual desktop environment), UEM is not just a technology to enable desktop virtualization. UEM can be used to accelerate logon times (improving device roaming capabilities); make migration from old to new operating systems and applications less complicated (enabling more rapid change); and can control, facilitate, and enforce user access to applications and data resources, assisting in securing environments when they are accessed outside of the maze.
Norskale believes that performance, simplicity of use, and a low cost of ownership are key factors when choosing a workspace management product. While Norskale is a new venture, the VEUM product has been available since 2011 and does have a range of case studies and testimonies. Norksale’s goal for VUEM is to deliver a product that allows organisations to maintain user satisfaction: give extremely fast login times and a reliable and consistent environment that is easy to use. Yet, Norskale must compete against far more than Shadow, Speedy, Bashful, and Pokey. UEM is focused on managing a Microsoft Windows desktop workspace. While Microsoft has improved their tool selection, third party vendors such as AppSense, Liquidware Labs, RES Software, et.al, have an established place.
The potential UEM market is large, with plenty of pellets to go around. What does Norskale VUEM v2 offer, and how does it compare to the competition?
Much of the recent buzz around AppSense from AppSense Labs,the research division at AppSense that is responsible for StrataApps, DataLocker and DataNow, its hot new tools to support user installed applications and provide increased security in consumer cloud services. Nevertheless, AppSense has not forgotten its roots and has recently released a major update to its core user persona management platform UV Suite.
AppSenseLabs have released StrataApps, their long anticipated User Managed Applications Solution. StrataApps enables you to:-
- 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?
AppSense Labs have released a free suite, DataLocker. Not only is Datalocker AppSense’s first departure to support environments beyond Microsoft Windows, but it is intended to ease adding an extra layer of security to sensitive files before syncing them to cloud-based services.
What does AppSense Lab’s first product release have in its locker? What is the comparison to other cloud storage solutions? AppSense Labs is a new direction for AppSense, a company typically associated with managing windows desktop environments and enabling VDI. If AppSense is investing in new services beyond “traditional” mobile/cross-device solutions such as VDI, what does this mean for those traditional solutions long term?
In part one I looked at the overall macro trends in the desktop virtualization market, now in part two I want to look at what to expect from key vendors and vendors: Microsoft, Citrix, VMware, and AppSense as well as product groups such as thing client and storage vendors. All with an eye to Desktop Virtualization in 2012.