Nivio have announced a DaaS solution aimed at SME space. Offering access to Microsoft Windows on any device, rentable applications, and data storage in the cloud, it sounds as if Nivio’s service could be just the ticket for the tablet wielding, dead-PC shunning organisations with a workforce who have their own devices, and need to team collaboration with access to Windows based applications.
The thing is, this road has been trodden before: it is a rocky one. OnLive attempted to offer a solution and failed. Even Desktone had a strategy that attempted to directly appeal to this segment but found the return on effort too miserly.
Yet, Nivio have created a service offering delivering Windows applications to Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices. A web service providing common file storage to store user and group files for that can be syncronised to devices to work offline for editing directly, or automatically made available within the public cloud hosted Windows desktop service. A desktop service that has an on-demand, rentable application interface. User management is in your own hands. While Nivio are targeting their market at the 20-50 user sized organisation space which suggests small business, Nivio are getting a number of calls from project teams in larger organisations.
What are Nivio doing that is different? Will this model be successful? What, if anything, can be learned by other DaaS providers, and what in turn could be learned by Nivio?
OnLive is on the verge of making a game-changing move in the VDI space. The game focused application delivery company announced their OnLive Desktop service at CES this year. OnLive Desktop claims to deliver a seamless Microsoft Windows desktop experience with cloud-accelerated web browsing and full Adobe Flash. The marketing talks of “instant-response multi-touch gestures“, “complete and convenient viewing and editing of even the most complex documents” and “high-speed transfer from cloud storage or Web mail attachments“. Sounds like something a CFO would bite your hand off for.
Still, delivering a ubiquitous desktop environment is a complex undertaking. Desktone tried punting to end users and then thought better of it. The default position when delivering desktops is to deliver a Microsoft Windows workspace: that’s what most users need and want to run their applications. However, a “use any device” model gets hampered by Microsoft’s VDA yearly license cost, and further constrained by the lack of a viable way of policing/validating VDA assignment. VDI can leave an enterprise open to Microsoft beating them with a stick for a host of additional end device licenses.
Have OnLive taken an impressive application delivery model and tried to apply it to windows desktops without necessarily thinking licensing through? Will the scalability and experience that Onlive have mean that VDI vendors should re-think their technology? Will the buzz that OnLive has created mean an new level of engagement with Microsoft, perhaps even a shotgun wedding? Will Onlive Desktop be the technology that prompts Microsoft to get its licensing-of-vdi house in order, properly enabling a Desktop-as-a-Service market: what better way to laugh in the face of Apple than to have most iPads running Windows 8?
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?
The problem with desktops is that they need a desk to be on top of. There are many people who trudge wearily to work each day who find that a solace: where else would they hang the note with their password on? Yet, increasingly there are those who judge the trudge too weary: for a better work/life balance, to reduce office space requirements, because it is better to go face-to-face with customers or quite frankly, you don’t want to work with beige any more.
True, desktop virtualisation can offer a solution here. A virtualised desktop can, to an extent, free you from your PC. Yet flexibility is not just about “being in the office, or not” it is about using an end-device that is appropriate to what you are doing; where you are at. To achieve what needs to be done you don’t necessarily need a Microsoft Windows desktop. You need access to your data, or your team’s data, your customer data. There are a number of solutions to available to let you access that data, regardless of your device. Dropbox, obviously, and a multitude such as Box.Net, Oxygen, SpiderOak, ShareFile and Sugarsync.
To this list we can now add RES Software. RES Software have announced the availability of RES HyperDrive, which has been designed to offer a secure way to deliver “follow-me-data” and file-sharing with enterprise-class security. Not that unusual for sure, but RES HyperDrive is cloud based technology offered as an on-premise service with a pay-as-you-go licensing.
Follow-me-data as a concept is surely well-served. Pure cloud services offer elasticity for storage and availability, and can be very quick to set-up. What does RES HyperDrive offer your organisation and how does that technology fit into a RES Software’s portfolio?
Step back to Citrix CEO Mark Templeton’s keynote at Citrix Synergy in San Francisco and you would have heard him talk of “The Three Cs – the Public Cloud, Private Cloud, and Personal Cloud.” Hang on a moment, “Personal Cloud” what’s that? For years Citrix used to talk about “any any any” and it did a pretty good job of delivering it provided any was restricted to meaning any Windows app. Now though, Citrix is wanting us to believe that it has moved past any app and extending that to anything digital.
Citrix had a busy day last week, announcing both a five-year agreement with Cisco and the acquisition of six-year-old enterprise filesharing specialist ShareFile (great name by the way).
ShareFile provides an enterprise equivalent to the ubiquitous Dropbox cloud file storage/sharing platform. Offering metered storage and bandwidth across multiple service tiers starting with a basic plan offering 5 GB of storage for $29.95 per month for a two employee account up to and Enterprise Gold plan starting at $499.95 for companies looking for over 100 user accounts. In addition for an increase in storage and bandwidth, as the service tiers rise, so do the available features. The professional account offering storage encryption, an Outlook plug-in, and desktop synchronization. At the top end the Enterprise Gold service extends this to provide enterprise synchronization services, drive mapping, SAML and Active Directory integration, as well as a command line interface and API to enable task automation and integration with enterprise management tools.