AppSense Upgrades User Virtualization Platform In 8.1 Release

AppSense, a provider of user virtualization technology to enterprise computing environments, has upgraded its flagship platform to enable workers to use a customized, personalized virtual desktop but with management features that give IT professionals the control they need.

July 14, 2011

3 Min Read
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AppSense, a provider of user virtualization technology to enterprise computing environments, has upgraded its flagship platform to enable workers to use a customized, personalized virtual desktop but with management features that give IT professionals the control they need. The company says version 8.1 of its user virtualization platform (UVP) addresses the latest trend in enterprise IT, in which workers are accessing corporate IT resources on a wider array of endpoint devices than a desktop PC.

The upgraded UVP product, AppSense Environment Manager 8.1, adds a modular design that enables IT managers to assemble the features they need for their organization, says Doug Lane, director of product marketing for AppSense. Version 8.1 also adds more granular controls for IT administrators to manage the virtualized user image, such as regulating user behavior based on existence of specific files, folders, OS versions and other conditions. For end users, the upgrade delivers faster login times and tighter integration with the Windows login and logout experience.

A user virtualization platform integrates with virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) technology, and AppSense is actually a partner with Citrix, maker of a widely used VDI product. Industry analysts forecast that 50 million new virtual desktops will enter the corporate workplace over the next three years, according to a Citrix white paper.

Before UVP, letting each end user in an enterprise preserve a customized, personalized virtual desktop image turned out to be expensive, particularly because of the cost of storage, says Lane. One alternative would be to deliver a "non-persistent desktop" that delivers the same image to everyone, though he said employees don’t like that.With the AppSense Environment Manager, AppSense streams the virtualized desktop on demand to users when they log in. The end user can personalize the image with specific application settings, access privileges, OS versions and even a preferred desktop background picture, he says. Personalization can also save the unique format or layout settings a user has established for using Excel.

"It’s about a combination of standardizing the Windows desktop to the greatest extent possible for IT to reduce cost and complexity, but at the same time being able to deliver a personalized experience to the user," says Lane. Another driver for the improvements in version 8.1, he adds, is to aid enterprises is adapting to a major change in IT in which workers are becoming more mobile and are bringing personal devices into the workplace, such as tablet computers and smartphones, to do their jobs.

Additional administrative tools include an improved configuration assistant, a debug setup tool and a database migration tool. Performance is improved by enabling parallel processing, which reduces CPU consumption, and by enabling more sophisticated software configuration to boost performance.

AppSense announced version 8.1 at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference held this week in Los Angeles. Although the platform currently supports only Windows environments, Lane says that, down the road, AppSense plans to support other operating systems.

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