VDI is becoming a hot topic in IT again as the competing demands of a geographically dispersed workforce, increasing information governance regulations, increasingly understaffed support teams and increased bandwidth at remote sites combine to make VDI an attractive option. VDI systems such as VMWare View or Citrix XEN Desktop are gaining popularity outside of the typical use cases of call center and bank teller workstations, where companies need many identically configured computers.
However, VDI is less useful if your users want to customize their desktops, each user needing their own VDI image. While storage costs are coming down, storage isn't exactly dirt cheap and maintaining a custom image for all users would consume a lot of disk space. Enter Tranxition Adaptive Persona, software that lets IT maintain few desktop images while allowing users the ability to customize their desktop. Alternatives to Adaptive Persona are software suites like Moka 5 which allow IT to distribute to users virtual desktops that are run on local hypervisors or USB keys.
Adaptive Persona uses what Tranxition calls a Personality Hypervisor, agent software, that runs on the Windows virtual machine instance and applies user-defined configuration options after the user logs-in. The agent software captures user configuration changes to Windows and applications via registry keys and configuration files, as well as any user-configurable OS or application option, such as colors, sounds, or application menu options. This personality data is stored on the Adaptive Persona server. When a user logs into a Windows VDI instance, the Personality Hypervisor retrieves and applies the most recent personality data.
Tranxition is targeting the Adaptive Persona to VDI installations, but it could also be run on physical computers as well. The hitch is that the Personality Hypervisor agent must be connected to the Adaptive Persona server at all times to track changes--a feat more easily performed in a VDI environment. The company is looking into providing support for local caching of personality data for disconnected use which would allow a traveling user to change their computer while traveling and synchronize changes when they return to the home office.