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Viewfinity Loads Systems Management To The Cloud For Remote Users

Start-up company Viewfinity has announced the release of version 2.5 of their cloud-based systems and privilege-management product. The management solutions use a technique called application encapsulation to maintain the integrity of the end-user desktop, as well as enabling quick rollback of user changes. Starting as a free product for up to 50 machines, Viewfinity brings software deployment and policy management to enterprise clients, no matter where they are located.

According to Viewfinity, the encapsulation process separates the application and the user's Windows settings from the operating system itself. Using Viewfinity's system driver layer, encapsulation can be applied to applications already installed on the system, as well as any new applications deployed to the client. Viewfinity suggests that by separating the applications from the host operating system, its solution can eliminate both the clutter associated with disparate applications and the problems arising from incompatible applications on the same machine.

Along with keeping the mobile end points clean through these application capsules, the cloud-based approach allows policy enforcement and system management to be supported both in and out of the office walls. The client agent connects the centralized Viewfinity hosted service, looking for policy updates and application installers, as well as uploading asset management information to the host.  Viewfinity also maintains journals of user activities, such as adding printers, Windows and application settings.  If the user experiences a problem, an administrator or help desk personnel can retrieve this journal, literally view a screen cap movie of the user activities and rollback those changes as needed. 

Likewise, the privilege-management package allows enterprises to maintain a policy of least-required privileges for end-users and adjusts those privileges on the fly.  For example, an administrator can enable a given application to be installed while restricting any other installations. If a connected user temporarily needs an elevated authority, the admin on the other end can push that change through in real-time without rebooting, as is usually necessary.

For many enterprises, the ratio between laptop and desktops has narrowed, with laptops no longer the minority of IT supported clients. With this shift to a highly mobile workforce, system management practices need to adapt to reflect this change.  Traditionally, application rollouts focused on pushing them to LAN-connected clients, but in the current age of telecommuting, outsourcing and global corporate footprints, administrators have to continually think about the client machines that may never touch the local network.