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August 07, 2015

Q&A: Liquidware Labs Showcases Leading Workspace Environment Management Solutions at VMworld 2015 - Booth 2630

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As part of VMblog's live VMworld 2015 coverage coming up at the end of this month, we're getting our schedule ready to learn as much as we can, as quickly as we can.  But with so many vendors exhibiting at the show, how do you know who to get on your schedule and which booths to visit?  

This year, I'm excited to follow up with Liquidware Labs at the show.  They gave us a sneak peek at one of their soon to be released products in our video interview during Citrix Synergy.  And I can't wait to see what they are showcasing at this year's VMworld event. The company has innovative and award-winning products like Stratusphere FIT and Stratusphere UX for desktop visibility; ProfileUnity with FlexApp and FlexDisk for desktop portability; and Flex-IO which supports IOPS acceleration in non-persistent VDI environments.

We had a great conversation at Synergy, and I expect after these many months have passed since that time, we'll see some incredible updates to their offerings.  And don't forget, these guys have some serious virtualization talent working at their booth.  So make sure to come by and geek out with these guys, many of which have been around in the virtualization market long before it was cool.

VMblog:  Your company is once again sponsoring and exhibiting at VMworld 2015.  Tell us about your booth... how can we find you? 

Jason E. Smith:  Liquidware Labs is an Exhibitor Sponsor this year at VMworld and we're located at Booth 2630.  We are in a 10 x 10 space, so visitors can comfortably get a demo of our products and chat with our experts on the value of our offerings in a desktop environment on VMware, Citrix, RDSH and physical hardware.

VMblog:  Are you showing any new products off this year at the show?

Smith:  We're very excited to be shortly launching the next major dot releases of both our ProfileUnity with FlexApp and Stratusphere UX solutions. 

VMblog:  If an attendee likes what they see and hear at your booth... what message about your product can you send them back with to sell their boss on your technology?

Smith:  You are getting some of the most innovative and elegant solutions for VMware desktops.   But the main takeaways are:

  • Our Essentials bundle provides affordable, comprehensive Workspace Environment Management (WEM).
  • Liquidware Labs introduced WEM (including User Environment Management, Application Layering and User Experience monitoring) since 2011.
  • Our products are very sophisticated, yet very affordable and require no elaborate back-end systems to put in place.
  • Our products are platform- agnostic and are the de facto choice for Windows desktops if you are running hybrid desktop environments.

VMblog:  With a sea of booths at VMworld, explain why an attendee should put you on their "MUST SEE" list.

Smith:  Here is a laundry list of the new features in our upcoming releases and attendees should make a note of these as they can solve some really sticky situations in VDI projects.

Stratusphere UX New Advanced Features

Login Breakdown

Long - or worse - hung login times continue to plague desktop virtualization projects.  The reason for this is that there need to be a number of events that must finish in just seconds so that the login completes efficiently.  If any one of these events fails or is a bottleneck, then you have a problem. The difficulty is to uncover which event is causing the delay.  So new in Stratusphere UX is detailed event tracing of your Windows login process.  We're measuring and reporting on Boot Delay, Login Delay, Domain Controller Access, Computer and User GPO's, GPO client extension names and load times, Roaming Profile load times, Time to Restore Network Connections and processes that start and end between each step of the login process. You can trend this information for the user, machine or a pool level by using machine groups.

LiquidwareLabs Stratusphere VMworld

 

GPU Compatibility

In the early days of VDI, it was thought that you could not support graphics-intensive applications but since then, many of these engineering, 3D and scientific apps have been successfully delivered over virtual desktop platforms.  So we have added a GPU compatibility feature for NVidia GPU technologies to Stratusphere UX so we can measure and report on the latest GPU enabled VDI and physical delivery mechanisms.

Stratusphere UX API

We see small business to large service organizations building their SLA's using our metrics as the key performance indicators to represent the user, application, display and overall desktop experience.  Our API has seen excellent adoption by our partners to pull, customize and repurpose Stratusphere UX metrics data into helpdesk systems, other enterprise monitoring solutions or standard spreadsheets for easy manipulation.  We've included a point and click GUI API builder to assist any level administrator or consultant to extract information from Stratusphere UX and repurpose it.

Citrix and Microsoft Display Protocols

We have added ICA and RDP visibility from the datacenter to the endpoint in addition to our existing PCoIP monitoring.  Additionally we have become a Citrix Ready approved solution for Stratusphere.

Desktop Applications and Web URLs

Application monitoring has been enhanced to expose "launched application command line and arguments" as well as the "owner of application processes" to assist in hybrid Citrix, VMware and physical deployments.  Web browser URL monitoring has been added for Chrome and Internet Explorer.

Expanded Linux Monitoring

We have added NFS mount monitoring to our already robust Linux desktop, user and application monitoring agent.

Dashboard Overviews to Deep Inspection

Our top level dashboards deliver at-a-glance information about consumption and user experience trends with the ability to drill into any of the detailed sub-data.  The dashboards are click sensitive so you can focus on specific users, machines, group or applications for easy visibility into trends.  For advanced diagnostics, clients can link from the dashboard overview to the drill- down inspectors to slice, dice and drill into your user experience data by month, day, hour etc.

ProfileUnity with FlexApp New Advanced Features

ProfileUnity with FlexApp has developed into the market's most affordable, straight-forward, full-featured and scalable User Environment Management & Application Layering Solution. The solution supports all Windows desktop delivery types including Windows physical desktops and RDSH, Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop, VMware RDSH and VMware Horizon View. This solution continues to raise the bar for our competitors to equal these new significant enhancements.

Advanced Application Layering

FlexApp Application Layering has been significantly upgraded, making it easier to layer more application types than ever before. Any Windows desktop is supported across all desktop platforms and delivery strategies.  As a result, FlexApp can layer even complex applications that require drivers and services, even on a per user basis. Other solutions are limited to machine level application assignment.

FlexDisk VMDK

ProfileUnity offers the FlexDisk VMDK option for VMFS storage, which can achieve up to 58 VMDK per user, more than any other layering solution.

ProfileDisk Speeds Login

 "ProfileDisk" is also new and makes logins faster and easier to manage. VHD-based or VMDK- based ProfileDisks dramatically speed user logon times by seamlessly mounting the entire user profile from disk, supplying both the benefits of native profile performance with instant delivery of a user profile. When coupled with ProfileUnity's long-standing granular portability profile-management capabilities, customers get the best of both worlds - lightning fast profiles and the ability to manage profiles when needed, as well as options to roam across Windows OS versions. ProfileDisk technology that's fast and exclusive because it can be coupled with amended profile data through ProfileUnity's Portability features. No other vendor, including Microsoft, offers this capability.

Point and Click Clustering for HA

An automated highly-available (HA) and highly scalable clustered configuration has been introduced for ease of HA setup. ProfileUnity includes exclusive point-and-click clustering, removing the requirement for complex setup, network load balancers or external database clusters. We have a great VIDEO that explains this feature in detail.

Exclusive Messaging Fabric improves UEM and Layering

We have also integrated an exclusive User Environment Management and Application Layering Messaging "Fabric," allowing for real time reporting, assignment of applications, and laying the groundwork for future innovations.

VMblog:  How many times have you sponsored before?  And what keeps you coming back?

Smith:  Liquidware Labs was founded in 2009 and have been a strong VMware Partner since our inception.  We have been attending VMworld annually from our first day.   We won the Partner of the Year award in 2013.  Our products are VMware recommended.  The majority of our channel partners are also VMware partners, so the ties that bind our two organizations are strong and intricate.

It has been very exciting to see the End User Computing segment of the business become more mature and accepted, and we will continue to keep pace and more, with regard to developments on the VMware EUC platform.

VMblog:  If you would, please explain or give readers a few reasons why your product or service is considered unique? 

Smith:  Liquidware Labs will continue to complement VMware Horizon desktops by going beyond VMware's WEM strategy in the following three areas:

  • App Delivery and Isolation - Our FlexApp solution in ProfileUnity offers Application Layering via user and department installed applications with secure Application Rights Management and advanced features
  • End-to-End Monitoring - Our Stratusphere UX solution offers industry leading in-guest metrics to help head off issue before they become mission critical show stoppers
  • User Persona and Dynamic IT Policies - ProfileUnity delivers this functionality across all application delivery platforms.

Again, the Liquidware Labs Essentials bundle has been delivering comprehensive WEM functionality and more, for some time. Essentials is a third-party agnostic solution that is far more cost-effective than VMware's Enterprise Bundle. Further, the Essentials bundle protects customers from platform lock-in, greatly facilitating the management of physical and virtual workloads as well as making it easier to migrate to other virtual platforms in the future.

VMblog:  Most VMworld attendees enjoy a good giveaway -- are you guys giving away anything fun or special this year?  

Smith:  This year we are promoting the theme "Go Beyond the Horizon," and we are going to give-away some very cool t-shirts. 

##

Thanks again to Jason E. Smith, Product Director of Liquidware Labs for speaking with VMblog about the upcoming VMworld show.  Make sure to visit Liquidware Labs at VMworld if you are in attendance -- they can be found at booth #2630. You won't be disappointed.

David Marshall

David Marshall has been involved in the technology industry for over 19 years, and he's been working with virtualization software since 1999. He was able to become an industry expert in virtualization by becoming a pioneer in that field - one of the few people in the industry allowed to work with Alpha stage server virtualization software from industry leaders: VMware (ESX Server), Connectix and Microsoft (Virtual Server).

Through the years, he has invented, marketed and helped launch a number of successful virtualization software companies and products. David holds a BS degree in Finance, an Information Technology Certification, and a number of vendor certifications from Microsoft, CompTia and others. He's also co-authored two published books: "VMware ESX Essentials in the Virtual Data Center" and "Advanced Server Virtualization: VMware and Microsoft Platforms in the Virtual Data Center" and acted as technical editor for two popular Virtualization "For Dummies" books. With his remaining spare time, David founded and operates one of the oldest independent virtualization news blogs, VMblog.com. And co-founded CloudCow.com, a publication dedicated to Cloud Computing. Starting in 2009 and continuing all the way to 2016, David has been honored with the vExpert distinction by VMware for his virtualization evangelism.

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