September 21, 2022

VMblog 2022 Mega Series Q&A: Chuck Brady of Liquit Discusses The Topic of Virtualization, Cloud and EUC

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Welcome to the VMblog 2022 Mega Series where we cover a number of important topics.  In this series, you'll be hearing from the industry leaders and experts in order to help you make important decisions within your own organization.  Follow along for a chance to better understand a number of topics and find out more about some of the best technologies available out there in the industry.  

In today's Q&A, we're speaking with industry expert, Chuck Brady, VP of Americas at Liquit.  And we're diving into the topic of virtualization, cloud and EUC. 

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VMblog:  Provide a little background information on the company.  What does your company look like in 2022 and beyond? 

Chuck Brady:  Liquit makes applications and end-users work in the transparent and fluid way that everyone demands and expects. Our three founders recognized a glaring hole in the way businesses manage their application in 2015 and had a vision on how to solve that challenge.

Using their collective application management experience, they sought to create a one-stop solution able to fulfill all an organization's application management needs simply and efficiently, reducing the workload for IT teams and removing pain points for end-users.

Liquit now has customers around the globe, and we are constantly innovating to provide our clients with tomorrow's application solutions before they even realize they need them.

We're dedicated to an ongoing future of application management that works anyway, anywhere and on any device across platform, service, or environment. Our mission is always to make it seem automatic for end-users while being simple and fast for IT so that applications flow like water from the tap.

VMblog:  At the core, how do you define end user computing and explain it to others?   

Brady:  End-user computing is the nexus point of every aspect of Information Technology for delivering applications, devices, connectivity, and systems needed to run an organization in the digital age.   

VMblog:  We're hearing more about the cloud, being categorized as public, private, hybrid or multi.  How do you explain it or differentiate it to people?

Brady:  The roots of cloud computing complexity are defined by its constant evolution to meet the changing needs of application and services delivery across public, private and hybrid cloud environments where:

  • Public cloud is the most common type of cloud computing deployment where cloud resources (servers, compute, and storage) are owned, operated, and maintained by a third-party cloud service provider (i.e., Microsoft Azure, AWS, Google, etc.) that co-hosts the environment publicly and delivers it over the internet.
  • Private cloud consists of cloud computing resources used exclusively by one business or organization and can be physically located within the organization's on-site datacenter or hosted by a third-party service provider. The defining aspects of private cloud is that the services and infrastructure are always maintained on a private network where all hardware and software is dedicated solely to the organization's use.
  • A hybrid cloud is a cloud computing environment that combines on-premises infrastructure (or a private cloud) with a public cloud. Although challenging to manage, hybrid clouds allow data and applications to move between the two environments. Many organizations choose a hybrid cloud approach due to business requirements such as meeting regulatory and data sovereignty conditions, taking full advantage of on-premises technology investment, or addressing low latency needs.
  • Multi-cloud environments incorporate multiple public clouds from more than one cloud provider. Instead of a business using one vendor for cloud hosting, storage, and the full application stack, a multi-cloud configuration uses several vendors based on specific application requirements or to avoid vendor lock.

VMblog:  Where is the industry headed in the next couple of years?  What should organizations be thinking about regarding the cloud? 

Brady:  There is no doubt that cloud computing is the future as evidenced by its rapid advancements in security, latency, and operability. The challenge lies in how to manage applications and services across different environments while still delivering simple and efficient access to end users. As environments and end user needs grow, it becomes untenable to log into multiple environments with multiple browsers, logins, and passwords. 

Even the cloud expertise of an organization's SME or their managed service providers guiding cloud management and deployments cannot easily harness the cloud's inherent versatility.  

VMblog:  Is on site infrastructure safer or more secure than the cloud?  Why or why not?  

Brady:  Whether onsite or cloud being safer is no longer the question in a hybrid world where true security should start with the management of end users and the application lifecycle. This strong zero trust access management foundation maximizes the security gains being made across cloud computing to tackle remaining security and compliance capabilities. Some organizations remain leery about cloud computing versus the peace of mind they've come to expect from on-premises solutions. This attitude is being changed by cloud providers, third-party independent software vendors, and others working diligently to create new offerings with stronger security built into their solutions.  

VMblog:  What strategies can a company put in place to keep their data and applications secured during and after migrating to the cloud?  

Brady:  The end user access level is the most vulnerable of several areas across the application lifecycle. Even though organizations put stringent processes in place to ensure end-users compliance, the slightest misstep can lead to a catastrophic vulnerability. The best way to mitigate the risk at the end-user level is to reduce or eliminate any complexity. This means employing such concepts as zero-touch, single sign-on, and simplifying the login process by reducing the number of screens and browsers that users require. Although these sound like simple and practical strategies, the amount of effort it takes to manage applications in a hybrid, multi cloud, and multi-platform world increases exponentially. This becomes impossible when organizations are running lean and lack the in-house expertise to manage the applications and devices required by users for daily business operations.  

Another strategy is to reduce the number of sessions, browsers, and windows required to access applications in multiple environments. By aggregating applications to a single workspace, organizations can reduce vulnerabilities and create a more efficient and functional end-user experience.  

VMblog:  What are the differences between virtualization and cloud computing?  

Brady:  Virtualization enables an organization to run virtual versions of computer systems in a layer that's abstracted from the hardware by creating virtual instances of IT services that traditionally have been bound to hardware. Virtualization allows multiple applications and operating systems on a single computer. In contrast, cloud computing can be defined as delivering computing power (CPU, RAM, Network Speeds, Storage, OS, and software) as a service over a network (usually the internet) rather than physically having the computing resources at the onsite location.

For example, Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is the creation and management of desktop environments and applications that allow employees to work and access applications and services outside the office, in the office, or from a remote location. Although VDI has evolved to the cloud, cloud computing is simply defined as on-demand delivery of IT resources over the Internet. Instead of buying, owning, and maintaining physical data centers and servers, access to technology services, (i.e., computing power, storage, and databases) are delivered on an as-needed basis from a cloud provider or internally hosted as outlined above.  

Virtualization is now part of the cloud with many organizations seeking to host VDI solutions to reduce their hardware carbon footprint and reduce costs. As VDI in the cloud matures, other cloud evolution approaches like Cloud PC are becoming more popular. Cloud PC (also known as Desktop as a Service (DaaS), or cloud desktop) is a virtual desktop delivered from the cloud rather than from an on-premises data center or a physical device like a laptop or workstation. Having your operating system in the cloud without it installed on a physical device is becoming more cost effective and easier to access for companies employing multiple devices.  

VMblog:  In the last few years, many could argue that virtualization, while still a necessity, is more akin to networking or plumbing - everyone has it, and it's just become a standard operating component. Do you see it that way?  Why or why not?  

Brady:  While virtualization is still prevalent, technology is changing faster than ever. Some version of VDI will always be around because of legacy applications and infrastructure that are too important to sunset. Although most organizations see the competitive and operational importance of trying innovative technologies, they're averse to the risk of jumping all in when their current VDI infrastructure may last five or even ten years into the future.

Managing multiple infrastructures and environments has been happening for decades. But the progression of technology makes it difficult for IT to keep on top of it. This is due to management and maintenance process overload, which limits time and resources for innovation.

This will be an ongoing challenge that requires a solution that brings all the disparate systems and infrastructures that support applications together. The goal is to simplify overall management while making it easier and more secure for users to access what they need and when they need it to run the business.  

VMblog:  What are the benefits/limitations of End User Computing that organizations should be aware of?  

Brady:  Since every organization now relies on information technology to provide its most critical functionalities, end-user computing is the foundation that delivers the greatest benefits. The challenge is that the ubiquity of sophisticated user-friendly capabilities in personal computing technology devices fosters a demand for the same user experience in business devices. These limitations have caused friction between IT and end users. As IT becomes overworked managing their existing systems and infrastructures it leaves users with devices and processes that are unsatisfying and unproductive.

Application access is one of the most critical functions of any business and sits at the heart of this problem. When users are interrupted because of a downed server or failed internet connection, they're left sitting idle. End-user expectations are hard to meet when there are so many IT hurdles to overcome. 

VMblog:  What are your thoughts on moving from on-premises virtualization in the data center to migrating things to the cloud?   

Brady:  It makes sense for companies to migrate their VDI to the cloud as cloud infrastructure continues to improve in security and performance. This benefits the business by decreasing hardware expense and reducing carbon footprints while enabling end users to be more agile, mobile, and productive.  

VMblog:  What are the benefits to keeping things on premises?

Brady:  I'm not sure there are any benefits other than keeping the status quo and not disrupting the business.    

VMblog:  How does your company help organizations virtualize their data center to leverage the benefits of virtualization? 

Brady:  Liquit helps organizations manage applications in multiple disparate environments and aggregates them into a single workspace of choice. Our solution isolates the end-user workspace from whatever happens on the back end to eliminate application disruption completely. Liquit also provides the capability to help ease migrations, as well as integrates with existing tools and technologies to ease the burden of ongoing end-to-end application management.  

VMblog:  How do you answer your clients or prospects if asked "How do we prepare for the cloud?" 

Brady:  The future of your organization's ability to compete, innovate, and produce is determined by the foundation of agile applications and the cloud. That's why Liquit is designed to make those applications flow like water from a tap to easily harness those abilities.  

VMblog:  What trends are impacting end user computing strategies this year?  

Now that most organizations are running some applications in the cloud, they're looking for ways to make the trend of multi-cloud and Hybrid cloud beneficial through practical management.  

VMblog:  What do you feel should be some of the priorities for end user computing moving forward? 

Brady:  Ensuring that every end user can access every application, from every device, anytime, anywhere, securely, and within compliance. It's what users want and the business needs.  

VMblog:  Now that a significant number of people are working from home, is that increasing the need for virtualization/cloud computing?   

One of the biggest issues organizations face today are the short-term fixes they implemented for what no one anticipated would be a long-term problem. The remote work quick fix reactions to the Covid lockdowns are breaking down as organizations struggle with delivering long-term work-from-home sustainability while enabling ongoing innovation and progress.

This presents a problem that just moving to the cloud doesn't fix. IT needs long-term, capable solutions to manage every application on any device. The solution must simultaneously reduce management lifecycle redundancies and create new streamlined processes to deliver applications beyond the limits of today's traditional legacy tools. 

VMblog:  How can it help solve these remote work challenges?  

Brady:  Virtualization and the cloud are just parts of the solution rather than a silver bullet to the challenges of simple and agile application management in a hybrid remote world. But they do play a key role in the way organizations will deliver and access applications when paired with a solution that makes end-to-end management easy and transparent.  

VMblog:  What's happening with the notion of working from home or working from anywhere?  Are companies changing their mind?  Are people being asked to return to the office?  How does this shift change the need or use of cloud computing or end-user computing? 

Brady:  Some companies are allowing full-time work from home with the occasional office meeting, while some are creating a hybrid work environment where they are only required to be in the office two or three times a week. Although it's still rare, other organizations have all employees returning to the office full time, so it's a mixed bag. This will continue to change in ways that require companies to have an effortless way to adapt while always having secure access and transparent workflows.  

VMblog:  Is VDI still important?  Or have we moved on?  

Brady:  Although VDI isn't going away anytime soon, recent big picture mergers have yet to play out in this space, so the future of what it will look like is uncertain. However, I see it fading away slowly as more capable and efficient technologies and solutions appear on the scene with greater adaptability to future needs and less lock-in.  

VMblog:  Traditionally, end user computing has been dominated by on-premises solutions.  How has the cloud reshaped EUC? 

Brady:  The cloud has paved the way for organizations to have access to applications from anywhere. This has created a new challenge where it's difficult to manage and deliver applications in the way the business and end-users need them.  

VMblog:  What's one of the biggest challenges businesses face today with regard to virtualization/cloud computing? 

Brady:  The tedium, high cost, and endless process provisioning, updating, and redundancy of end-to-end application delivery and management.  

VMblog:  What impact would you specifically like to achieve in the virtualization/cloud/end user computing space? 

Brady:  Liquit has the capabilities that most organizations need in this constantly changing modern environment. Through our open and flexible platform, Liquit integrates with existing tools, technologies, and infrastructures to help manage the current state more efficiently while having the capabilities to integrate with new, more innovative solutions without disruption.

Once Liquit is implemented, an organization is in control of change as opposed to change being in control of the organization. Disruption is a thing of the past and efficiency is constant no matter what changes in the infrastructure. This is what we mean when we say Liquit makes applications flow like water from the tap.

VMblog:  Where does your solution live in the end user computing ecosystem?   

Brady:  Liquit puts the control back into the hands of IT while enabling the end-users to have the Apple App Store experience no matter the device.  

VMblog:  What are the top 3 benefits to businesses that choose to implement your solution?  

Brady:  

  • Eliminates disruption of the business as it relates to managing applications.
  • Transparently provides every end-user with every application, from every platform to every device.
  • Makes any migration fast and easy while providing a patch to innovation for the future (future proof).

VMblog:  What specific problems are being solved by your solutions? 

Brady:  Liquit is the modern end-to-end application management solution for a hybrid remote and cloud world. Our solution creates efficiencies by reducing time, cost, and risk where companies are redundantly managing the same applications with 5, 6, or 7 different versions for different scenarios.  

VMblog:  How are you different from your competitors?   

Brady:  There are several companies that provide some level of the capabilities that Liquit offers, however, none provide it all in one open and flexible platform that is as cost-effective. We developed Liquit to manage an existing application infrastructure in today's evolving world while remaining flexible enough to future-proof a company's infrastructure. That gives organizations the control they need to continue managing whatever comes next without disruption, and no other solution provides that capability.  

VMblog:  Can you explain the Liquit Smart Icon Technology?

Brady:  Our Smart Icons look exactly like the applications and services icons they use and work with every day on every device. The unique technology behind these icons is what makes the applications flow like water in a uniquely valuable way for IT.

It enables IT to deliver a transparent user experience in seconds via filters and context awareness, so every user has the right settings they need to always do their job without process interference.

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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