In the past, I’ve covered topics such as Breaking Down Silos and Changing Your Point of View and Outside In versus Inside Out. In these and other posts, the theme has been about putting the user first. Regardless of where you might be in the user lifecycle: performing activities such as assessing, designing, migrating or validating a proof of concept or pilot; or operationally, looking at ongoing monitoring, diagnostics and troubleshooting; or perhaps you’re checking the health or optimizing your platform or infrastructure… In all cases the message and concept is simple: Put the user at the center of workspace delivery and management.
The move to virtual desktops, whether full on-premises VDI or a managed desktop as a service (DaaS) in the cloud, can be wrought with hidden challenges. Some of these challenges are technical, and some political; however, the result is the same: disruption, not meeting user expectations and greater risk to user productivity. These challenges or visibility gaps are amplified in larger environments as there are more fingers in the pie, often combined with distributed technical responsibilities.
Ultimately, the question you should be asking yourself is who owns accountability to the user experience. If delivered properly, the desktop or workspace should appear to be a consistent and familiar experience—regardless of whether it is delivered atop physical PCs, virtualized locally or delivered as a service in the cloud. But who gets the light shined on them when things go astray? Is it the desktop team? Perhaps the infrastructure folks who own the storage, servers and network are to blame? And in the case of DaaS, this demarcation becomes a lot more imprecise.
What’s New in Stratusphere UX 5.8.6
On the heels of release 5.8.5, we are thrilled to share version 5.8.6 of Stratusphere UX. And while much of this release focuses on behind-the-scenes enhancements and routine virtual appliance patches, we have introduced a couple of key features I wanted to highlight. Specifically, I wanted to share some detail on the newly organized and enhanced Advanced Mode Dashboards, as well as some goodness from our friends at NVIDIA.
I’m super excited to share that our Stratusphere appliance is now supported on EC2 in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. This is exciting for a number of reasons, but overall it’s a great way to get started with Stratusphere for use cases where off-premise hosting is of value. We envision two clear uses—user assessment or onboarding, and validation of machine performance in cloud-based virtual workspaces.
Regardless of the delivery approach, it is critically important to know your user behaviors, application use, PC workload consumption and overall user experience. Stratusphere has been able to assist in these cases for on premise installations, and now can do the same for those who wish to deploy our Stratusphere Appliance in the cloud.
We’ve recently released Stratusphere UX version 5.8.5, and I could not be more pleased. This release is packed full of goodness, and benefits our customers in a number of areas,
such as: significantly lowering the barrier to diagnostics, enhanced ICA/HDX Citrix information and metrics, official support for the Nutanix platform, and application and process-level GPU metrics. In this post I’ll highlight a few details of each, but look for future posts that will dive deeper into each of these features and functions.
Liquidware Labs has recently been named by Citrix® as Citrix Ready® Partner of the month. Citrix has raised the bar, creating an amazing ecosystem of complementary solutions, as well as a dynamic and trustworthy process by which partners are tested and validated. We could not be more pleased with this honor.
Most importantly, however; this recognition speaks to the importance of user experience and the value third party solutions bring to Citrix XenDesktop, XenApp and Citrix Cloud environments. User experience is ultimately the best measure of success. And Liquidware Labs provides industry leading solutions that many Citrix customers have come to benefit from, including; Stratusphere UX for monitoring and diagnostics, ProfileUnity for advanced user environment management, and FlexApp Application Layering—all components required in the visibility and delivery of user experience. Continue reading
The infrastructure, software platforms and best practices to support virtual workloads have come a long way in just a handful of years. Details and an understanding of important metrics—memory, disk and compute—have become more commonplace as it relates both to sizing as well as what is required inside each virtual guests. From where I sit many of the barriers that presented challenges to reaping the full benefit of virtual workload delivery have been broken down. That is, except one… There is still one frontier that remains somewhat uncharted.
And that’s why I’m so very pleased to share that we’ve been working behind the scenes with NVIDA; an industry leader that has been Continue reading
Few would disagree with the tasks and approach to building IT infrastructure and services. You assess the problem and architect a design. Often a proof-of-concept phase is employed whereby confirmation of the platform and capabilities are verified. Piloting the new infrastructure … Continue reading
They say you only get one opportunity to make a first impression. In the world of desktop computing, that first impression is cast during the machine boot and login process. And despite how optimized your desktop image, virtual infrastructure or workspace delivery … Continue reading
Earlier in the week I posted a blog about Monitoring vs. Diagnostics; where I noted the skills, tools, and ultimately the visibility required to proactively monitor an environment versus re-actively diagnose, are very different. I’m sure those of you who have lived this challenge would agree. For those who have not lived to tell the tale, I’ll share this example from the field.
Please note I am not attempting to call out or embarrass anyone. The nuance and balance between monitoring and diagnostics is lost on all but the most seasoned end user computing professionals. It’s quite common that desktop workload-focused IT teams are ill prepared to solve a diagnostics problem with a monitoring solution. In this case, our example organization was experiencing crippling performance of its most important tier one application: the electronic health record (EHR) solution from Epic Systems.
Not Sized for Growth or Spikes
Our story begins at a large health care organization that recently completed a 20,000-user desktop transformation from physical PCs to virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). The multi-year project went well; and until recently, everyone was happy. Management was realizing significant operational benefits. User expectations were being met, and the IT team has been proactively monitoring the environment.