Is Unidesk an AppSense alternative?

Unidesk and AppSense have very little overlap.

Unidesk is the inventor and leading provider of desktop layering technology. Unidesk virtual desktop management software combines desktop provisioning, application layering, one Windows gold image, full personalization (including user-installed apps), patch management, and disk space reduction all in one easy-to-use solution that integrates with the leading VDI connection brokers, including Citrix XenDesktop, Microsoft RDS, and VMware Horizon View.

AppSense is a leader in Windows desktop policy, profile and performance management, helping ensure that users always receive a consistent, predictable and personalized working experience across Windows server-based computing environments, physical PCs and laptops, mobile devices, and virtual desktops.

The sole area of overlap is in personalization. For customers who are deploying virtual desktops only, Unidesk layering technology can eliminate the need for profile management tools. The Unidesk Personalization layer captures all user customizations - profile settings, data, and user-installed applications and plug-ins - in a writable virtual disk file that is unique to each desktop. The Personalization layer stays intact regardless of how often the underlying application and Windows OS layers are updated, so all user customizations persist. The Personalization layer is also snapshotted each night, enabling Level 1 service desk staff to offer instant break/fix simply by rolling the Personalization layer back to a previous version.

Customers like Sunrise Health find VDI success using AppSense and Unidesk together:

  • Unidesk to provision virtual desktops from a single Windows gold image and centrally package and deliver applications as independent layers. Unidesk application layering overcomes the two big challenges with legacy application streaming and virtualization approaches - enabling full application interoperability (layered apps act as if they are locally installed) and full application compatibility (any app can be layered, even system services and apps with boot-time drivers).
  • AppSense to provide granular control over personalization, minimize the use of GPOs, and eradicate the use of login scripts. AppSense typically runs on top of Unidesk non-persistent desktops. When a desktop is provisioned as "non-persistent," Unidesk erases the Personalization layer after each use. AppSense restores user personalization, enabling the same non-persistent desktop to be shared - and personalized - by multiple users.