2014.5 Demo & Trial Hanger

5 Reasons Why Citrix XenDesktop Customers Use Unidesk

1. No More App Delivery “Bottleneck”

Citrix XenApp is the leading solution for publishing applications to desktops from a single installation point. However, many apps that depend upon specific Windows OS features, registry entries and file locations are unsuited for delivery via traditional server-based computing (SBC). Limited interoperability between hosted applications as well as the time and expertise required to configure SBC servers are also problematic. This is why Gartner calls application delivery the "secret bottleneck of VDI.”

Unidesk application layering is the new way to deliver applications to virtual desktops from a single installation point, with apps appearing as if they are locally installed. Layering can augment application publishing in Citrix XenDesktop VDI environments by offering the following benefits:

  1. Compatible with all applications

    All apps - even those with boot-time drivers and system services such as Dragon, antivirus, iTunes, and printers - can be layered.

  2. Full interoperability

    Unlike traditional SBC, layered apps look and feel as if they've been locally installed. Unlike traditional app virtualization, layered apps aren't isolated or hidden from Windows. With all files, data, and registry keys in the usual places, apps and plug-ins are fully interoperable, even if they are delivered in separate layers.

  3. Fast and easy

    The layering process only takes minutes, even if you’re not a packaging expert.

  4. Less disk space

    The virtual disks representing the application layers are stored once per datastore and shared by many VMs, greatly reducing space requirements.

See what Gartner and real VDI users say about application layering in "Selecting the Right Application Delivery Model for Virtual Desktops"

"App delivery is where VDI got stuck. We have hundreds of custom and specialty apps needed by different departments that were just too hard to virtualize using traditional methods. Some of our core clinical apps are delivered by XenApp. For everything else, we use Unidesk. Now we’re all app packaging experts. We ran contests internally to see who could layer apps the fastest."

Sheranga Jayasinghe, Director of IT, Sunrise Health

2. Imageless Management

Unidesk is the only solution that can deliver the Windows OS itself as a "layer" - a read-only virtual disk that can be assigned to any number of VMs. Our unique ability to "virtualize above the hypervisor" eliminates images - VMs are simply collections of modular OS and App layers. No more creating or patching multiple vDisks with apps built-in. No more updating the same apps multiple times. Just one instance of your layers to manage, no matter how many different XenDesktop catalogs, groups, VM settings, and application combinations you have. Patching Windows, staying in compliance with the latest Microsoft hot fixes, auditing changes, and undoing patching mistakes doesn’t get any easier.

"With Unidesk, we have one gold Windows 7 layer that is standard for all desktops, and we can quickly choose from any of our 60+ application layers. Unidesk has cut down tremendously on the labor and time required for both desktop staging and rollout. The integration between Unidesk and Citrix XenDesktop completes the VDI picture for us, giving us best-in-class management and connectivity."

Dru Lesnick, AVP of Information Systems, Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance of Iowa

3. Persistent or Non-Persistent? Yes!

Citrix Provisioning Services vDisks or Machine Creation Services can reduce disk space requirements to make XenDesktop VDI implementations more affordable. However, the non-persistent desktops created by these tools do not retain user customizations. Persistent desktops that preserve personalization are what end users really want.

Provision non-persistent AND persistent desktops with Unidesk – layering makes both space-efficient. In either case, the OS and application layers are stored once as read-only virtual disks and shared by many VMs. The only difference is whether the Unidesk Personalization layer is retained or erased after each use. Your users will love customizing their persistent desktops with preferred settings, user-installed apps and plug-ins. Your IT team will love one set of layers to manage, the minimal space requirements, the quick and easy break/fix, and the end of profile management headaches.

"Our users are knowledge workers who need their desktops to remember where they left off. The Unidesk approach of enabling us to create persistent desktops from one common Windows layer and then assigning application layers to specific users is exactly what we were looking for. Our desktops only need about 8 GB space each. There’s nothing else like Unidesk’s layering technology."

Paul Kramer, Information Systems Manager, Kawasaki Motors Manufacturing USA

4. Less Complexity. Lower Cost.

Complexity is one of the biggest barriers to VDI success. Unidesk replaces the multiple tools traditionally needed to manage desktops in Citrix XenDesktop environments with a “single pane of glass” solution that is much easier to use. If you want your desktop people managing VDI, or time back for other IT projects, you need Unidesk.

"Everyone thinks VDI is complex, takes a long time to rollout, and requires advanced skillsets to manage. If you're struggling with separate desktop provisioning, application virtualization, image management, personalization, disk space reduction, and desktop support tools - stop. Just go get Unidesk. All of your management issues will be solved."

Jonathan Hataway, Infrastructure Engineer, Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine

5. Citrix XenDesktop 7.5 Compatible

No matter which edition of Citrix XenDesktop you choose – VDI, Enterprise, or Platinum – Unidesk is fully compatible.

Citrix XenDesktop 7.5 VDI Enterprise Platinum
XenDesktop Broker Integration Provision Unidesk layered desktops directly into XenDesktop catalogs and groups for secure, high performance access through all XenDesktop clients. Unidesk uses the XenDesktop SDK, based on PowerShell, to ensure compatibility.
HDX Let Unidesk handle the back-end virtual desktop provisioning, application layering, personalization, and storage optimization. Then leverage the Citrix HDX and HDX Mobile protocols to provide a high-definition user experience on any device, over any network. With Citrix HDX and HDX Mobile, the virtual experience rivals a local PC, even when using multimedia, real-time voice and video collaboration, USB peripherals and 3D graphics. Unidesk-layered Windows apps become mobile device aware and optimized to support touch gestures and other native mobile device features. Integrated WAN optimization capabilities boost network efficiency and performance, even over challenging, high-latency networks.
HDX Mobile
Support for 16-, 32-, and 64-bit apps Provide a seamless user experience using any of four generations of Windows to let users focus on work, not juggling multiple desktops. Citrix XenDesktop and Unidesk together support 16-, 32-, and 64-bit applications running on Windows Server 2008R2, Windows XP, Windows 7, and Windows 8.
Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware vSphere Deploy Unidesk and Citrix XenDesktop together on either of the two leading hypervisors. Unidesk integrates with both to create and deploy VMs and manage everything in between.

"The project has been so successful that the next phase is to roll out desktops to a further 3,500 users. We have built out a new environment for this expansion based on Citrix XenDesktop 7.x. Unidesk is at the heart of this delivery. We wouldn’t have been able to achieve this large scale rollout without the benefits that Unidesk offers."

Philip Leighton, Availability and Release Manager, BHSCT

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