2014.5 Demo & Trial Hanger

5 Reasons Why VMware Horizon View and Unidesk are Better Together

1. Less Complexity. Lower Cost.

Complexity is one of the biggest barriers to VDI success. Unidesk replaces the multiple tools traditionally needed to manage desktops and applications in VMware Horizon environments with a single, best-in-class solution that is much easier to use. There will be less cost in your VDI project. And more IT resources for other things.

"We’ve been doing Horizon View for 3 years. Our VDI “1.0” got stalled at 100 users because we needed our Tier 3 IT folks to manage and maintain it. Now we’re at 1,000 users with day-to-day handled by our Tier 1 staff. What made it all possible was Unidesk."

Matt Dierolf, Manager, Network Systems, STV, Inc.

2. Overcome the App Delivery "Bottleneck"

VMware ThinApp is a leading solution for virtualizing applications as isolated, self-contained files. However, many apps that depend upon specific Windows OS features, registry entries and file locations cannot be delivered with traditional application virtualization technology. Limited interoperability between isolated applications as well as the time and expertise required by this approach are also problematic. This is why Gartner calls application delivery the "secret bottleneck of VDI.”

The Solution - Application Layering

Unidesk application layering is the new way to deliver applications to virtual desktops from a single installation point. With layering, applications are captured as read-only virtual disks that can be mounted and shared by many VMs. Unlike traditional application virtualization, layering works for all apps. Another big advantage is that layered apps look and feel as if they've been locally installed. With all files, data, and registry keys in the usual places, applications and plug-ins are fully interoperable, even if they are delivered in separate layers.

Unidesk is the Layering Leader

Only Unidesk meets all of the requirements of effective layering, so you can deliver all of your applications with one set of images and maximum IT efficiency:

Layer apps with step-by-step wizard that anyone can master
Layer applications with boot-time drivers and system services (e.g. printers, Dragon, antivirus, PDF)
Put any app in any layer without worrying about interoperability
Assign many layers to desktops to meet diverse configuration requirements
Layer Windows OS in addition to apps
Apply and audit patches and updates to layers with version management
Rollback to earlier layer versions to easily fix desktop problems
Replicate layers across enterprise automatically without manual efforts or third party tools
Deliver ThinApp executable files as layers

"Too many apps just wouldn’t virtualize. Our View project was in trouble. Then we found Unidesk. We’ve now layered everything, even our legacy court apps. Doesn’t matter if they’re layered separately. They all just work. Unidesk makes VDI 'Stupid Easy.'"

Zach SeRine, Network Administrator, Hamilton County

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

3. Control Windows Image Drift

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. With Unidesk's ability to separately deliver all applications in the same way, your Unidesk OS layer can be kept clean - just pure Windows. You’ll finally have one true Golden Image that can be used as the basis for all desktops, no matter how many different Horizon View pools, 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.

"If we had tried deploying Horizon View without Unidesk, we would have needed 37 gold images to handle all of our faculty, staff, and lab use cases. With Unidesk, we have just 1. We’re now fully virtualized on the desktop. We never would have gotten there without Unidesk."

Steven Goodson, William Woods University

4. Persistent or Non-Persistent? Yes!

VMware Linked Clones and View Composer can reduce disk space requirements to make 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 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 images to manage, the minimal space requirements, the quick and easy break/fix, and the end of profile management headaches.

"Our 1,000 desktops are a mix of non-persistent for kiosks and nursing stations and persistent for physicians, staff, and in-house developers, all provisioned by Unidesk from the same layers and accessed through View. If you want to avoid the manageability headaches of VDI at scale, go with Unidesk. We did and we love it."

Richard Savage, Systems Administrator, USF Health

5. VMware Horizon 6 Compatible

No matter which edition of VMware Horizon 6 you choose – View Standard, Advanced, or Enterprise – Unidesk is fully compatible.

VMware Horizon 6 View Standard Advanced Enterprise
vSphere Provision Unidesk-composited desktops on VMware vSphere infrastructure using published VMware vCenter APIs.
Horizon View Add layered desktops directly into Horizon View pools for high performance access through all VMware Horizon View clients and the PCoIP protocol.
Horizon View Persona Use View Persona on top of Unidesk non-persistent desktops to retain profile changes. User-specific data and desktop settings, application data and settings, and Windows registry entries configured by user applications are all preserved. View Persona can also share user profiles across standalone systems to provide a consistent user experience for both Unidesk-provisioned VMs and physical PCs.
ThinApp Use Unidesk application layering to quickly and easily layer applications that cannot be isolated or do not play well with ThinApp. Or, extend ThinApp with these capabilities:

Simple deployment. Drop a ThinApp executable file into a Unidesk layer to make it available to any number of desktop VMs through shared VMDKs on any datastore supported by VMware vSphere.

Centralized management. Manage a single layer containing one or more ThinApp executables and share it across all users. Apply filters for effortless compliance, audits, and analytics.

Versioning and rollback. Track every change to your ThinApp executables with layer versioning. Roll desktops back to any previous version to “undo” patching problems.

Space efficiency. Store the ThinApp executable once as a shared VMDK layer to save storage, instead of copying it locally to every VM.

Reduced network usage. Increase the performance and responsiveness of ThinApp executables by storing them as shared VMDK layers on a vSphere datastore instead of a file share.
Virtual SAN Provision Unidesk-composited desktops on VMware vSphere datastores using VMware Virtual SAN. Accelerate desktop I/O by leveraging VMware Virtual SAN’s use of server-side flash memory as both a write buffer and a read cache. The read cache keeps a list of commonly accessed disk blocks. Because Unidesk’s Windows OS and application layers are stored as VMDKs and shared by many desktops, these commonly accessed layers remain in the read cache, reducing I/O read latency and boosting desktop performance.

"Unidesk is always right on VMware’s heels with support for the latest Horizon versions. And should you ever have a problem, it doesn’t matter if it’s a Unidesk issue or not. Their Support team will figure it out."

Matt Kramer, Bernstein Shur

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Do it all with just one platform.

Unidesk includes everything you need to provision, patch, and manage virtual desktops,
plus acclaimed support to help you master VDI.

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