2014.5 Demo & Trial Hanger

5 Reasons Why VMware Horizon Customers Use Unidesk

5 Reasons Why VMware Horizon Customers Use Unidesk

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 far easier to use. If you want your desktop people managing VDI or time back for other IT projects, you need Unidesk.

STV, Inc.

"Our 'VDI 1.0' initiative got stalled in part because we needed scarce Tier 3 IT resources to manage and maintain it. Now 'VDI 2.0' is over 1,000 users deployed with day-to-day management handled by our Tier 1 service desk staff. What made it all possible was Unidesk."

Matt Dierolf
Manager, Network Systems, STV, Inc.

2. Overcome the App Delivery "Bottleneck"

VMware ThinApp is useful for virtualizing applications as isolated, self-contained files. However, apps that depend upon specific Windows OS features, registry entries and file locations cannot be delivered in this way. Limited interoperability between isolated applications and the time and expertise required by this approach are also problematic.

VMware App Volumes is useful for delivering apps in real-time to running VMs as read-only volumes. But its "virtualize above the OS" approach introduces many of the same limitations as ThinApp. Apps with Windows dependencies and apps that need to stay running when users are logged out cannot be delivered. AppStacks - artificial groupings of apps - are needed to workaround limits of how many volumes can be attached to a VM. Apps that need to interoperate must be packaged in the same AppStack, adding packaging and patching complexity.

No wonder Gartner calls application delivery the "secret bottleneck of VDI.”

Blog: Why Doesn't App Volumes Measure Up to Unidesk

The Solution - Unidesk Layering

Unidesk application layering is the simplest, most efficient way to deliver applications to virtual desktops from a single installation point. With Unidesk layering, applications are captured as read-only virtual disks that can be mounted and shared by many VMs for the appearance of a local installation. Unlike ThinApp and App Volumes, Unidesk layering works for all apps. And unlike both VMware technologies, Unidesk app layers are fully interoperable, enabling IT organizations to achieve install-once, patch-once efficiency.

Unidesk is the Layering Leader

Only Unidesk meets all of the requirements of effective layering, so you can deliver all of your applications with 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 the Windows OS in addition to apps for truly Imageless Management
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

3. Imageless Management

Unidesk is the only solution that can deliver the Windows OS 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 VM templates with apps built-in. No more updating the same apps in multiple AppStacks. Just one instance of your layers to manage, 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.

William Woods University

"If we had deployed 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 1 OS layer. We’re now fully virtualized on the desktop. We never would have gotten there without Unidesk."

Steven Goodson
Network Support Manager, William Woods University

Infographic: How much does Patch Tuesday Image Sprawl cost your IT team?
This infographic shows how much it costs to keep your Windows environment up to date - and how much you can save by being more efficient. Get the infographic.

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 layers to manage, the minimal space requirements, the quick and easy break/fix, and the end of profile management headaches.

USF Health

"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
Senior 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.

Bernstein Shur

"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
Director of IT, Bernstein Shur

Ebook: 10 Quick Tips for Scaling VMware View
Running into challenges with your Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) implementation? Having trouble scaling VMware Horizon View beyond 100-200 users? You’re not alone. Learn the 10 tips organizations just like you are using to successfully scale their VDI deployments. Get the ebook.

Schedule a Unidesk Demo →

Desktop & Application
Management Simplified

10 Minute On-Demand VMware + Unidesk Demo