Unidesk 4 Provides Enterprise Scale

Posted by Thomas Willingham on Aug 15, 2016

Although Unidesk has been known for helping thousands of mid-market customers transform application management, a lot of the buzz around our new Unidesk 4 platform is how it now scales to the largest enterprises. Scale is critically important when discussing enterprise solutions. You want to ensure the solution you purchase today can grow with your needs. You want to ‘invest’ in a solution that supports your enterprise strategy today and in the future.

Let’s look at how Unidesk 4 provides enterprise-class scale.

Scalable Provisioning and Image Management

Unidesk 4 seamlessly integrates into your existing desktop virtualization environment, starting with our Layered Images™ and new platform connectors. Layered Images get created before a machine boots by merging selected Windows OS and application layers together to form a standard disk image. This standard VHD can then be delivered through our new connectors for existing provisioning systems such as Citrix Provisioning Services, VMware View Composer or Azure.

By handing off the image to the native provisioning system, we can now leverage its scale and design for managing image delivery, and focus on what we do best, which is managing image content. So regardless of which desktop virtualization vendor you choose, Unidesk snaps in and will scale with your vendor and the underlying infrastructure design.

unidesk-scales-using-layered-images.pngFigure 1, Scaling Using Layered Images.

Scalable Real-Time App Delivery

In the post Real-Time App Delivery for Citrix XenApp and VDI – a Deeper Look at Unidesk Elastic Layering I outline how our new “hot-add” app delivery capability works. Elastic Layering attaches virtual disks at login based on AD user and group membership, giving XenApp/RDSH sessions and VDI users access to their assigned apps.

Unlike other technologies that need to make round-trip calls to databases and mount virtual disks through hypervisors, Unidesk Elastic Layering is highly scalable, fast, and fault-tolerant. Elastic Layers are stored in a layer repository on a standard SMB/CIFS share and accessed via a standard UNC path from within the client OS. They can be easily hosted on scale-out file servers or any other high availability file system design your organization uses. The layering service looks at the layer repository, and reads two files:

  • ElasticLayerAssignments.json – lists the applications that are associated to specific groups
  • Layers.json – lists VHDs that contain specific applications

The service then mounts the appropriate VHDs from the Layers\App folder. This system is completely portable, self-contained and replicatable, due to the fact that the directory contains all of the applications and the connectivity information needed.

The layer repository itself is read-only - the desktops don’t make any changes to the application layers which makes file synchronization between two sites simple. You just replicate the file share to another datacenter or the cloud for redundancy and to ensure fast access at user login.

unidesk-scales-elastic-layering-cloud-images.pngFigure 2, Scaling for Elastic Layering and the Cloud.

Scalable Path to the Cloud

Another scale consideration is being able to leverage the cloud for primary workloads or pay-only-as-needed DR. You may not plan to deploy to the cloud today, or tomorrow, but you want to ensure that the solution you choose has the flexibility to get you there. Unidesk has your back!

In the post Your Hypervisor & Cloud Mobility Strategy Just Got Easier with Unidesk Platform Layers, I outline how Unidesk’s Platform Layer enables a seamless migration of virtual desktops and apps hosted on-premises to the cloud. The Platform Layer can be the solution for any enterprise’s cloud migration strategy when it comes to desktop virtualization.

The same process for scaling in a multi-site deployment can be used in the cloud. The Layer Repository is read-only, so you just replicate the file share to your cloud environment, while still managing the layers once across all your platforms. As illustrated in Figure 2, the same Layer Repository used on-premises can be used in the cloud.

You should now have a good feel for why Unidesk 4 is getting recognized as being the most scalable app management solution for digital workspaces on-premises and in the cloud.

How important is scale to you in your environment? Write a comment to let us know!

Topics: Elastic Layering, Platform Layer, Scale

Posted by Thomas Willingham on Aug 15, 2016

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