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FSLogix Apps for Citrix AppDisk Reference Architecture
App Layering and Image Masking Combined for the Most Versatile Delivery Solution on the Market! Optimizing the way applications are delivered and managed has been an ongoing challenge in enterprise IT, and the variety of approaches over the years have been received with varying degrees of success. Citrix AppDisk, when integrated with FSLogix Apps, provides a unique set of features that can improve end-user productivity, reduce IT overhead and lower the cost of desktop management.
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Optimizing the way applications are delivered and managed has been an ongoing challenge in enterprise IT, and the variety of approaches over the years have been received with varying degrees of success. While every method has pros and cons, some of the most stubborn issues include time-to-deliver, application conflicts, plug-ins and licensing. The too-frequent result is high IT overhead, too many gold images and excess spending on application licenses.

Too many companies are settling on less than optimal solutions because that is all they are presented with and they are unaware of the true state of the art for application management. It is possible to dramatically reduce the number of Windows gold images, in some cases to a single image. It is possible to deliver exactly what each and every end user needs to do their job, and nothing else. It is possible for a user to log into a random system and instantly be presented with their personal desktop, all the right applications, plugins and add-ons, the right printers, and the right fonts. It is possible and it is simple.

Citrix AppDisk, when integrated with FSLogix Apps, provides a unique set of features that can improve end-user productivity, reduce IT overhead and lower the cost of desktop management. With FSLogix patent pending Image Masking technology, AppDisk gains very granular and powerful user-based policy control over every aspect of a user’s desktop and applications, and enhances the ability to distribute applications on network attached disk images. FSLogix Apps also enable AppDisks to scale to a much greater degree than any other similar technologies available today.

This document details what is possible when FSLogix is combined with Citrix AppDisk and suggests best practices for installing and configuring the products for maximum flexibility and applicability in various environments.
A New Approach to Per User Application Management
Our premise is simple: existing methodologies for delivering and deploying Windows applications are based upon outmoded ideas and outdated technology. There remains a need for a product that makes it simple for each user to have their Windows applications individually tailored for their device. When a user logs on they should see only the applications that they are licensed to use regardless of whether they are using cloud, virtual or traditional desktops.
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A simple truth: Current application delivery and deployment solutions for Windows®-based desktops are often not fast enough, and the methods employed introduce complexities and limitations that cost enterprises valuable time, money and productivity. There is a strong need for a solution that is faster to deploy, simpler to use, and improves productivity rather than degrades it. In fact, the best solution would seamlessly and instantaneously personalizing the entire desktop, from profiles and printers to applications and extensions, while supporting license compliance and cost optimization. And, of course, it wouldn’t matter if the target desktops were physical, virtual, or cloud-based. FSLogix is delivering that solution today.


FSLogix has devised a revolutionary technique called Image Masking to create a single Unified Base Image that hides everything a logged in user shouldn’t see, providing predictable and real-time access to applications and profiles. This approach is driving unprecedented success in image reduction, with a side benefit of license cost optimization. Image masking functions identically across a wide range of Windows-based platforms, greatly simplifying the path from traditional to virtual environments, and dramatically reducing the management overhead required for enterprise desktops. This solution eliminates multiple layers of management infrastructure, creating a single, unified approach to image management, profile access, and application delivery.
Vembu Changes the Dynamics of Data Protection for  Business Applications in a vSphere Environment
This paper examines how to use Vembu BDR to implement distributed backup and disaster recovery (DR) operations in a centrally managed data protection environment with an ingenious twist. Rather than store image backups of VMs and block-level backups of physical and VM guest host systems as a collection of backup files, Vembu BDR utilizes a document-oriented database as a backup repository, dubbed VembuHIVE, which Vembu virtualizes as a file system.
Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE In this analysis, openBench Labs assesses the performance and functionality of the Vembu Backup & Disaster Recovery (BDR) host-level (a.k.a. agentless) data protection solution in a VMware vSphere 5.5 HA Cluster. For this test they utilized a vSphere VM configured with three logical disks located on separate datastores to support an Exchange server with two mailbox databases. Each of the mailbox databases was configured to support 1,000 user accounts.

This paper provides technically savvy IT decision makers with the detailed performance and resource configuration information needed to analyze the trade-offs involved in setting up an optimal data protection and business continuity plan to support a service level agreement (SLA) with line of business (LoB) executives.

To test backup performance, they created 2,000 AD users and utilized LoadGen to generate email traffic. Each user received 120 messages and sent 20 messages over an 8-hour workday. Using this load level, we established performance baselines for a data protection using direct SAN-based agentless VM backups.

In this scenario they were able to :

  • Finish crash-consistent incremental agent-less backups in 18 minutes, while processing our base transaction load of 12 Outlook TPS.
  • Restore a fully functional VM in less than 5 minutes as a Hyper-V VM capable of sustaining an indefinite load of 4 Outlook TPS
  • Recover all user mailboxes as .pst files from a host-level agentless VM backup with no need to schedule a Windows Client backup initiated within the VM’s guest Windows OS.
In a DR scenario, Vembu leverages the ability to restore a VM in any format, to provide an Instant-boot function, When Vembu Backup Server is installed on a server that is concurrently running Hyper-V, Vembu exports the datastores associated with a VM backup as Hyper-V disks and configures a VM to boot from the datastores.
Does Backup Need a File System of its Own?
VembuHIVETM is an efficient cloud file system designed for large-scale backup and disaster recovery (BDRTM) application with support for advanced use-cases. VembuHIVETM can be thought of as a File System of File Systems with in-built version control, deduplication (elimination of redundant information to enhance storage reduction), encryption, and in-built error correction.

Backup is just not about storage. It’s the intelligence on top of storage. Typically when businesses think of backup, they see it as a simple data copy from one location to another. Traditional file systems would suffice if the need were to just copy the data. But backup is the intelligence applied on top of storage where data can be put to actual use. Imagine the ability to use backup data for staging, testing, development and preproduction deployment. Traditional file systems are not designed to meet such complex requirements.

With the advent of information technology, more and more organizations are relying on IT for running their businesses. They cannot afford to have downtime on their critical applications and need instant access to data in the event of disaster. Hence, a new type of file system is necessary to satisfy this need. 

VembuHIVETM manages the metadata smartly through its patent-pending technology, in a way that is agnostic to the file system of the backup, which is why we call VembuHIVETM, a file system of file systems. This helps the backup application to instantly associate the data in VembuHIVETM to any file system metadata, thereby allowing on-demand file or image restores in many possible file formats. The data and metadata storage, harness cluster file system and computing and storage.

This is a really powerful concept that will address some very interesting use cases not just in the backup and recovery domain but also in other domains, such as big-data analytics.

The key to the design of VembuHIVETM is its novel mechanism to capture and generate appropriate metadata and store it intelligently in a cloud infrastructure. The increment data (the changes with respect to a previous version of the same backup) are treated like versions in a version control system (CVS, GIT). This revolutionary way of data capture and metadata generation provides seamless support to a wide range of complex restore use cases.

UNC Health Care Leverages IGEL in Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Deployment
UNC Health Care selected IGEL Universal Desktop Converter (UDC) and IGEL Universal Management Suite (UMS) for simplicity, cost-savings and security. This document outlines key findings on how IGEL helps organizations manage entire fleets of thin clients from a single console. In addition, you will see how IGEL Universal Desktop Converter provides IT organizations with the flexibility they need to convert any compatible thin client, desktop or laptop computer into an IGEL thin client solution, wi

UNC Health Care selects IGEL Universal Desktop Converter (UDC) and IGEL Universal Management Suite (UMS) for simplicity, cost-savings and security.

“The need to provide users with access to their desktops from any device anywhere, anytime is driving a growing number of IT organizations to migrate toward VDI environments,” said Simon Clephan, Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Alliances, IGEL. “One of the key advantages that IGEL brings to the table is the simplicity that comes from being able to manage an entire fleet of thin clients from a single console. Additionally, the IGEL Universal Desktop Converter provides IT organizations with the flexibility they need to convert any compatible thin client, desktop or laptop computer into an IGEL thin client solution, without having to make an upfront investment in new hardware to support their virtualized infrastructures.” 

UNC Health Care selected the IGEL UDC and UMS software for its Citrix VDI deployment following a “bake-off” between thin client solutions. “IGEL won hands down due the simplicity and superiority of its management capabilities,” said James Cole, Technical Architect, UNC Health Care. “And, because the IGEL UDC software is designed to quickly and efficiently convert existing endpoint hardware into IGEL Linux OS-powered thin clients, we knew that by selecting the IGEL solution we would also realize a significant reduction in our capital expenditures.”

Since initiating the deployment of the IGEL UDC and UMS software, UNC Health Care has also experienced significant time savings. “Prior to deploying the IGEL UDC and UMS software, it took our team 25-30 minutes to create a virtual image on each system, not counting the personalization of the system for each use case, now that process takes less than 10 minutes, and even less time when converting the system to VDI roaming,” added Cole.

Additionally, the ease of integration between the IGEL UDC and IGEL UMS with Citrix XenDesktop and other solutions offered by Citrix Ecosystem partners, including Imprivata, has enabled secure access to the health care network’s Epic Systems’ Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system.

Enabling non-persistent desktops with Amazon Workspaces
Amazon Workspaces is a great platform if you’re looking for a single data center and persistent desktops, but to deliver non-persistent desktops from multiple datacenters, you’ll need help. FSLogix is uniquely positioned to deliver single image management and user data roaming between multiple datacenters. Read on to learn how.

Amazon Workspaces deserves a lot of credit for being one of the first true DaaS platforms from a big-name vendor, but as IT departments have warmed up to DaaS, there are certain features that are missing. For example, when using Workspaces, you’re delivering persistent desktops to your users. This may be acceptable in small environments, but as you scale up, managing virtual desktops the same way as you’d manage traditional desktops starts to become challenging. Likewise, as you scale out, Amazon Workspaces doesn’t support multiple datacenters, which results in having to manage multiple desktops for each users that requires geographically-specific connectivity.

FSLogix makes products that can transform your persistent, geographically-locked Amazon Workspaces environment into a non-persistent, global platform that can be the future of your desktop strategy. Our App Masking product allows you to manage a single image for all of your users, turning on and off apps easily and in real-time. Profile Container places your users’ data into centralized, user-specific, VHD files that follow each user between desktops, and Cloud Cache technology takes that a step further and allows you to place those VHD containers in any geographical location so that it follows users between datacenters.

For more information on how to take your Amazon Workspaces project to the next level, read on. FSLogix can help, whether you’re an active customer, about to migrate, or just kicking the tires.