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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.
Ovum: Igel's Security Enhancements for Thin Clients
Thin client vendor Igel is enhancing the security capabilities of its products, both under its own steam and in collaboration with technology partners. Ovum sees these developments as important for the next wave of thin client computing, which will be software-based – particularly if the desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) market is to take off.

With hardware-based thin client shipments in the region of 4–5 million units annually, this market is still a drop in the ocean compared to the 270 million PCs shipping each year, though the latter figure has been declining since 2011. And within the thin client market, Igel is in fourth place behind Dell and HP (each at around 1.2 million units annually) and China’s Centerm, which only sells into its home market.

However, the future for thin clients looks bright, in that the software-based segment of the market  (which some analyst houses refuse to acknowledge) is expanding, particularly for Igel. Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) technology has stimulated this growth, but the greatest promise is probably in the embryonic DaaS market, whereby enterprises will have standard images for their workforce hosted by service providers.

Switch to Parallels Remote Application Server and Save 60% Compared to Citrix XenApp
This article will explain how Parallels Remote Application Server can easily act as a business’s desktop and application delivery solution, offering the same qualities as other leading solutions such as Citrix XenApp, but at an entirely different and affordable price. As a result, companies who opt to use Parallels Remote Application Server could save up to 60%, while gaining added flexibility and maneuverability for their devices.
A few years ago, Citrix had two separate products for its virtualization solutions: XenApp and XenDesktop. In 2016, Citrix merged them into a single product; XenDesktop 7. The change was not well received by Citrix customers, and Citrix has split them again into XenApp and XenDesktop from version 7.5 onward. The major difference between XenApp and XenDesktop is the type of virtual desktop delivered to the user. XenDesktop includes all XenApp features and also has a VDI solution, so from this point on we will use the XenDesktop term in this document to refer to Citrix virtualization solution: published applications and virtual desktop infrastructure. Although XenDesktop is the most popular solution in the industry, it has several shortcomings coupled with a very expensive price tag. Due to migration from Independent Management Architecture (IMA) to Flexcast Management Architecture (FMA), there is no option in place to upgrade to XenDesktop 7.x from previous versions of XenApp (5 or 6.X). Therefore, now is the right time to jump ship. In this white paper, we examine how migrating to Parallels Remote Application Server can reduce the costs of an application and virtual desktop delivery solution by more than 60%. Parallels RAS is an easy-to-use, scalable application and desktop delivery solution which has the lowest total cost of ownership amongst its competitors. Considered an industry underdog by many, Parallels Remote Application Server has been in the industry since 2005, and many Citrix customers have already switched to Parallels RAS.
Salem State University Teams with IGEL, Citrix and Nutanix to Deliver Digital Workspaces
Limited IT resources drive need for the IGEL’s robust management features; maturity of Citrix virtual desktop infrastructure, and the simplicity and time-to-value for Nutanix’s hyperconverged infrastructure offering make the combined solution a no-brainer for the university.
When Jake Snyder joined Salem State University’s IT department, the public university located just outside of Boston, Mass. was only using traditional PCs. “95% of the PCs were still on Windows 7 and there was no clear migration path in sight to Windows 10,” recalls Snyder. “Additionally, all updates to these aging desktop computers were being done locally in the university’s computer labs. Management was difficult and time consuming.”

The university realized something had to change, and that was one of the reasons why they brought Snyder on board – to upgrade its end-user computing environment to VDI. Salem State was looking for the security and manageability that a VDI solution could provide. “One of the biggest challenges that the university had been experiencing was managing desktop imaging and applications,” said Snyder. “They wanted to be able to keep their student, faculty and staff end-points up to date and secure, while at the same time easing the troubleshooting process. They weren’t able to do any of this with their current set-up.”

Snyder first saw a demo of the IGEL solution at the final BriForum event in Boston in 2016. “It was great to see IGEL at that event as I had heard a lot of good buzz around their products and solutions, especially from other colleagues in the industry,” said Snyder. “After BriForum, I went back and ordered some evaluation units to test out within our EUC environment.”

What Snyder quickly discovered during the evaluation period was that the IGEL Universal Management Suite (UMS) was not just plug-and-play, like he had expected. “The IGEL UMS was a very customizable solution, and I liked the robust interface,” continued Snyder. “Despite competitive solutions, it was clear from the start that the IGEL devices were going to be easier to use and cheaper in the long run. IGEL really was a ‘no-brainer’ when you consider the management capabilities and five-year warranty they offer on their hardware.”

Salem State University currently has 400 IGEL Universal Desktop software-defined thin clients deployed on its campus including 360 UD3 thin clients, which are the workhorse of the IGEL portfolio, and 40 UD6 thin clients, which support high-end graphics capabilities for multimedia users. Salem State has also purchased IGEL UD Pocket micro thin clients which they are now testing.
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.

Catalogic Software-Defined Secondary Storage Appliance
The Catalogic software-defined secondary-storage appliance is architected and optimized to work seamlessly with Catalogic’s data protection product DPX, with Catalogic/Storware vProtect, and with future Catalogic products. Backup nodes are deployed on a bare metal server or as virtual appliances to create a cost-effective yet robust second-tier storage solution. The backup repository offers data reduction and replication. Backup data can be archived off to tape for long-term retention.
The Catalogic software-defined secondary-storage appliance is architected and optimized to work seamlessly with Catalogic’s data protection product DPX, with Catalogic/Storware vProtect, and with future Catalogic products.

Backup nodes are deployed on a bare metal server or as virtual appliances to create a cost-effective yet robust second-tier storage solution. The backup repository offers data reduction and replication. Backup data can be archived off to tape for long-term retention.