USER EXPERIENCE MONITORING AND DIAGNOSTICS SOLUTION—FOR PHYSICAL, VIRTUAL AND WORKSPACES IN THE CLOUD
Stratusphere UX is the industry-leading user experience monitoring and diagnostics solution. An independent and platform-agnostic architecture, the solution provides user-centric visibility that is persistent across platform and workspace delivery. User behavior is unpredictable; and treating every workspace the same will lead to a gap in meeting expectations. The ability to examine user, machine and application workloads from the user point of view is critically important. Whether casting an Applications Strategy or looking to baseline, optimize or diagnose the Machine Boot & Login Process, Stratusphere UX minimizes unknowns, reduces risk and delivers visibility that is representative of the user’s point of view. Unlike solutions from infrastructure and APM vendors, Stratusphere UX provides visibility before, during and after the transformation process—understanding the user experience is key to managing the lifecycle of next-generation workspaces.
Diagnostics & Drill Down
QUICKLY GET TO THE ROOT CAUSE AND MINIMIZE RISK
Unlike legacy and other monitoring tools, Stratusphere UX puts the user front and center. This is especially important when user experience is at risk. The ability to diagnose and troubleshoot user experience and performance issues require metrics and indicators from a user-centric point of view.
Infrastructure-centric monitoring is limited to views of the platform and contributing infrastructure. Application performance monitoring (APM) tools examine platform components and their interdependence, as it relates to platform delivery. Stratusphere UX, on the other hand, provides a direct view of workspace performance—a view of the user that is the most authentic and relevant. Ultimately, challenges or constraints in the user experience may require remediation at the supporting infrastructure, at the endpoint, or even in the machine boot and login process. And when users are in jeopardy, due to unplanned downtime or other user experience issues, it’s all about understanding the root cause and having visibility to the critical metrics and data needed to get back online. With Stratusphere UX, admins are able to:
- Prioritize and focus on those areas having the greatest negative impact on user experience
- Avoid needle-in-the-haystack troubleshooting exercises that don’t provide the visibility necessary to examine your users, machines and applications
- Drill into machine, user and application details; with the ability to easily expose more or less granularity, as needed
- Avoid misdirected finger-pointing and determine where user-crippling challenges exist in your environment.
Performance, Validation & Optimization
LEVERAGE USER EXPERIENCE TO DRIVE SUCCESS
Platforms and infrastructure are a means to an end—its the applications and hosted workspaces that really matter. And when those architectures require a refresh, update or an optimization, it is your responsibility to ensure the changes provide a positive benefit to the user experience. Strong return on your investment requires that you measure the impact of that change. The investment might be a completely new hardware platform, a GPU offload card, or a new tray of solid-state drives. Regardless, Stratusphere UX, with the ability to quantify and trend the user experience can allow you to:
- Compare and provide a before-and-after view of user experience secondary to platform and infrastructure changes
- Utilize a trend-able metric that can be used to define success, optimize, check the health and validate performance
- Validate workspaces with an eye to identify over- and under-provisioning; key to maximizing ROI and TCO
- Ensure business goals are being met, risk is minimized and a return is being made on investments
Baseline & Onboard Users
LEVERAGE USER EXPERIENCE TO DEFINE ‘NORMAL’ AND
MANAGE USERS THROUGH THEIR WORKSPACE LIFECYCLE
User experience has traditionally been an elusive and subjective means to define user satisfaction and attainment of business goals. Defining success based on the helpdesk phone not ringing isn’t a metric most would consider effective. Stratusphere UX quantifies the user experience and allows you to define a measure of success in your user-centric IT products. This is key in managing users with a lifecycle approach that includes the ability to:
- Define a measure of “normal” and set a baseline for user experience—for all users, applications and machines
- Support and quantify a migration or change in workspace (e.g., a transition from physical PCs to virtual)
- Create a user-centric key performance indicator (KPI) to define service levels—when leveraging cloud services or when defining an internal SLA
- Inventory and understand consumption metrics for applications: by user, by group, by geography, or however you need to understand the data
Assessments are system and platform-specific exercises. They are traditionally employed to define the infrastructure, including the sizing of server and storage resources, and to assist in the creation of an application and image strategy. Stratusphere UX can assist with these elements but there is also a user-centric process and lifecycle that you should consider. Stratusphere UX provides you with an opportunity to quantify and trend the user experience throughout the user workspace lifecycle. This is important when you are in the midst of a desktop transformation project and want to define a measure of success from the users’ point of view. Platform and infrastructure measurements aside, the solution provides you with the confidence and validation that users are experiencing an equal-to-better level of performance and experience after the transformation.
Operations & First Tier Support
MANAGE TO THE DESKTOP DETAILS THAT MATTER MOST
When supporting help desk operations, there are many performance indicators that can be consulted to triage and operationalize an incident. Traditional desktop and workspaces approaches—regardless of whether they are physical PCs, virtual machines or cloud-delivered—tend to focus on the machine or infrastructure. And platform approaches, such as those from Citrix or VMware, tend to be aimed at secondary indicators or are focused on resources that will not tell you the whole story.
Stratusphere UX focuses on the user experience from the user’s point of view. This is critical if your operations and first-tier support ultimately measure and define successful when you have productive, satisfied users—as opposed to a definition of success that is based on ‘functioning’ infrastructure. To that end, Stratusphere UX helps you focus on the details that matter most to the user experience, which includes the ability to:
- Provide detailed analysis of a single user, single machine or single application view; suitable for entry-level desktop admins
- Execute a cursory point-in-time analysis to help quickly route trouble calls to appropriate, more senior IT team members
- Leverage a powerful application programming interface (API) to integrate in-guest and user experience metrics into other platforms and solutions
- Create a shared and agnostic measure of user experience that transcends platform and Windows delivery approach (including physical, virtual and cloud-based workspaces)
MANAGE USER PROFILES ACROSS ALL DESKTOP PLATFORMS – PHYSICAL, VIRTUAL AND CLOUD
ProfileUnityUser Environment Management ends the need for roaming profiles or basic profile tools. The solution supports zero downtime user migrations to Windows 10, and Server 2016, and to DaaS platforms such as Amazon WorkSpaces, Citrix Desktops on Azure, VMware Horizon hosted desktops, or Microsoft RDS & RDMI. ProfileUnity speeds overall logon times and streamlines user management, by providing unified User Profiles with Application Rights Management and Context-Aware Policies for granular control of users on any Windows OS, on any desktop delivery platform, including physical, virtual or cloud. ProfileDisk is a special feature in ProfileUnity, that leverages a virtual disk to handle extremely large profiles (including those with MS Outlook Index and Search, and Microsoft Office 365 Caching) to deliver lightning fast profiles that are fully customizable. Profiles and user data can also be stored on Amazon, Google, and Microsoft clouds, reducing the cost and complexity of delivering Windows. For more details, see the ProfileUnity Advanced Features List.
Secure Policy Management
ProfileUnity extends and goes beyond Microsoft Group Policies. While Group Policies can be cumbersome to manage and cause long logon times, because they are slow to execute, ProfileUnity’s execution of secure policies is streamlined and fast. The solution provides an easy-to-use graphical web-based management console with and Role-based Access and Auditing of changes to the environment.
ProfileUnity’s policy and environmental features go beyond all other user profile tools found in the market with many exclusive and innovative Environment Management features that support physical, virtual and cloud desktop environments.
Application Rights Management
A STANDARD FEATURE IN PROFILEUNITY
Application Rights Management enables Administrators to securely modify and/or elevate “standard user” rights in Windows to allow or deny applications from being executed, delivered, or installed on select users’ desktops. Application Rights Management is included within the ProfileUnity User Environment Management feature set for no extra cost, adding great value for organizations.
Two feature modules within ProfileUnity enable organizations to accomplish Application Rights Management: (1) Privilege Elevation; and (2) Application Restrictions. These two modules empower Administrators to limit or enable user rights to execute, receive, or install any type of application, including virtualized and layered applications.
ProfileUnity Application Rights Management processes user rights from an Administrator level, securely preventing Standard Users from executing or launching applications where permissions do not exist.
ProfileUnity Application Rights Management solves the following use cases:
- Deliver specific applications to only select users – Administrators can minimize base image builds or deliver an application that can’t be virtualized with VMware ThinApp, Microsoft App-V, or layered with ProfileUnity FlexApp. Simply add challenging applications to a base image and then restrict unauthorized users from launching the application with ProfileUnity’s Application Restrictions feature.
- Elevate privileges for Standard Users to run an application – Elevate a Standard User to be an Administrator to run and/or install select applications. Simply elevate privileges for a specific user or user group to run the select application by using context-aware filters in ProfileUnity.
- Make administrator required applications compatible with Microsoft RDSH or Citrix XenApp — Certain applications require Administrative privileges, making them a non-starter for server-based computing. ProfileUnity enables desktop administrators to easily elevate users or groups to Administrative privileges for select applications.
- Lockdown applications on a select desktop for kiosk or call center mode – ProfileUnity’s Application Restrictions feature can be set to only “allow” certain select applications; the user will then be denied access to all other applications.
- Elevate privileges for a user to install applications in virtual or physical desktops/laptops – ProfileUnity can be set to automatically raise the credentials of a user to an Administrator for select application installers by using Privilege Elevation.
- Location-Aware Application Restrictions — ProfileUnity’s Application Restriction feature can be utilized with context-aware filter to make application(s) available to only certain users who meet select criteria.
- Focus on Security — ProfileUnity enables Application Rights Management while keeping the environment secure. Variables such as a SHA-1 Hash specific to the application can be added to ensure the exact application is being enabled and nothing more. ProfileUnity also enables or restricts a user’s rights and profile settings with Administrator rights at a system level that Standard Users cannot modify.
Superior Profile Management
ProfileUnity is the only User Environment Management solution to feature two Windows profile handling technologies to meet the challenges of managing today’s dynamic workspaces.
ProfileDisk™ – for FAST Profile Performance
ProfileDisk technology and VHD/VMDK profile containers are designed to handle large amounts of profile data, such as Microsoft Office Outlook 365 caches and OneDrive, storage with ease. These technologies enable users in virtual and Microsoft RDSH/Citrix XenApp desktop environments to have robust profile performance.
- Office 365 Outlook Caching and Windows Indexing is handled efficiently with fast logons
- Large profile data is accessed quickly via block level VHD or VMDK volume
- Profile data remains compatible with Windows OS type or platform when used with ProfileBridge, ProfileUnity’s profile portability technology
- Microsoft OneDrive, Amazon Drive/WorkDocs, Dropbox can seamlessly be cached with VHD/VMDK profile containers
- Read more about ProfileUnity’s ProfileDisk technology
ProfileBridge™ – for COMPLETE Profile Management
ProfileBridge technology leverages ProfileUnity’s Profile Portability feature to provide a robust, yet portable profile, that works across all Microsoft Windows versions (Windows 7, 10x, Server 2012r2/2016). The technology makes end user profile migrations on Windows obsolete and a user profile easily co-exist in mixed OS environments.
- Easily add or exclude user profile areas from portability
- Save profiles to a file share or to directly to object-based cloud storage (Amazon S3, Google Cloud, or Microsoft Azure Blob) – No SMB share required, a ProfileUnity Exclusive!
- One profile for any Windows version automates user migrations and co-existence among mixed Windows OS versions
- Add data to the user profile from applications that do not conform/save to AppData folder(s)
- Archive and roll-back user profiles to ensure no user profile data is lost
- Profile data is never locked into a proprietary database scheme and is always accessed from native locations in Windows
- Easily and seamlessly switch users between Citrix, VMware, Amazon, and physical desktops and workspaces
ProfileBridge and ProfileDisk technologies are designed to work closely together to achieve fast profile performance with the most flexible and dynamic Windows user profile in the industry.
INSTANT APPLICATION LAYERING FOR ANY WINDOWS DESKTOP
FlexApp layering instantly delivers applications to any Windows desktop environment, independent of the Windows operating system version. The solution supports VDI and DaaS desktops from Citrix and VMware, Microsoft RDSH and Citrix XenApp environments, as well as Amazon WorkSpaces, and physical desktops.
Steamline Application Delivery
FAST AND COST-EFFECTIVE STRATEGIC APP LAYERING
FlexApp radically streamlines the way organizations manage and deliver applications on Windows workspaces. The days of modifying Windows OS base images through cumbersome application installation processes are over with FlexApp. In fact, “FlexApp First” has become the cornerstone of many organizations’ Application Strategy.
FlexApp layers applications just-in-time, at user logon or on demand, enabling you to keep base images of Windows workspaces to a minimum and layer applications to users instantly and on-demand. This approach saves your organization time and money by helping end Windows OS image sprawl. In turn, base image management is also streamlined as it is finally decoupled from your organization’s applications – less images are then required and those few that remain can easily be managed with any proven solution including Citrix PVS and MCS or VMware Horizon Cloning.
- Minimize base images by managing Windows OS images separate from applications
- PackageOnce™ and layer applications to any platform, any Windows OS, and in any cloud hosted environment*
- Reduce the number of Microsoft RDSH/Citrix XenApp servers that your organization runs and maintains
- Deliver applications quickly at user logon or with Click-to-Layer™ on-demand technology
FlexApp is compatible with any Windows workspace, including virtual and cloud based desktops (Amazon WorkSpaces, Citrix XenDesktop and VMware Horizon View) and Microsoft RDSH (Citrix XenApp and VMware RDSH) as well as physical desktops. Advanced features for Microsoft RDSH and Citrix XenApp include the ability to layer applications to individual user sessions with session based layers.
Package & Deploy Faster
ELIMINATE TIME-CONSUMING APPLICATION MANAGEMENT TASKS
No one likes to spend more time managing applications than necessary. That’s why FlexApp features FastPackaging™, the fastest and most straight-forward layering process in the industry – up to 10x faster!
With FlexApp, there are no complicated templates or time-consuming manual virtual volume creation tasks involved. The entire process is made easy with the FlexApp Packaging Console, which automates VHD or VMDK container creation and is as easy and fast to use as the installation process of an application itself.
Every feature of FlexApp takes into account an application’s lifecycle management as well. FlexApp applications can easily be copied, updated, and edited with the product’s intuitive FlexApp Packaging Console and additional included resources. FlexApp’s intuitive packaging and deployment enables:
- FastPackaging – package applications in the same amount of time it takes to install them
- PackageOnce™ – once an applications is packaged it can be deployed to any Windows OS version that supports that application. Applications are truly OS and platform independent
- Deploy Applications Faster – Applications can be deployed in seconds with Click-to-Layer on-demand capabilities and a quick configuration update process
Flexible Application Layering
LAYER APPLICATIONS ACROSS PHYSICAL, VIRTUAL AND CLOUD WORKSPACES
FlexApp layering is the most flexible layering solution available today. FlexApp applications are platform, cloud, and Windows OS version independent. This flexibility gives your organization the ability to take advantage of FlexApp’s PackageOnce™ capabilities* and deliver applications to any Windows workspace. With this in mind, layering does not become a roadblock to your migration strategy, it is a powerful asset – before, during, and after a migration to your next Windows workspace or browser based app delivery solution.
FlexApp is the most flexible application layering solution available:
- FlexApp layers can be delivered independent of the Windows OS or base image version
- FlexApp layers work across virtual desktops, Microsoft RDSH/Citrix XenApp and well managed physical desktops
- FlexApp layers follow a one app per layer methodology for fast updates and edits to applications
- Exclusive on-demand Click-to-Layer™ capabilities enables dozens of application layers to be assigned to a user’s desktop with virtually zero impact to user logon
- FlexApp is designed for next generation Application Lifecycle Management.