Unidesk continues solution extension with verification for XenApp

Unidesk’s verification as Citrix Ready adds to the company’s strategy of broadening out beyond their original vSphere base to serve a broader range of customers, through a broader range of partners.

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Samantha Foster, Vice President of Channel and Alliances at Unidesk

ORLANDO – Marlborough MA-based Unidesk Corporation has announced that its layering technology, which streamlines management of VDI, has been verified as Citrix Ready, indicating that Citrix has validated its ability to provide fast, flexible provisioning and management of Citrix XenApp servers virtualized on Microsoft Hyper-V, Microsoft Azure and VMware vSphere.

For Unidesk, the verification marks another step in the seven year old company’s expansion of its management capability beyond vSphere, where it was originally focused.

“Until March of this year, our solution was about just about VDI, providing simplicity and scale for managing and deploying virtual desktops,” said Samantha Foster, Vice President of Channel and Alliances at Unidesk. “In March, we added support for HyperV, which also meant supporting Microsoft VDI. Last week and today, we have continued to expand our support, to RDSH (Remote Desktop Session Host) on Azure and XenApp. We can now radically simplify deployment and management of desktops, whether VDI or server-based computing. The server-based computing support is new for us.”

Unidesk’s layering technology virtualizes the Windows operating system and applications as shared, read-only virtual disks, or “layers,” which make layered applications look and feel as if they are locally installed for full interoperability. IT admins can now use Unidesk to provision XenApp servers by simply selecting a Windows OS layer and any combination of app layers. Unidesk composites the layers into logical C: drives for each server. This lets new applications, application updates and Windows patches be delivered to an entire XenApp farm or specific XenApp silos without ever being installed. The result is that XenApp upgrades that traditionally have taken weeks now only take a few minutes, and other costs of delivering applications and patching Windows are significantly reduced.

“Both VMware and Citrix use a minimum of three to five different technologies to manage one desktop or one XenApp server, managing apps, profiles, OS, printing, and management of protocols all separately,” said Ron Oglesby, Chief Solution Architect at Unidesk. “We use one technology and one interface to do the complete lifecycle management in VDI.”

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Ron Oglesby, Chief Solution Architect at Unidesk

Oglesby also said that Unidesk enjoys a rare niche in the VDI space in that they have little real competition.

“No one else does layering like we do,” he said. “Our competitors have been gobbled up by the big vendors and have become point tools for them.”

Unidesk has a hybrid go-to-market model, selling direct as well as through VAR, systems integrator, and service provider partners, but the amount of business done through the channel has been expanding, and is now over 80 per cent.

“Our goal is to get to 100 per cent channel,” Foster said. “A month ago, we announced the expansion of our partner program to facilitate this.” The expanded Unidesk Solution Partner now provides a one-stop shop for lead generation, sales enablement, education and training, and support, as well as access to Unidesk team members.

Foster said that while their channel had initially been mainly VMware and some Citrix partners, their moves this year to expand their solutions capabilities are also broadening out their partner base.

“We have seen growing interest in Microsoft partners as well as more Citrix ones, as we expand the capabilities of our solution beyond vSphere and offer help to a broader range of customers, including on-prem ones and those in the public cloud,” she added.

Foster also indicated that the XenApp validation will both bring in more Citrix partners, and assist them in the enterprise market where Citrix is strong.

“We have had very strong adoption in SLED and in healthcare, which we expect will increase,” she added.

Unidesk support for XenApp will be available in June through Unidesk Solution Partners.