IndependenceIT rebranded workspace automation platform hits general release

The new IndependenceIT cloud management platform now uses Azure Active Directory for its authentication of record. Changes permitting multi-tenanted application delivery will also allow partners to push many more app services out, to the point the company’s licensing policies are being changed to accommodate this.

Chip Buck

Chip Buck, IndependenceIT founder and CTO

55TORONTO – At the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference here, IndependenceIT has announced the general availability of its CMP+ adaptive cloud management platform, the new brand for what was previously its Cloud Workspace Suite. The Microsoft venue was an appropriate one for the announcement, since a major enhancement is the adoption of Azure Active Directory as the authentication of record. Significant changes have also been made in application delivery. Partners will be able to scale out many more app services, and the company has adjusted its licensing policies to reflect the changes.

“There is a lot of excitement in our camp around this new release,” said Charles ‘Chip’ Buck, IndependenceIT’s founder and CTO. “We are announcing it here at WPC because the changes are very pertinent to Microsoft partners.”

The most relevant of these is the adoption of Azure Active Directory as the cloud management platform’s authentication of record.

“Microsoft has done a good job of getting their partners to move on Azure, to the point where we decided to use it as the credential provider,” Buck said. “As a company, we remain cloud agnostic. Our partners are free to deploy our platform in any public cloud, or event a private cloud. However, Azure Active Directory is now the authentication of record.”

The new management platform also provides much more flexibility to the partner than before, as IndependenceIT has separated out several of the workflows rather than having everything embedded.

“The earlier versions were highly automated, driven by an algorithm we established with each partner when their SDDC was built,” Buck said. “Our initial idea was to make it so automated that anybody could do it. But as customers got more expertise over time, they wanted the ability to have more control. We are now making it easy for partners to have versatility in terms of adjusting what was formerly an automated process. New features allow them to override that automation and adjust and fiddle with those settings.”

Application delivery has also been modified to provider greater choice in how these services are orchestrated and deployed.

“The application services originally were completely self contained for each customer,” Buck said. “However, partners have sought to drive multi tenancy deeper and have customers sharing the same virtual servers. So we have brought in an entirely new approach to application delivery. We have modularized some of the key capabilities in the software, to make application services a one to many approach. You can now combine a workspace as a container and application services, break them apart or combine them. There are now many more permutations using work spaces and app services.

“The new application packaging and streaming approach allows partners to drive more scale by getting greater density in server environments,” Buck continued. “They can create a one-to-many relationship for app services, and have a much higher level of scalability to push app services out.”

Resource scheduling and server scaling to better establish service levels have also been added into the platform.

“In the past we have always counted the gross number of users,” Buck said. “Now we are allowing for scheduled turnup and turndown of workloads, to better establish service level. A new automated scaling approach lets servers come up according to user workload. This makes things truly dynamic, which helps partners with cost containment and competitive advantage.”

Another new feature is the ability to customize what a NTFS file system will look like.

“There was inflexibility in the past as far as what a drive letter is named,” Buck said. “It doesn’t sound like a big deal, and it is something that new customers will just take it for granted, but the change here was a direct nod to our existing partner community, who were quite insistent about this.”

The changes to application delivery and the increased scalability of app services deployment has led IndependenceIT to make some changes to its partner program to better support the new model. Licensing has been changed to allow partners to self-deploy an unlimited number of Software Defined Data Centers on any combination of public, private or hybrid cloud platforms for a minimum licensing fee of $100 per month. This price includes the licensing or management of 15 end users or up to 50 virtual machines.

IndependenceIT is demoing its new platform at Booth 1525 at the WPC Event.