New Citrix Replacement App highlights latest release of CloudJumper Workspace-as-a-Service platform

Other enhancements to Cloudjumper Cloud Workspace Management Suite 5.2 include the ability to provision a full software-defined data centre in either Azure or Google with a single click.

CloudJumper President JD Helms

Workspace as a Service [WaaS] platform provider CloudJumper has announced the 5.2 version of their flagship Cloud Workspace Management Suite platform. New features include a Citrix Replacement App and native Workspace backup and restore on both the Azure and Google clouds. Enhanced ones include the ability to significantly speed up provisioning in Azure and Google with a single click, starting a process that now takes up to three hours rather than one to two weeks.

“Both the new features in this release as well as the upgrades to the existing ones are all about improving ease of use,” said JD Helms, Cloudjumper’s President. “We are being very specific about what we are trying to accomplish.”

That starts with a new app to make migrations away from Citrix much easier, even on in-place workloads. The Citrix Replacement App converts Citrix profiles to RDS profiles and installs CloudJumper’s Cloud Workspace Management Suite. Cloudjumper was once a Citrix partner, but those days are long past, and Citrix was a competitor even before CloudJumper’s recent acquisition of IndependenceIT, which is also a direct Citrix competitor.

“This helps our partners and customers move those Citrix licensing costs out of the way,” Helms said. “This is also a very Microsoft-friendly thing, even though Microsoft and Citrix are friends. Microsoft really likes RDS workloads –  especially if you run them in Azure. This is all about automation and ease of running those workloads in the public cloud.”

Helms emphasized the simplicity of the Citrix Replacement App.

“This has to be easy,” he said. “It will help alleviate that pain in the partner channel and give those folks some options.”

A major feature upgrade in this release is the ability to provision a software-defined data centre in both Azure and Google with a single click.

“The single click option to deploy that entire work load makes it easy,” Helms said. “The only thing we need from the partner is to give us permission, and with Google you need a Project ID with dedicated permission rights.”

Before, multiple steps had to be done before provisioning, and  there were a lot of manual steps.

“It could take one to two weeks to do the provisioning,” Helms said. “Now, it takes two and a half to three hours, and its all automated, so all the user has to do is click the button.”

AWS, of course, is the big public cloud that is missing here.

“We haven’t had a lot of requests for AWS,” Helms stated. “We support AWS, but we haven’t automated it like the others.”

Public cloud use also benefits from another new feature, native Workspace backup and restore for both the Azure and Google clouds.

“CloudJumper has had a challenge as a service provider, in that deploying a workload means you have  to back it up,” Helms said. “That used to be a separate decision point, but we have now integrated it into the software, using Azure Managed Disk with Azure Backup and Google Persistent Disks with snapshots. Using this native ability of Azure and Google lets us maintain the entire history, not just local snapshots, to allow full restoration of workspaces.”

Dynamic Resource Allocation, which uses machine learning to dynamically adjust server CPU and RAM resources based on current usage patterns, is another upgrade.

“This is something that we were doing before with scheduling,” Helms said. “Now with machine learning and pattern matching, we can adjust server resources based on usage patterns. It improves the efficiency of software-defined data centres, as you can scale resources up and down as needed.”

Native multi-factor authentication for Admin and Workspace users is a new feature, which provides dual-factor authentication for all logins, including the Cloud Workspace Management Suite web application, workspace and RemoteApp sessions. Second factor requests are sent through SMS/text or email.

“Before, you had to pick a third party MFA provider,” Helms said. “We still support those tools, but if you don’t have or want an MFA provider, we now provide that natively.”

Multi-tier and  multi-entity data storage options can now be more easily defined, something that is valuable for organizations like franchises with multiple locations, and those like accountants who have a lot of clients.

“This has always been possible, but now organizations can define it in the software, without having to get into group policies,” Helms said.

The release also includes what Helms referred to “smaller neat things – little stuff people ask about.” This includes letting admins set default time zones for customers, the addition of dynamic application security to AppServices and basing all Azure Virtual Machines on Managed Disk volumes.