More metrics which help identity and remedy issues in home environments have been added, and enhancements have been made to process optimization, dashboarders and the API builder. New vendor integrations have been added – with more on the way.
Workspace management solution maker Liquidware has announced the general availability of the 6.1.5 version of their Stratusphere UX experience monitoring and diagnostics solution. The focus here is very much on introducing and enhancing features to enable management of Work From Home remote workers, in response to market demand in the pandemic.
“Many of these features were on our road map already, and the Login Breakdown Inspector enhancement was something that was in progress for this release anyway,” said Jason Smith, VP Products and Solutions at Liquidware. “But others, like the Work From Home SpotCheck and Latency Test, were bumped up on the roadmap because back in the March time frame, when a lot of organizations were sending people home to work, these requests were coming in in real time from customers.
“These things are all important for Work From Home, because they are important for knowing the ‘first mile’ of connectivity,” Smith added. “We used to call that the last mile when the focus was the data centre. Now, with the distributed end user at the centre, it’s the first mile – how the user is connected.”
Like most vendors whose core business has an obvious perk for remote workers, Liquidware has done well since the pandemic closed most traditional workplace environments down in March.
“These kinds of platforms seem to be doing well – judging by Citrix stock price and quarterly reports,” he said. “We are seeing similar growth because we do help the situation. Back in mid-March, we saw people sending people to Work From Home right away and we closed some unexpected business as a result. For example, a municipal system in Washington DC added several thousand seats of Citrix because they sent their staff home. They were already an existing customer, but we had several thousand licenses of our Liquidware Essentials suite added to seamlessly transition to new Citrix desktops.”
In Stratusphere 6.1.5, Liquidware has built on this by expanding Wi-Fi metrics which are especially important in the Work From Home environment. Improved visibility in the Login Breakdown Inspector shows access point signal strength, access point distance and connection, and these metrics are highlighted in the Advanced Inspectors, Dashboards and SpotChecks.
“Our Work From Home metrics effectively show how far the user is from their access point,” Smith said. Since mesh wifi networks have become prevalent in the last year, identifying which access point is being used is important to identity connection issues. We also can trace the route to the endpoint. Not many other vendors are doing this. It shows the route from the endpoint to the VM in the datacentre with hop IPs and latency for each hop. This shows exactly where performance degradation is happening.”
More granular detail is now provided about the OS build.
“This is helpful to Work From Home to show where apps have issues on particular OS builds – to get home users to upgrade their OS,” Smith said. “It not only shows the version, but the more granular version of the OS build, which is useful since Windows has had many updates since it was launched.”
The Process Optimization feature within Stratusphere UX has been enhanced.
“Process optimization control optimizations within the endpoint itself,” Smith said. “It ensure that apps in the forefront get priority, and makes it easy to terminate noisy ones. We had this before, but what is new now is reports around it to show what it is doing, like reclaiming unused memory to reduce costs. The reporting is now more granular, and now includes ROI, so the customer can see the extension of lifespan of PCs by as much as two years.”
Stratusphere UX’s new API Builder 2.0, which is currently in beta, makes it much easier to build the API strings needed to extract data from ITSM applications by graphically displaying API options and rendering a table from the data at the bottom of the screen.
“These enhancements to API Builder let admins integrate Stratusphere easily with ITSMs,” Smith indicated. New features include being able to save progress, view histories, go back to prior states, and import existing Stratusphere UX API strings.
“We have made dashboard enhancements to make the UI ‘peppier’,” Smith said. This includes a dashboard-only user role giving access to selected dashboards, that allows a focus on a specific area of concern. Line and bar charts have been enhanced and a pie chart has been added to the widget selection.
Support for other vendor clients has been improved, and in some cases added.
“We have enhanced support for Windows Virtual Desktop, and added it for 10Zig Linux clients,” Smith said. “The 10Zig support rounds out our existing support for IGEL and StratoDesk. We are also separately working on an integration for ServiceNow, which is very important, and we plan to announce that within the next three months.”
Support for the major clouds has also improved.
“We allow hourly billing now in Amazon Marketplace, where we just had monthly billing before,” Smith said. “This was something that was already in the works, and it will help customers to burst if they want that. We have also eased the steps needed to allow us to be deployed in Azure directly.” Stratusphere UX also now offers strategic custom reports for those users who are considering onboarding workspaces into the Google Cloud.