HP Anyware adds enhanced multi-use collaboration, federated authentication, with 23.04 release

HP Anyware’s remote connectivity software, which combines HP’s old ZCentral Remote Boost Software with Teradici CAS and its PCoIP technology HP acquired two and a half years ago, gets upgrades which address some key pain points.

HP Anyware, which uses PCoIP technology to provide hybrid workers with secure access to digital workplaces without a VPN, has announced their 23.04 software release. It adds the ability to collaborate with multiple users. It also makes enhancements to Anyware Manager, the HP management plane, including Federated Authentication with Single Sign-On [SSO] functionality.

HP Anyware combines the cloud access [CAS] software that was Teradici’s flagship product before HP acquired them in late 2021 with HP’s legacy ZCentral Remote Boost software. The PCoIP technology, which Teradici invented, streams the content of a PC screen to make remote access to PCs and workstations simpler and more effective.

The new multiple user collaboration capability addresses what has been a pain point in hybrid work involving teams. There are solutions out there that do this, but they tend not to work very well.

“What we have added is collaboration capabilities to the desktop which are not application specific,” said Mirela Cunjalo, Global Product Management, HP Anyware. “The session owner can invite up to five users and collaborate in real-time as if they are in the same space. It can be used by creatives, but also by IT, or for the management of vendors or contractors.”

All the collaborators in a session will experience the same level of performance, including near-perfect color accuracy and text clarity even for the most graphics-intensive use cases.

While no product is every truly finished in the sense that constant upgrades are always part of the process, Cunjalo said that multi-user collaboration capability was the last major feature that the market was asking for today.

“With this I think we pretty much have it down for now,” she stated. “Multi-user collaboration was a big one to go after.”

Collaboration is available on Windows, Linux and MacOS devices.

“We continue focusing on the flexibility of our solutions, and one of the benefits  is that it runs multiple OS,” Cunjalo said.

HP Anyware Manager, the HP management plane that comes with Anyware subscription plans has had multi-factor authentication [MFA] capabilities for years. They have now added federated user authentication, that will let organizations use an Identity Provider (IdP) like Okta or Azure Active Directory as the source to verify identity and to authenticate a user to their Windows desktop with single SSO.

“What’s new is that SSO can now be used through the IdP,” Cunjalo indicated. “Federated user authentication will let them use an IdP as the source to verify identity and authenticate a user to their Windows desktop.”

HP Anyware has also enhanced Anyware Monitor, which was first introduced in 2022, to improve the monitoring and management of sessions.

“One of its main purposes is to get the desktop ready for the next user, with the  value in that being the effective use of shared resources,” Cunjalo said. “Anywhere Monitor now gracefully shares resources between users and how they log in and log out.”

Anyware Manager now also adds support for connections with Active Directory via the LDAP protocol. This is mainly to provide customers with the option of choosing protocols and is most likely to be used for testing purposes.

“It gives more choice and enables a simpler way to test and configure,” Cunjalo noted. “HP Anywhere always recommends the highest level of security, and LDAPS [Secure LDAP] is a more secure protocol, but customers are given the option to choose.”

For users with Z workstations that have dual network interface cards), Anyware Manager now allows alternate hostname provisions for Intel AMT workflows. Admins can configure two different names for dual instances on a single device.

Finally, Cunjalo gave a roadmap on what’s ahead.

“We already have beta for 23.06 active already,” she said. “We also intend to  roll out federated user authentication for more hosts within a few months, as well as some additional collaboration functionality.”