Liquidware labs reach 4.6.

Liquidware Labs are to release their next version of the award winning software “Stratusphere”,  this company have had nothing but stellar growth since I first became aware of them at VMworld 2009, I cannot believe that the product is now at 4.6.

So for the uninitiated what is “Stratusphere”? Well firstly it is now a suite of products that include:

Stratusphere Fit: this tool fully assess your current environment, including the Desktops, network and the back end including SAN. (for more info)

Stratusphere UX: this tool provides you with the visibility needed to ensure desktops are consistently delivered with the best user experience available. (for more info)

Profile Unity: Provides migration of Windows native user data to Citrix XenDesktop, VMware View, and Windows 7 environments. (for more info)

OK so what is new in this release that makes it special? well they have taken their reporting ability and have improved it yet again, you know have the ability to do single click POC report that show the impact that your solution has on user experience. one obvious inpact here is that adoption times for VDI can be shortened and project times accelerated thereby reducing one of the more costly parts of a deployment “Mantime”.  Another plus is that the total solution can now be deployed agent-less to XenDesktop and View solutions, previously only profile unity was agent-less.  I have republished the press release below.

Liquidware Labs Stratusphere v4.6 Sheds Desktop Agent while Beefing up Assessments and Service Assurance for Citrix XenDesktop and VMware View

New agent-less design gathers data without the need to install software on desktops

Alpharetta, Ga – May 24, 2010 – Liquidware Labs, the leader in Assessment, Migration, and User Experience Management for next generation desktops, today announced the availability of Stratusphere v4.6 with a new agent-less desktop monitoring design, a user experience calibration feature, and a one-click proof-of-concept (POC) validation report for planning and implementing next generation desktops such as Citrix XenDesktop and VMware View.

Stratusphere provides organizations moving to VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) decision support data to develop a clear path forward. Stratusphere Fit is first used to perform a full assessment on an organization’s desktop infrastructure. The solution gathers usage data and metrics at all integral levels – from the desktop, to the network, to the datacenter, to the SAN. Stratusphere UX (User Experience) then goes to work immediately after a migration by using similar metrics to ensure that an optimum desktop experience is being delivered to users. The solution has built-in alert mechanisms to inform appropriate teams when performance of any integral part of the infrastructure falls below a specified threshold.

Stratusphere v4.6 now gathers metrics from desktops with a unique agent-less approach through a centralized network loadable module. This feature makes assessments non-obtrusive and easier than ever to perform. To get started with an assessment, the administrator simply applies the Stratusphere module to selected user(s) through a straight-forward Microsoft Group Policy Setting. Stratusphere then runs silently on the chosen desktops, quietly gathering usage data and performance metrics for later reporting and trending analysis. The solution is automatically accessed over the network without the need to install software on any client PC or virtual desktop. The Stratusphere module can be set to dissolve after a specific date or can easily be turned off by deleting the Group Policy setting.  A standalone agent remains available to support laptop and mobile users.

A new user experience baseline feature named Stratusphere UX Calibration™ has also been added in v4.6. Once Stratusphere UX gathers initial usage and infrastructure metrics, the solution reports the status of the user experience as good, fair, or poor based on Stratusphere’s analysis of pre-populated thresholds.  The administrator can then customize these thresholds if desired and can then use the calibration feature to set metrics of a known good user experience with a single click. If the user experience falls below the calibrated values, proper support teams can be automatically notified before negative trends impact users.

Validations for Citrix XenDesktop/VMware View Proof of Concept Projects
Many organizations are exploring test cases of VDI and have implemented POCs in an attempt to confirm a selected desktop’s effectiveness for performance and user efficiency.  Stratusphere v4.6 now includes a one-click proof of concept validation report to provide clear answers for these POCs. To use this feature, an integrator or customer would simply run Stratusphere Fit before installing the new Citrix XenDesktop, VMware View, or Windows and then run Stratusphere UX after the installation. After a short validation monitoring period to ensure accurate results, the administrator can use the simple one-click feature to generate an in-depth before-and-after report of performance increase or decrease at all integral levels – from the desktop, to the network, to application servers, to the SAN.

“Our new agent-less desktop design makes assessments easier to perform than ever before while the robust features we’ve added in Stratusphere v4.6 provide detailed metrics at all integral levels of an organization’s desktop infrastructure – giving integrators clear solutions to recommend and customers a clear path forward for implementing VDI,” said David Bieneman, CEO and founder of Liquidware Labs.

Other notable new features include numerous report additions and a Desktop 360 diagnostics view in Stratusphere UX which offers administrators the ability to see all key data on machine/network/ host/SAN on a single pane of glass.

Hopefully I will be able to do a more detailed post on the functionality of the product later.

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