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Citrix specialist AppSense chimes in on virtual desktop challenges

Thinking about virtualizing desktops? So are a lot of other folks, but doing so is fraught with tough decisions.

“A lot of customers are looking at virtual desktops, but they’re finding it’s not a scalable solution,” said Pete Rawlinson, vice president of marketing at AppSense, a longtime player in the Citrix Presentation Server market. On the one hand, “you reduce the price of the endpoint device,” he said. On the other, “you increase your storage and management costs.”

At VMworld, AppSense will release AppSense Environment Manager 8.0, which hopes to bridge that gap. The idea is to reduce the number and size of virtual desktops by decoupling an end user’s personalizations and storing them in a data base, then applying the personalizations at runtime to a standard virtual desktop template. That way, Rawlinson said, IT can minimize the amount of storage required by a virtual desktop while still giving end users the personalization they want.

Rawlinson noted that there are other ways to achieve this, notably login scripts and profiles, but each have their drawbacks. Login scripts can swell the time it takes to load an environment and are laborious to maintain; profiles too are subject to bloat. Environment Manager 8.0, he maintains, is the best of all words. “With us, a user’s personality is quicker to load, and you don’t have to maintain a login script.”

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