I was recently given a unique opportunity to take a test drive of Unidesk’s tools for managing virtual desktops. Unidesk is working on an externally facing customer experience lab and I was given the chance to take a look at the lab and play with a fully functioning version of the product. I wish all vendors offered a fully functioning demo lab of their product as this was a great way to get my hands dirty without needing my own infrastructure.
Unidesk offers a smart approach to managing virtual desktops – they break down each component into a layer and then allow you to update and manage each layer separately. One of the great benefits of VDI in general is the ability to separate the operating system from the applications and from the user’s personality, but that typically involves different tools or different processes to update each component. Unidesk’s key benefit (in my opinion) is that all of that is now centrally managed in one location and updated through one set of tools.
Law firms are unique in the sheer amount of applications that are run on a typical user desktop and many of those applications are integrated together. Using tools like application virtualization can help, but historically integrated applications can present a challenge. Unidesk’s layers show some promise here and there are already success stories from law firms testing the software.
I only had a short time to play with the software but liked what I saw. I like that the user personality is considered another layer and can be managed without using approaches like roaming profiles or profile management software (which may add cost). I really like that this product may allow the use of a cheaper version of VMware View or Citrix XenDesktop as some of the more advanced features can be managed (arguably better) by Unidesk. And finally I really like that the Chief Solution Architect is Ron Oglesby, a veteran of the virtualization community for many years. He gives the company and the product instant credibility.
I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next from Unidesk.