Unidesk: The simple answer is the level at which we do our layering. Most often the term "layer" is used to describe managing portions of a desktop, for example: the OS layer, the application layer, the user work space layer. But really, each of these is managed with agents or software running in Windows that pushes changes to the C: Drive, or tries to scrape user settings from the drive in order to move them to a "new" drive later on. In our case, we work below Windows instead of trying to change it. Our layers are not dependent on something running in Windows, or the administrator being aware of changes users are making. We build our layers at the file system level, which allows us to capture and manage any change in the environment throughout the desktop's lifecycle.
InfoWorld: In your opinion, what are some of the things that have been holding back wider adoption of VDI? And how can your technology help address these challenges and extend its benefits?
Unidesk: A couple of key items are user acceptance and cost of the solutions. The promise of VDI was that the users would get their own desktop, while IT could centralize and manage it. The trade-off, though, is that to get to single image management the user really doesn't get to retain things like user-installed applications. We address this directly and allow users the full desktop experience, while still allowing IT to have a true single image to manage. On the cost side, organizations need at least a break-even for a VDI instance that will perform at a desktop level. Our technology helps reduce the storage cost (which is the biggest line item in any VDI deployment) and reduces the storage footprint, which allows you to put the VDI systems on higher performing disk susbsytems.
InfoWorld: Is there one type of vertical or one type of customer more than any other that seems to be searching out this type of technology? And if so, why is that?
Unidesk: Initially, we are seeing a lot of users in the higher education market. This is interesting because the staff in these organizations deal with constant change and churn and have the demand to support tons of user-customized applications and desktops. Any environment that must support the user's ability to customize their desktop sees a huge benefit from Unidesk because we don't try to "work around" this requirement but instead embrace it. Our desktops are meant for customization.
InfoWorld: If Unidesk does single image management and personalization, what do customers need VMware or Citrix for?