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Extending the Value of VMware App Volumes Using StacksWare

Harry Labana

Author: Harry Labana

Harry leads the app delivery team as vice president of management services and strategy for VMware End-User Computing (EUC).

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As we build out our real-time application delivery platform with VMware App Volumes, we are always thinking about what the next stop on the innovation train is going to look like. We want app volumes stackswareto keep delighting customers with features that continue to ease application delivery and lifecycle management in VMware Horizon, Citrix XenApp, XenDesktop and other desktop and application environments. But we also need to be thinking broader as we try to develop features that add value to App Volumes. That’s where our partner ecosystem comes into play.

We look for partners who can easily add capabilities to the App Volumes platform to make our customers lives easier. An example of a great partner we’ve worked with recently is StacksWare. The capabilities StacksWare adds to App Volumes provides instant value for our customers. Let me explain.

Tracking the Usage of Applications Published by App Volumes

In this example, App Volumes is the choice for application delivery and lifecycle management. IT can use App Volumes to build a real-time application delivery system that ensures all applications are centrally managed. With App Volumes, applications are delivered to desktops through virtual disks called AppStacks—without modifying desktops or applications to scale— for superior performance. When our customers deploy their apps using App Stacks, getting a full 360 view of app usage, license compliance and restrictions, percentage of apps being utilized, etc., can be very helpful.

We are often asked these common questions about app utilization:

  • Which end users are using which applications delivered through App Volumes?
  • Can we compute aggregate statistics about App Volumes usage by user, computer, and device?
  • What is the maximum concurrent usage of an App Volumes application throughout the day?
  • How are certain VDI pools collectively using their applications?
  • How much is my company overspending on software?
  • Does my company have any potential license compliance liability to vendors such as Microsoft and Adobe?

That’s where StacksWare enters the equation. StacksWare provides metrics for App Volumes deployments to properly answer these questions.

StacksWare’s Humble Origins in VMware

Sponsored by our own Sanjay Poonen, VMware End-User Computing EVP and general manager, StacksWare started almost two years ago as a research project between Stanford University and VMware. Through countless conversations with VMware sales engineers and customers, the StacksWare team identified that many customers could easily deploy applications using services like App Volumes, but wanted a deeper understanding of real-time application utilization.

With this insight, the team launched the preliminary version of StacksWare. They announced general availability at VMworld last year and are silver sponsors at VMworld this year.

Utilizing App Volumes and StacksWare together to Track Application Usage

StacksWare is a real-time application monitoring and usage tracking solution for virtual vmworld 2016 square CTA learn moredesktops and physical workstations. The solution continuously inventories and meters software applications across your infrastructure, which allows you to make critical decisions in response to end-user activities and software usage trends.

Here are a few ways App Volumes and StacksWare can be used together:

  1. When an application is delivered via App Volumes, StacksWare immediately registers the application deployment in the operating system (OS) and pushes real-time application information to the StacksWare cloud service. All information in the dashboard is live within 15 seconds of an application launch.
  1. Whether an App Stack is delivered to a non-persistent or persistent virtual desktop or a published application server, the StacksWare virtual appliance retrieves the necessary application information. To accomplish this, StacksWare integrates directly with the hypervisor to understand when new VDI or published app servers are spawned.
  1. If you are currently migrating to App Volumes, your enterprise can use StacksWare as an application assessment utility. In an agentless manner, StacksWare determines the application landscape of your physical workstations or persistent VDI to seamlessly transition your legacy infrastructure.
  1. If you deploy App Stacks to particular VDI pools, you can validate whether those pools are utilizing their applications with StacksWare. If certain users or groups are not using that software, modify the access permissions for that App Stack and republish your software. This allows you to achieve 100% application utilization for your deployed apps and ensure you never waste a dollar on software.
  1. Ensure your enterprise maintains proper license compliance for the applications deployed through App Volumes by setting a license model (e.g. per user, per device or per concurrent usage) on any software package.

What Customers Say about StacksWare and App Volumes

Steve Athanas, the Leader of VMUG Boston, vExpert and IT director at The University of Massachusetts Lowell, raves about their combination of App Volumes and StacksWare.

“App Volumes has been an enormous win for us because we don’t have to crack open images and recompose them every time. We can now deploy these applications and, even better, deploy them to specific user bases instantly.

“What’s also fantastic is that we can now track these applications, even though they are not fully installed into the gold image, using StacksWare. That is awesome for us because we know who’s using these applications, where they’re using it, when they’re using it, and how many people are using that application at a given time. StacksWare doesn’t care how the application is run or instantiated.” —Steve Athanas, IT Director, The University of Massachusetts Lowell

Hear more about Steve’s success with StacksWare and App Volumes below.

Visit Us at VMworld!

App Volumes provides unparalleled application deployment for your enterprise, and StacksWare allows you to instantly validate how end users are actually consuming these applications. These two solutions have a fantastic synergy, and we are looking forward to seeing the unique ways that customers are deploying and tracking their software applications with these technologies. This is just one example of extending and adding value on top of the App Volumes platform.

As we enhance App Volumes, we continue to partner with more third parties that instantly provide value for our customers. If you are attending VMworld in Las Vegas next week, drop by the VMware EUC booth (you can’t miss it!) or the StacksWare booth (#2331) for more information.

I look forward to your feedback, and and welcome other great partners like StacksWare to collaborate with us as we continue to develop the best-in-class app delivery and management platform with App Volumes.

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