What is FSLogix?
FSLogix are providing solutions to delivering applications in desktop environments. This includes simplifying image management, control Java runtime versions, new solutions for profile management and improving Office 365 performance.
Who is feeling the pain? Who are we targeting?
The simplest value proposition is anyone using virtual desktops with Office 365, but it could also be customers using Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016 in virtual desktop environment, customers with Java-based applications who need to juggle multiple Java runtimes and anyone looking to simplify the way that they manage access to applications in their desktop estate.
What problems does FSLogix solve for clients?
Office 365 is very popular with many customers moving to Office 365 or planning their move in the future. Australia and New Zealand have some of the highest penetration of virtual desktop environments in the world, so the cross-over will be quite high. By adding FSLogix Office 365 Containers to their virtual desktop environments customers can improve user experience and ensure success when migrating to Office 365.
Customers having to manage legacy applications based on Java have a very real problem with keeping up to date with Java releases due to security fixes plus keeping old versions around to ensure those line of business applications continue running. FSLogix Java Control enables IT to keep current with the latest Java runtime as the default version and ensure only specific applications are using the versions they require.
How does FSLogix integrate into your existing environment?
One of the great things about the FSLogix solutions is the simplicity in deployment. FSLogix requires a single agent for all of their functionality and it integrates will into your existing toolsets. It doesn’t aim to replace management functionality that you already have.
What solutions does the FSLogix suite span?
FSLogix have 4 solutions today – Application Masking for simplifying access to applications in desktop estates, Java Version control for managing multiple versions of the Java Runtime and staying secure with the most recent version, Profile Containers for simplifying profile management in virtual desktop environments and Office 365 Profile Containers for improving user experience with the Office 365 platform.
While application virtualisation solutions have been around for a long time and are typically well understood, they can increase the complexity involved in delivering applications because they require packaging. FSLogix Application Masking enables you to install applications into an image with existing toolsets and control access to applications and functionality based on rules such as group membership.
FSLogix can also augment application virtualisation solutions with the same approach because applications are still executing locally so the same challenges apply.
There have been some concerns regarding the latest update of windows 10 and virtualisation. How does FSLogix help solve this problem?
Windows 10 has made the new Universal Windows app platform viable, but these new applications don’t play well in virtual desktop environments.
What are Office 365 Containers and what problem do they solve for customers?
Office 365 Containers improves the user experience for customers with Office 365 and Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop, or Microsoft RDS, or VMware Horizon. Normally, Outlook cached-mode is not enabled under XenApp or XenDesktop, so the user experience can suffer – sometimes Outlook could be slow to connect or move though folders, or search is slow etc. Normally you would solve these issues by enabling Outlook cached-mode; however, under XenApp or XenDesktop this is typically not possible. FSLogix Office 365 Containers allows you to successfully implement Outlook cached-mode in these environments to improve the user experience and therefore preventing user revolt with delivering virtual desktops and Office 365.
What is application masking and what does that solve for the customer?
Application Masking allows the administrator fine grained control over which applications, printers, fonts, Office add-ins and Internet Explorer add-ons users have access to. Without this type of solution, we would use application virtualisation tools and require packaging applications or multiple desktop images to control access to these features. Application Masking enables the administrator to just install all of the applications and add-ins into a single desktop image and control access to these features based on user role.
What is Java version control and what does that solve for the customer? Why is there an ongoing need for it?
Many enterprises have line of business applications based on Java that often require specific versions of the runtime; however, anyone familiar with the Java runtime is intimately aware of the security challenges with keeping older versions around and are keen to stay current to protect their environments. The FSLogix Java Version Control enables IT to juggle various versions of the Java Runtime and specific which versions should be used by a web or desktop application. Importantly this is seamless to the user.
Once enabled, IT can update to the latest version of the Java runtime to patch security vulnerabilities and only keep specific older versions around to support their applications as required.
By using FSLogix Application Masking to hide or show applications based on user group assignment. By hiding applications by default and only presenting those applications if the user is a member of the correct group, they just won’t see the application and can’t access them. This doesn’t require implementing complex access rules via Group Policy and can integrate into any existing self-service mechanisms too.
How do you optimise Office 365 and hosted exchange performance with virtual desktops?
Most companies with virtual desktop infrastructures have implemented these solutions in their own data centres along-side their on-premises Exchange servers. This has ensured that the user’s desktop is close to their mailbox and therefore the user experience is pretty good.
As Office 365 becomes more popular and business sees the benefit in migrating their on-premises Exchange environments to Office 365, they still need to manage their user’s desktops. Even if those virtual desktops are moved into a hosted data centre, the problem remains that there is distance between the desktop and the user’s mailbox and user experience is impacted.
FSLogix Office 365 Containers enables IT to close the gap in user experience between a physical desktop and the virtual desktop by enabling Outlook cached-mode in the virtual desktop and allowing users to have the same experience as they would do locally.
Cloud & Collaboration, Application Delivery + Mobility
As a solution architect at Insentra across the Cloud + Collaboration and Application Delivery + Mobility teams, Aaron Parker implements technical designs of leading class enterprise solutions. With over 20 years’ experience in the IT industry, Aaron brings a wide range of expertise to Insentra in enterprise level End-user computing solutions. These include Server-based computing, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, Mobility and PC deployments. Aaron assists Insentra to implement Microsoft and Citrix based solutions across government, private sector and not-for-profit organizations. His interest lies in continuous improvements to IT to better enable business by taking advantage of existing solutions, new technologies and processes. Microsoft MVP Citrix Technology Professional VMware EUC Champion