By Steve Greenberg and Hal Lange
Citrix recently acquired Norskale software and in the process added VUEM (Virtual User Environment Manager) and Transformer software to their portfolio. The new name for VUEM is Citrix Workspace Environment Manager (WEM) and it available as a free entitlement for existing XenApp/XenDesktop customers here. Check out Hal’s new video series to help get started using and optimizing WEM in your environment
We have been working closely with WEM since 2011 and are proud to have contributed to key design elements and features of the product over the years. We have many customers running WEM, across a wide range of industries and use cases on XenApp, XenDesktop and physical PCs. Regardless of environment size or type all of our customers have experienced one key outcome: Incredible User Experience. It is not unusual to be called into to help out clients with login time of 90 seconds or even 2-3 minutes (or more). WEM routinely provides login times of 10-15 seconds that stay constant over the course of years, i.e. they do not degrade like standard profiles types and solutions.
Beyond fast logins though, it is often the uncanny performance optimizations that WEM brings that get the attention. WEM can expand the scalability of a typical XenApp server up to 50-60% but not just packing more users in the process, but actually IMPROVING THE USER EXPERIENCE USING THE VERY SAME HARDWARE, MEMORY STORAGE AND SERVER IMAGE!
These optimizations apply to CPU, RAM and I/O and touch every aspect of User Experience for the better whether on XenApp, VDI or even physical PCs. When a process takes unnecessary CPU cycles it is coaxed down, when apps maps out unnecessary/unused RAM, WEM returns it to the system, and, when a process selfishly consumes IOPS it gets it’s hand slapped and is made to behave. The end result is High Performance Server Based Hosted Computing like you have always wanted, and, VDI/Physical desktops that can FULLY leverage the powerful hardware they run on. If you were wondering where all the performance is with our specular new PC/Server hardware, WEM brings it home!
But wait, there’s more……
The GPO replacement for the user environment, increases login speed and granular control of the user settings. With users able to control their own applications and printers without access to the system, it gives a great balance of security and user experience.
One of the best parts of this product, is also the best kept secret. The database is in a standard readable format. User settings are normalized into standard readable/writable values, not just a file system or database of mysterious binary hives and blobs. With simple SQL commands, you can easily edit, import, export and customization user settings at will individually or in batches. It has been simple for us and our customers to import print servers, add registry settings, create applications and settings with very basic SQL actions.
In addition, WEM provides an easy to use interface with a vast set of filters/settings that provide all of the most commonly used Citrix settings right from the GUI. It is easy to learn, easy to own and lends itself to delegation of common administrative tasks to other groups within the organization such as Desktop Admin/Techs and the Help Desk to provide direct and speedy resolution for End Users.
The acquisition by Citrix not only helps solidify XenApp/XenDesktop as the leading Application and Delivery platform but adds to it the Best in Class User Experience. The Cherry on Top is that after 6+ years of large scale experience in live Enterprise environments, we can count the number of product support tickets on one hand. This technology just works and it is THAT GOOD.
Let us know if you have any questions!