Integrated End User Computing with RackTop and VMware

End User Computing

I wanted to give an update to the happenings at VMware as they work to integrate all the End User products. This information comes from the two VMworld session held this year, my attendance at the EUC Elite training, Partner Exchange and updates from working with the fine team at VMware.

VMware welcomes Boxer to the family

Boxer is an integrated suite for using mobile email, calendar, and contacts working together in hopes to make the user more productive. The solution is supported on iOS and Android phones and tablets.  The attempt is to integrate your calendar, contact and email using the mobile device of your choice. Skipping back and forth between these applications is no fun and it would be great to get this all from one app. Boxer call this the ‘Share Availability’ feature. Manage your contacts from your inbox by keeping your favorite and most recent contacts ready to use.

VMware announced plans to acquire Boxer on October 14th in order at add a secure personal information management (PIM) solution for both businesses and consumers. The synchronization is designed to be secure when using productivity tools like email, calendar, tasks and contacts with the enterprise collaboration tools such as Salesforce, Box, Evernote, and many others. It going to interesting to see how this will fit in with AirWatch as VMware attempts to pull all of the EUC product together. I will provide updates as RackTop have the opportunity to test the new PIM solution.


Underutilized and still not understood. Fully image backup capabilities with application layering. When companies use Mirage, Application Recovery is the favorite feature by far. Fix applications without the need of re-installs and rollbacks of endpoint that get a virus are just a few of the benefits when managing your physical endpoints with Mirage. Mirage is one of the components for the VMware Flex solution.

VDI will continue to grow, but as we wait for VDI to reach 30-40% of the desktops in the next few years it leaves a lot of physical desktop and laptop to be managed. There will always will be some percentage of the work force that require laptop solutions that are disconnected from the corporate network. This is where you can use Mirage. If you are looking for a solid desktop management solution as you wait for VDI or want to manage the endpoints that will remain physical look at Racktop’s Mirage as a Service offering.


VMware Horizon FLEX (with Mirage) give IT the ability to serve BYO users, Mac users, contractors and road warriors with a corporate desktop solution. Flex ensures security, control and the needed compliance of the corporate desktop in solutions where security can be a concern. FLEX creates a “container” on the endpoint and allows IT the not only mange the image, but the access policies to the corporate desktop. This allows offline work with the corporate desktop without losing the security concerns with contract or temporary worker have the corporate desktop on their device. Racktop provides the FLEX solution along with the Mirage as a Service mentioned above.


The VMware UEM solution applies policy and profile settings that will follow the user between devices and locations. This will allow for migrations and onboarding by providing configuration settings for applications, shortcuts, drive mappings and group policy settings that can follow the user from their desktop to a VDI or Desktop as a service solution. This provides IT with a single solution that supports virtual, physical and cloud-hosted environments. The UEM solution provides the following features:

  • Use with virtual, physical, cloud desktops
  • User profile
  • User personalization
  • Contextual policies (seeing printers, file folder in that area)
  • App configurations
  • Dynamic configuration
  • Network printer
  • Network mapping
  • ADMX based setting
  • Application settings
  • User self-servicing

Keep the user happy as they move from the legacy desktop solution to VDI or Desktop as a Service. Racktop’s desktop in the cloud is an excellent solution and making sure the user stays productive is our focus.

App Volumes

App Volumes is solution that delivers application to desktops from a central storage area (VMDK or VHD). The applications can be instantly provision and dynamically attached to users, groups or devices. This provisioning can happen even when the users are logged onto their desktop. The App Volume solution allows applications to be provisioned, delivered, updated, and retired providing a complete application life-cycle management.  The goal is to create a persistent user experience using a non-persistent architecture.

RackTop will work with you not only to gain a complete inventory of your applications, but then provide application delivery solution like App Volumes to help simply the management of the EUC environment.

VMware SDDC and EUC     

VMware SDDC strategy is trying to make the desktop/application virtualization a more integrated solution. There needs to be a more cohesive offering between AirWatch, Horizon, and NSX which are products that were developed and then purchased separately. Now add VMware’s recently released Identity Management solution and the portfolio widens.

Identity Management comes in two options, one being embedded in specific editions of the AirWatch mobile management platform and the second being a standalone product which does utilize some of the Airwatch back-end functionality. RackTop and VMware realizes the importance of having a stronger and reliable authentication chain. RackTop is working with customers to get their identity management under control in the EUC space.

AirWatch and Windows 10

AirWatch is working to makes use of some of the new Windows 10 embedded management features to expand the capabilities around Windows 10 management. The AirWatch plan is to give you the ability to provide a solid management platform spanning almost any type of device (iOS to Android to a Windows-based desktop/laptop/tablet).  AirWatch is making strides to manage Windows-based desktops doesn’t have much in the way of OSX desktops. It does not do patch management which means need to look at other products within VMware to fill that need.  Racktop was one of the first to provide look at Windows 10 as a VDI solution.

Project A2

Project A2 is a combination of AppVolumes application solution that is managed by AirWatch. This enables virtual apps to be pushed to physical Windows 10 based machines. This provides the same application solution set to be used for both physical and virtual desktop which should reduce the management effort of applications.

Windows 10 Notes

Horizon 6 Version 6.2 now support Windows 10 for Virtual Desktops and early estimates are more memory and more CPU needs. The Operating Systems Optimizer for Windows 10 scheduled for release in early 2016.

That’s my update for now. RackTop provides all your EUC needs from assessment, planning through complete implementation of the solution. The RackTop team works very hard to keep update to date with all the changes in EUC solutions and values our deep relationship with VMware and other partners that work to provide excellent solutions. We will talk again soon.