Sean's Virtual Desktop

What the Immidio Purchase Means for VMware Horizon Customers

The user environment management (UEM) company's technology shores up a weakness in VMware user profile management capabilities.

On Feb. 3, VMware Inc. announced it had acquired Immidio, a user profile management company based out of the Netherlands. Immidio's two main products are Flex+, an agent-based user profile management solution, and AppScriber, an enterprise app store.

Immidio describes Flex+ as a workspace virtualization solution that provides customization of end-user devices and applications. The settings can be dynamically applied to a user session based on a number of criteria such as Windows version and IP address. It supports both the desktop and server versions of Windows, including Remote Desktop sessions.

VMware has previously attempted to address user profile management with View Persona Management. This feature provides more options than the Microsoft Roaming Profiles feature, but it's also very limited. It doesn't support profile management for applications published from Windows Server, and although VMware supported desktops running Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows 8.1 in version 5.3, View Persona Management didn't support them until Horizon View 6.0 was released.

Effective user profile management is one of the major challenges of any virtual end-user computing infrastructure. Profiles contain the user's personalization and application settings, and these need to follow a user to wherever they log in -– especially in non-persistent VDI and server-based computing environments, where users may not end up on the same machine after every log in.

The Immidio acquisition will allow VMware to address the shortcomings of View Persona Management while providing cross-platform support for user and application settings. It also gives VMware an enterprise app store that they can tie in with App Volumes to allow users to provision their own access to applications in VDI and RDSH environments.

About the Author

Sean Massey is a systems administrator from Appleton, Wisc. He blogs about VDI, Windows PowerShell, and automation at http://seanmassey.net, and is active on Twitter as @seanpmassey.

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