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VDI "Science Experiments" Getting Help

When David Bieneman and Tyler Rohrer got together and decided to form a company, they didn't go out searching for venture money because they didn't need to--they were flush from selling their former companies. In Bieneman's case, that company was Vizioncore, which he sold to Quest Software in 2007, while Rohrer was a partner at FOEDUS, a consulting firm purchased by VMware in 2008.

Thus, in 2009, was born Liquidware Labs, the self-styled leader in "desktop transformation solutions for next-generation physical and virtual desktops," a moving target if ever there was one. In order to stay on top of that rapid change and help push it forward, Liquidware got into the business of VDI assessment, planning and user experience monitoring. So far, so good, as Rohrer says the company expanded revenues from $400,000 in 2009 to a whopping $5 million in 2010.

The company's newly released Stratusphere 4.8 hits the streets claiming to offer a 1,000 percent increase in scalability per database hub, along with application IOPS reports, and expanded application virtualization reporting. In use by a variety of customers, ranging from end users to channel partners, OEM partners and platform vendors such as VMware, Citrix, Dell, EMC and Cisco, v4.8 can now scale to over 10,000 desktops with one Stratusphere Hub.

"More specifically," Liquidware says, "Stratusphere is now able to leverage a single database server to gather metrics for enterprise implementations. The advancement represents a tenfold increase in performance scaling and the number of desktops supported per hub covers 99% of known VDI implementations in the world today."

Tyler, who refers to many VDI implementations to date as "science experiments," says Liquidware, which currently has 619 customers, plays nicely with a lot of real and putative competitors such as Xangati, Akorri (now owned by NetApp), Netuitive and AppSense, which Tyler calls "the 800-pound gorilla," adding, "We win deals from AppSense weekly."

"We will help you assess and design, and we will help you get the right storage fabric," he says.

Liquidware is also jumping on the management bandwagon for physical and virtual Windows user virtualization environments such as VMware View, Citrix XenDesktop and Citrix XenApp with ProfileUnity 4.8. This product includes enhanced, simultaneous login support, profile provisioning support for Office 2010 and expanded Always On profile availability.

Rohrer says "The new features in ProfileUnity v4.8 ensure seamless user productivity and assist administrators with managing and provisioning new user settings for common tasks that can become a time suck for any IT department. They are also a big win for non-persistent VDI environments where personal and user productivity, regardless of network condition, needs to be insured."

Like a lot of VDI players, Rohrer hopes 2011 is the year of VDI. Given the number of competitors crammed into this market, he better hope it is not the year of "The Great VDI Shakeout."

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 04/14/2011 at 12:48 PM


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