Unidesk announces elastic layering and session container for Citrix XenApp

Unidesk Announces Elastic Layering and Session Container Breakthroughs for Citrix XenApp

Unidesk Layering Breakthroughs Expand Use Cases for Citrix XenApp While Providing Massive Efficiencies for IT

Unidesk, the leader in management software for mobilizing Windows apps, announced today at Citrix Summit two breakthroughs that expand the use cases for Citrix XenApp, while greatly simplifying how Windows sessions are managed by IT organizations and service providers. Unidesk Elastic Layering™ attaches apps on-demand to XenApp sessions based on user entitlements, giving every user their own unique set of apps. Unidesk Session Containers™ persist user settings and unique apps between sessions, giving every XenApp user a consistent, personal user experience. Together, these layering innovations enable Citrix XenApp to offer the same customizable user experience that was, before, only possible with physical PCs or persistent virtual desktops.

Unidesk Elastic Layering works with Citrix XenApp and Citrix XenDesktop, enabling Windows apps to be packaged once as virtual disk “layers” and delivered to sessions, virtual desktops, or both without reinstallation. The correct app layers and a persistent layer containing user information are attached whenever users logon to their sessions or desktops. Integration with Citrix Provisioning Services (PVS) makes deployment into existing Citrix environments fast and easy. The new Unidesk capabilities greatly simplify image management with PVS, since apps no longer have to be built into different images to meet the needs of different users and departments.

Unidesk 4 Citrix XenApp

“We have a large end user computing environment with nearly 1,000 apps that have to be delivered across sessions using Citrix XenApp and desktops using Citrix XenDesktop,” said John Walchle, Supervisor, IT Engineering Services at St. Luke’s Health System. “The cost and complexity of managing application lifecycles and images across this mixed environment were becoming bottlenecks to service delivery. Unidesk will give us tremendous packaging efficiencies, faster app delivery, and a more personal user experience for our care providers whether we’re delivering sessions or full desktops.”

Unidesk is the inventor of application layering, which separates Windows apps from underlying infrastructure so that apps can be managed once and delivered as virtual disks to any modern end user computing platform. Instead of installing applications many times, Unidesk requires only one install, significantly reducing operational costs. Unidesk also includes a persistent layer that separates user settings, data, and user-installed applications from infrastructure.

With Unidesk Elastic Layering, layers can now be attached at logon to pooled non-persistent desktops and remote desktop session host (RDSH) sessions. Both resource-efficient desktop types, which can be shared by many users, now have the same look and feel as resource-intensive persistent desktops, which require a dedicated machine for every user.

Unidesk Session Containers allow application and persistent layers to be attached to individual RDSH sessions. For the first time, XenApp users can change settings and install their own apps, knowing that all customizations will be present the next time they logon.

“IDC sees the market trends associated with mobility, client virtualization, and software distribution converging, and application layering is a good example of a technology that intersects all three,” said Robert Young, Research Director, IT Service Management and Client Virtualization Software, IDC. “Enterprises and service providers that are looking to optimize or expand the use of VDI or session-based computing will find that solutions like Unidesk can improve both IT efficiency and the end user experience.”

“Business managers increasingly demand faster access to powerful new apps from IT, and Unidesk layering innovation extends the capabilities of PVS to simplify application delivery,” said Calvin Hsu, Vice President, Product Marketing, Desktops and Apps, Citrix. “Unidesk’s layered image delivery through PVS and real-time application delivery based on user policy accelerates the ability of IT to adapt and deploy apps at the speed of business. The reduction in image management overhead and ability to quickly customize deployments to meet individual user and department-level app requirements with Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop will help customers maximize their Citrix investments.”


The new Unidesk layering capabilities for Citrix XenApp and Citrix XenDesktop, as well as integration with Citrix PVS, will be demonstrated at the Citrix Summit conference, January 11-14, 2016 at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Tech Preview is planned for February 2016, with general availability on all hypervisor platforms, including Citrix XenServer, Nutanix Acropolis, VMware ESXi, and Windows Server Hyper-V, following soon after.

For more information or to sign up for the Unidesk Tech Preview, go to https://www.unidesk.com/solutions/citrix-xenapp

“With our patented layering innovations and highly scalable platform, customers can expand Citrix XenApp to 100% of users and 100% of apps, while reducing application and image management overhead,” said Chris Midgley, Unidesk Founder and CTO. “Ultimately, it’s all about giving IT more choices and more control. Whether they choose to implement virtual desktops, remote desktop session hosts, or both, Unidesk will ensure they only have to manage Windows apps once.”