What’s new in Liquidware Labs Stratusphere 5.0 Virtual Appliance


Liquidware Labs, a player in desktop transformation solutions, today announced the availability of the 5.0 virtual appliance version of its Stratusphere FIT assessment and Stratusphere UX validation solutions.

This milestone release of the industry-leading assessment, design, and validation software continues to break down barriers to successful Windows® 7 migrations and virtual desktop projects. Delivering radical improvements in ease-of-use, security, and performance, and packed with enhancements to both metrics collection and reporting, Stratusphere solutions now provide unparalleled clarity into the inner workings of both physical and virtual desktops as well as related network and server infrastructures.

“We keep hearing about stalled projects, unpredictable VDI-cost overruns, and miserable virtual desktop performance with unhappy users,” said Jason Mattox, CTO of Liquidware Labs. “But the fact is, all of these situations are very preventable with Liquidware Labs Stratusphere solutions. By using Stratusphere FIT at the onset of a project and then Stratusphere UX during migration and scaling, businesses have clear indicators of the quality of the user experience and desktop performance.”

Unrivaled in sophistication and functionality, Liquidware Labs Stratusphere FIT and Stratusphere UX have been and continue to be essential components of successful virtual desktop environments. Stratusphere FIT is the industry-leading assessment solution used by today’s largest system integrators and professional service organizations worldwide including VMware®, Citrix®, Dell® and NetApp® as well as hundreds of Liquidware Labs channel partners worldwide at hundreds of customer sites.

Stratusphere UX tracks and correlates hundreds of metrics in near real time for highly-accurate and objective measurement of user-desktop experiences. Unlike solutions that monitor system resource consumption, Stratusphere UX is highly specialized software that tracks metrics at the user, machine and application levels as well as at the systems level. Stratusphere UX also correlates this data to provide Good/Fair/Poor ratings so administrators can easily gauge user experiences and identify issues.

Improvements in Stratusphere 5.0 Virtual Appliance Components:

  • Fortified security specifications satisfy rigorous federal, financial, healthcare, and Fortune 100 requirements.
  • Support for para-virtualized drivers and scaling ability accelerates performance while improving support for mixed-platform environments.
  • New UI-based and console-based wizards reduce the time to configure and install the Stratusphere HUB to only 30 minutes.

Connector ID (CID) keys now have these new capabilities:

  • Collect PCoIP display protocol metrics and counters per user
  • Minimize resources needed for metrics collection on VMware View
  • Capture user metrics for extremely short durations (five-second k
  • iosk deployments) for the most comprehensive and accurate picture of the environment

New Assessment Features in Stratusphere FIT:

  • “One Run” feature lets users set parameters once and run multiple or all reports in a category at one time for better consistency and accuracy.
  • New “Assessment Report Packs” pre-group key reports into a single view. Users set parameters once, select the reports to run, and reports are delivered as a batch—significantly reducing the time to complete the assessment process.
  • Significantly improved export to Microsoft® Excel assists easier independent data analysis.

New User-Experience Monitoring Features in Stratusphere UX:

  • New PCoIP “Display Diagnostics Inspector” proactively monitors key metrics such as image quality, data transfer rates, and round-trip latency.
  • Precise visibility into geographical location of thin clients or desktops.
  • New “Health Check Report Pack” groups all critical diagnostic reports in a single view; this pack is tailored to be used in conjunction with the Liquidware Labs Health Check Methodology Guide.
  • New “User-Experience Validation Report Pack” groups critical reports for comparing physical-to-virtual desktop performance.
  • “User-Profile Summary Report” isolates users that are good candidates for user virtualization as well as for the Liquidware Labs ProfileUnity user virtualization and profile management solution.
  • “Applications Installed vs. Used Report” helps to identify applications that have been deployed but not used to recover licensing and storage costs.
  • Improved alerting on machine, host, network and storage metrics through RSS and SNMP.

“These enhancements are directly the result of input from customers and partners, who wanted highly sophisticated functionality paired with greater ease-of-use,” said Mattox. “We also applied what we learned from customer health checks and their special use-cases to identify and develop the most sought-after new features in this release.”

Stratusphere FIT and Stratusphere UX Integration with Enterprise Virtualization Solutions

Stratusphere UX provides highly-accurate, standardized metrics that can be leveraged to add desktop monitoring to enterprise-level systems software, such as IBM® Tivoli/Netcool, HP® OpenView and VMware vCenter Operations Manager. Stratusphere UX is also recognized as an industry-standard monitoring and diagnostics solution for Cisco® Validated Design for VXI.

Stratusphere FIT and Stratusphere UX are also both highly complementary to VMware vCenter™ Operations Manager. A forthcoming integration plug-in (beta adapter is in use today) feeds critical end-user indicators such as User Log-in Time, Application Launch Time, Application ‘Hang’ Rate (ANR), Network Latency, Network Connection Failures, Guest Disk IOPS and Queues, % Paging, and the overall “Health Index Score” into VMware vCenter Operations Manager. This adapter is compatible and complementary to the VMware View adapter for vCenter Operations Manager without overlap.

Integration with the Stratusphere FIT composite index score (“VDI FIT”) allows the VMware vCenter Operations Manager for View module to assess physical machines for migration to VMware View, directly from within the solution at an Active Directory, group, user and application level.

“Virtual desktop environments are complicated,” said Mattox. “The only way to proceed confidently through deployment is to have accurate data for informed decisions at every step. Over-simplified point solutions just will not deliver the results businesses need. Liquidware Labs Stratusphere solutions not only address the totality of the environment, but also boil down measurements and data into understandable reports and dashboards. Our Stratusphere 5.0 release takes another giant step toward making migration to physical and virtual desktops transparent to the user and feasible for the masses.”