AppSense part of the Microsoft SAM Partner Program

April 29, 2010

I previously blogged about Microsoft Application Device License Control in SBC, VDI and Streamed Environments, where I highlighted that Microsoft Applications are in fact licensed on a PER DEVICE basis, and not, a PER USER basis – which may cause issues for many organizations in terms of licensing where by only a certain number of USERS needs access (and therefore perceivable a small number of user licenses) but in order to comply with Microsoft Licensing you must still have a license for EVERY DEVICE in the organization, even if the users of those devices will never run the application in question.

Further to this AppSense are recognized by Microsoft as a valid means to control application access at a DEVICE level and are therefore able to reduce device based license requirements.

I am pleased to announce that AppSense, in addition to being a Microsoft Gold ISV Partner, the Microsoft System Center Alliance Program and member of the Microsoft High Potential Managed Partner Program, are now also listed as a Microsoft SAM (Software Asset Management) Partner and listed exclusively as a SAM related tool and service on the Microsoft SAM Partner web-page

Quoting the page:

“Today’s IT organizations are constantly striving to lower the total cost of ownership of their infrastructure while getting the maximum value from their IT investment. With the onset of multiple delivery technologies, efficient software license management is a key component of today’s IT strategy. Microsoft acknowledge AppSense Application Manager as a solution that enterprises could use as part of Software Asset Management to provide device-based license management in a Windows® Terminal Services, virtual desktop or virtualized streamed environment.”
Sam Bramwell
Licensing, Anti-Piracy and SAM Audience Marketing Manager, Microsoft Limited
 
To learn more about Microsoft Licensing and how AppSense Application Manager can be used to not only ensure compliance, but also reduce the amount of device licenses required, saving operational costs and providing almost immediate return on investment, please visit our solutions page here
 
A copy of the Official Microsoft approved whitepaper on use of AppSense for application access and license control in virtual environments can be found here
 
Thanks
Gaz

Citrix Report – Virtualization To Dominate IT Investment & Savings by 2014

February 11, 2010

Citrix have recently published their findings from a recent survey into CIO investment plans and subsequent savings for Virtualization technology.

There are some great key findings from the investigation, such as:

“31 per cent of CIOs said between 0-5 per cent of their current IT budget is dedicated to virtualisation technologies. In 2014, the largest proportion of respondents (26 per cent) predicted these technologies would make up a quarter of investment.”

And when specifically looking at Desktop Virtualization:

“Although desktop virtualisation is the newer technology, global CIOs recognise the benefits of using it within their organisation. The six most important benefits of desktop virtualisation identified by the Index are:

  • Fast desktop deployment (65 per cent)
  • Use in any location on any device (64 per cent)
  • Data security and access control (62 per cent)
  • Reduced total cost of ownership (55 per cent)
  • Ease of migration (48 per cent)
  • Power savings and/or green computing (35 per cent) “

As AppSense are seeing huge success in the Desktop Virtualization market, enabling enterprise organizations to adopt technologies such as Citrix XenDesktop 4 (for which Citrix recommend AppSense as the leading User Environment Management Solution for XenDesktop), Citrix were keen to include a support quote from Martin Ingram, VP of Strategy at AppSense.

For the full report, complete with other key findings and supporting comments from other industry visionaries, please visit the Citrix News Pages.



You Know Where The Door is – Use It!.. But Do You Have To?

January 17, 2010

Yes. Something that has happened  several times before has happened again this week.

A Reseller/Solution Provider implements a Citrix/Terminal Services/VDI/Streamed Application solution for an end user client.  The end user  has since received a Software Asset Management review, and at the end of it, the client receives a big un-budgetted invoice from Software Vendor XYZ because their Citrix/Terminal Services/VDI/Streamed Application solution does not enforce a ‘Per Device’ based application access control and licensing model.  As a result, the end user client gets upset and in the case this week, the Reseller/Solution Provider was shown the door and lost the Client.

As mentioned, I have seen this many times before, and I must sound like a broken record to my reseller techies, but this scenario keeps happening and can be avoided!

Now, before you blame it all on one particular application vendor, just remember that MOST if not ALL of your typical Software Vendors have a DEVICE based model for licensing, not user based.  It’s pretty simple, if a device can potentially access the application (regardless of where the actual code executes, or, even if it executes or not) that device needs a licence.  Even if you try and block access to the application at the user level with GPO’s, SRP’s or white and black lists at a user level, this does not comply as the authorized users can still access the application from all devices and so all devices still require a licence.

For example, If I own 50 PC’s and install Application A on each PC I need to buy 50 licenses. I can’t just say I only have one user login, so I only need one license – the world doesn’t work like that.

And “network techniologies” (CTX/TS/VDI/STREAMED APPS) are no different. If I can run the application for any single one of my 400 thin clients, then either I need to buy 400 device licenses of the application, or I need a way of enforcing the number of devices that can execute it.

If you want to see this explained you can can see me white board this on the AppSense YouTube Channel here -> Whiteboarding a per device licence scenario

Now I understand not everyone sees things the same way, but my experience is the Reseller/Solution provider is often the scape goat in these scenarios when it all goes pear-shaped.  So, for the partner to protect their rear end, and be a bit proactive, some of our Aussie Solution Providers highlight this to the end user by sending a short email, not only to the IT Manager who may be running the project, but also to the CFO and CIO who sign the cheques.

This email points out that the Solutions provider is bound by their status with Software Vendor XYZ to inform the client that the solution they are looking to implement does not fulfill the licensing requirements of the Software Vendor they are wanting to use and they may be liable for additional licence fees and even financial penalties in the event of an audit.. if, they do not also include a per device application access control solution as part of their overall SBC or VDI solution.

I was having this discussion in the office this week when, Hey Presto – in jumps AppMan with his  favorite AppSense product Application Manager – he’s a jovial fellow, looking resplendent in his red outfit.  Sure he’s not the tallest guy in the office, he could do with a few visits to the gym (couldn’t we all?) and yes I agree some of his hair has left the building for greener pastures but everyone with a wife and kids has that issue :-)

However, his heart ‘s in the right place.  He wants everyone to be compliant with their software licensing, he doesn’t want to see companies paying out for licences they don’t need, and he only wants to see Trusted/Authorized Applications running on corporate architecture (more info on how AppMan and his solution Application Manager can help with per device software licensing can be found here).

In addition, there’s a side benefit – not only will AppSense Application Manager enforce a per Device licensing model, it’s also one of the most effective security products on the market.  Trusted ownership ensured only software that is installed by a Trusted Owner (typically the IT Team) it’s allowed to run. Any file installed by a user will instantly be blocked.

Effective and bullet proof, that’s AppSense Application Manager. And as I always say when the subject of security comes up, It’s not that the security team at your organisation has done a bad job, it just they don’t know what they don’t know, so how can they protect against something they do not know about, or some piece of code that has only just been written today by someone they dont know of?  On the other hand,  AppSense Application Manager will show you EVERY file users try to execute, so you do now know what is going on.

And maybe, just maybe, if we all work harder at helping our clients, we can all join a Gym, take some measures to stop our hair falling out, avoid any software licensing issues and costs.. and all live happily ever after :-)

For more information on cost reduction in your environment, please visit the cost reduction pages on the AppSense website.




Powerco used VMware and AppSense on their Citrix farm, introduced SQL, and saved $390k per annum.

September 14, 2009

Powerco, New Zealand’s second largest power company used virtualization technology to consolidate their server (Citrix and Oracle/SQL) and save $390,000 per year.

As part of their ICT refresh, they included VMware to virtualize the Blade servers running Citrix, along with AppSense Performance Manager which when combined, increased server capacity and enabled a greater consolidation ratio.

Mark Flowers, Powerco Server Team Leader said,
“AppSense helped us reduce our 47 Citrix servers down to 25.  Not only do we have more users than ever on our existing hardware, but we have not had to compromised or restrict any of the Citrix applications.”

The full article on ComputerWorld can be found here

The official Powerco & AppSense case study can be found on the AppSense customer pages here

Further information on how AppSense can reduce your Operational Costs & TCO can be found here


NEW FEATURE No. 9 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – New Application Categories in the User Interface

September 11, 2009

This is the ninth installment in a series of posts about the new features and options in AppSense Version 8 Service Pack 2.  (If you have not yet downloaded this latest release, you can read more info and download it from here )

AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 introduces new Application Categories in the User Interface to make it easier to identify applications added by the administrator, versus default applications created by AppSense Environment Manager at install time:

 personalization application categories (2)

P:S
As this is an ever growing blog topic, the previous posts on the other new features we have detailed can be found below:

NEW FEATURE No. 1 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Run As

NEW FEATURE No. 2 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Connect As

NEW FEATURE No. 3 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Improved compression and data handling protocol

NEW FEATURE No. 4 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Manipulation of files in Personalization Analysis

NEW FEATURE No. 5 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Run Once

NEW FEATURE No. 6 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Group SID Refresh

NEW FEATURE No. 7 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Trigger Action Time Audit Event

NEW FEATURE No. 8 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Stop If Fails

NEW FEATURE No. 9 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – New Application Categories in the User Interface

NEW FEATURE No. 10 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Refresh

NEW FEATURE No. 11 – AppSense Environment Manager 8.0 Service Pack 2 – Registry Hive Exclusions



How To Guide: Streaming Microsoft Office with Citrix XenApp 5 – Best Practice Guide & Licensing Overview

August 27, 2009

Citrix Technology Professional (CTP) Alexander Ervik Johnsen has written a very useful piece on how to Profile and Stream Microsoft Office 2007 using Citrix XenApp 5.0

This is a great guide and covers how to stream Office to a desktop, or, into a Citrix XenDesktop session.  His article and guide can be found on his website here.

Further to the actual process of profiling and streaming the Office application, I also want to ensure everyone is aware of the Microsoft Per Device Licensing Model for Server Hosted Applications.

Many Microsoft applications, including Microsoft Office™, Project™ and Visio™, are licensed on a per-device basis. This means a desktop application license is required for each and every device that is able to potentially access the application or server where the application is installed, regardless of whether a user executes and runs the application of not.  This makes licensing Microsoft applications in virtual environments a tricky, potentially very costly, and misunderstood subject. 

One misconception is that by ‘publishing’ or ’streaming’ applications to a limited “user” group, that group is compliant with the Microsoft license agreement – in other words, Microsoft licenses their applications per user.  This is in fact in breach of the Microsoft licensing model, and can lead to legal action.

I have written a blog, which also includes official Microsoft approved whitepapers on how to control and enforce application access and license compliance on a per device basis  in such virtual environments,  that blog can be found here

In addition to helping ensure compliance, effective license control and management can also reduce Microsoft License requirements and associated costs – more information on this can be found here.

If anyone has any questions or comments, as always, please do let me know.

Thanks
Gareth