Wyse WSM (or Wyse Streaming Manager) delivers a Client Hosted Virtual Desktop from the cloud, providing a full-blown PC experience for users who need to run specialized or non-published applications and peripherals that don’t adapt well to VDI. Everything – OS images, applications and user data – is delivered instantly over the network from the data center. All applications run locally on the cloud desktop, so users experience fast log-in, application consistency and rich performance. This makes WSM the perfect complement to an existing virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), or being used as a bridge-technology until VDI can be deployed company wide.

To make applications available to users in the WSM environment, applications may be installed directly on an OS Image, or use Application Virtualization technology, which allows delivering applications independent from the operating system. Customers often tend to include applications in the base OS image because this is a no-brainer when it comes to software installation and updates, and is what they are used to from managing a legacy PC environment. While this approach looks attractive at first glance, the drawbacks are much larger images (compared to images with just the common apps included), maintaining multiple images (if some apps shouldn’t be available to everyone), and the fact that the base image has to be altered every time an application needs to be installed or updated (which consumes additional storage on the server side). Because of these downsides, WSM has the capabilities to deliver and manage OS and Applications Images separately from each other. However, the legacy Application Streaming technology used in previous versions required some special skills and experience in application packaging and had some limitations - but this has all changed with the latest edition!

Wyse WSM 7 introduces a new Application Virtualization engine to enable access to programs supplementary to the base image. Departmental Installed Application (DIA) Layering provides native application performance, with seamless mount of virtualized applications at the time of user login. It allows IT personnel to maintain a smaller number of OS Images, while having the ability to manage applications based on the users group membership.

A Layer equals a collection of applications in a distributable bundle (virtual disk) hosted on the WSM Server. Applications can easily be virtualized and patched from a so called Reference Device or a client in live-streamed mode using the WSM Client software. During application installation, all file and registry changes on the system are actually redirected to the virtual Disk specified for this layer, which makes this process extremely simple and user-friendly. Patch management is similar to distributed OS Images, and users don’t have stop working while the admin is performing management tasks in the background. Once an Application Image is registered in the WSM Admin Console, it is assigned to WSM Sites and Server Groups for content distribution and ultimately to (Active Directory) User Groups to make the applications available to the end user. Each layer can have just one app or multiple apps included, with a maximum of eight virtual disks in a single boot session.

When a user logs in, the WSM Client sends the user name to the WSM Server to itemize and mount the assigned Application Images. In an Active Directory environment, this process is performed seamlessly without any user invention, and icons will appear right after the desktop has loaded. The Layers are staggered on top of the Operating System disk on the fly, and WSM virtualization drivers manage the file and registry layering process to provide a consistent end user experience. The dismount of Application Layers occurs automatically at user logoff or when the device is shut down.

Like the Operating System, and the applications included in the base OS Image, virtualized applications are executed natively on the endpoint and in order to ensure maximum compatibility no encapsulation or sand-boxing is used. However, there is a dependency between the Operating System used during the creation of the application layers and the version in the OS Image. For example, an application virtualized on Windows 7 may or may not work on Windows 8 because it performs like being installed locally. In a mixed environment with different versions of Microsoft Windows used, the WSM admin should assign application images to the end users by using dedicated User Groups.

Application layering supports 32-bit and 64-bit client Operating Systems from Windows 7 up. It is also available stand-alone, with no underlying OS image to deliver virtualized applications to legacy PCs running from local disk. Applications will follow the user across any deployment, for example from a PC to a live-streamed Cloud Desktop, as long as the endpoint has the WSM Client software installed and the device is present in the WSM Admin Console. Layering does not eliminate or reduce application licensing costs as it isn’t changing the licensing structure in any way, and the application vendors licensing structure has to be followed.

To sum it up: WSM 7 with Application Layering is a great way to simplify image management, is included in vWorkspace 8.5 with no additional cost, and provides the following benefits:

      • Fewer OS images to manage as customization comes from application virtualization
      • No need to update OS image when newer version of application becomes available
      • Better control over application license
      • Easily deploy a new application to a certain group of user
      • Easily remove application access to a group of users

If you want to find out more about Wyse WSM, go to http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/wyse-wsm/pd

A free Trial of vWorkspace / WSM is available on https://software.dell.com/register/55322/

Give it a try – it has never been easier!