Quoting from the AppStream official announcement:
AppStream, Inc., today announced a technology partnership with VMware, the global leader in virtual infrastructure software for industry-standard systems. This partnership provides customers with the ability to distribute virtual images more efficiently enabling users to be operational up to 10x faster and making remote usage over DSL a reality and expanding the potential use of virtual images throughout the enterprise.
Today’s enterprises are more distributed than ever before, consisting of remote sales offices and multiple global locations. At the same time the need to rapidly provision standardized and secure PC environments is as strong as ever. All of this has increased the challenges facing today’s IT organizations. Users in the extended enterprise demand the same level of service as their fixed and local counterparts, and their need for on-demand and immediate access to resources just adds to the complexity of the problem for IT organizations. VMware ACE provides an optimum solution for those connected to the LAN and AppStream extends that advantage to the rapidly increasing number of remote and mobile users.
According to Gartner, worldwide mobile PC shipments are expected to grow 26.5% in 2005, while desk-based units are now forecast to grow 4.6%. Serving this community can be a challenge with the long download times for large image files outside the LAN.
AppStream.NOW technology dramatically increases the speed with which a user can be operational. “We understand that enterprises need to satisfy their users and maintain an efficient, low cost, secure operation.” said Srinivasa Venkataraman, AppStream’s Executive Vice President of Products. “We believe that we have a solution that satisfies these concerns. Our streaming technology can deliver a secure 4.4 GB OS image over a DSL connection and have a user up and running within 15 minutes. That same image distributed without streaming would time out after 4 hours. This has dramatic impact on how and where an enterprise can effectively use VMware ACE.”
With AppStream technology you retain the ability to apply enterprise IT policies to a virtual machine containing an operating system, enterprise applications, and data to create an isolated PC environment in a reduced image file size that is deployed quickly.
The AppStream.NOW platform provides four key benefits to the VMware ACE customer:
1. Increased efficiency of distribution – AppStream technology streams images in blocks delivering what a user needs to get up and running in minutes rather than hours or not at all. Lab tests have shown that a user receiving a 4.4GB image file over DSL can be operational in 15 minutes compared to over 4 hours without AppStream.NOW.
2. Automatic removal of images upon expiration – An image delivered using AppStream is automatically deleted from the user’s hard drive when the expiration date is reached or when the user is de-provisioned. Without AppStream, image removal must be done manually, which can be difficult or impossible for remote users who do not have a local IT resource or technical know-how to remove the file or where security is critical.
3. Preservation of user data and settings when updating images – When IT needs to update an image that has been delivered with AppStream, all of the user’s existing saved documents, personalized settings, etc are maintained, enabling remote users who need a secure environment, and contractors to take advantage of ACE technology without fear of losing all their work or configuration settings.
4. Central management and usage tracking – AppStream.NOW is administered and managed from a central Web-based console and provides comprehensive management tools to configure, manage and monitor the entire AppStream system.
“With the market penetration of VMware ACE rising, we’re seeing increasing interest from customers in our ability to quickly deploy large image files and get users up and running.” commented Dan Udoutch, CEO of AppStream. “Our solution augments ACE beyond distribution offering fine-tuned image management and central control. It truly is a perfect to complement to ACE in real world applications.”
The AppStream.NOW platform makes distribution of desktop software and the management of software licenses easier with little to no IT intervention. Unlike traditional models, the ability to distribute applications, monitor usage, and manage licenses is integrated in a single platform. IT retains control over application versioning and provisioning but gains flexibility to give off-line use of applications and the ability to use local graphics cards and other local resources. The AppStream.NOW platform is scalable and hardware investment is minimal with one server handling approximately 1000 users.
With AppStream, application images reside on a server and are delivered on-demand to the desktop. This creates a self-service software environment that enables the end user to access applications when and where they need them without any action from IT. At the same time, AppStream maintains a real-time inventory of the applications that are in use, keeping the number of licenses needed aligned with the true requirements of the organization. When software is not being utilized on a PC it can be re-harvested and made available to others.