Citrix App Layering and FSLogix: Better Together!

Posted by Robb Shaw on May 4, 2018 1:31:12 PM

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Prior to joining FSLogix I was a Solutions Architect for Unidesk, and eventually Citrix, after they acquired the company in 2017. With that acquisition, Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop gained a powerful tool to aid in reducing the effort required to manage images. Now called Citrix App Layering, I was able to see firsthand how Citrix customers benefitted from it by creating one main OS layer that could be managed and updated separately, but still be applied to many different desktop images. This capability also extends to applications and various platform elements to allow easy assignment and rollback.

As a Citrix Ready Partner, FSLogix has focused on several key areas to extend the value of Citrix infrastructures in order to achieve greater business outcomes for IT departments and end users. Because of this focus, several of our products work very well with Citrix infrastructures, especially those taking advantage of Citrix App Layering. The most notable, though perhaps not the most obvious, are our Application Masking and Java Control Products.

FSLogix Application Masking & Java Control

As beneficial as Citrix App Layering is for image management, allowing you to patch and manage each layer individually as opposed to updating the entire stack for every update, it doesn’t help reduce XenApp silos or XenDesktop delivery groups. So, if you start your project with five silos/delivery groups for different departments, you’ll wind up with significantly easier image management, but still find yourself managing separate images.

That’s where FSLogix App Masking comes in. Adding App Masking to your existing Citrix App Layering environment allows you to reduce the number of silos and delivery groups that exist to deliver multiple versions of applications (like Office) or facilitate different plugins – like plugins for Outlook or IE. You simply install all the versions of the applications you need and mask them with our product, and hide the versions they don’t need.

For apps that require different versions of Java, FSLogix Java Control lets you assign versions of Java to specific applications or URLs, but hides those versions from every other application. This lets you keep multiple versions of Java in an image without having to worry about conflicts or the security implications of running older versions of Java across the entire machine.

FSLogix also helps you enforce device-based licensing by keeping track of which endpoints have used a given application. Organizations often overlook the fact that device-based software licenses apply to the device used to access an app (e.g. the client device), and that the same user accessing a given application from work, home, and mobile actually counts as three “devices” even though they come from the same virtual desktop. Our App Masking product can ensure that users only access apps from a specified device, and if they log in from elsewhere, they don’t even see the application installed.

With FSLogix, you can extend Citrix App Layering’s functionality while further simplifying your image and application management, all without any additional backend infrastructure. Plus, all App Masking rules can be extended through our partnership with DeviceTrust, which catalogs many advanced elements of desktops, servers, and endpoints to allow you to set policies. For example, you could use DeviceTrust to determine which WiFi network a user is connecting from and mask/unmask applications based upon it. The combination of FSLogix, DeviceTrust, and Citrix App Layering is really powerful.

Wrap-Up

Today, many customers are leveraging FSLogix’s products with Citrix App Layering for their business-critical Citrix implementations. Those customers see accelerated time to value, as well as freed up IT resources that can spend time on other lingering projects. FSLogix is committed to working closely with our partners at Citrix to continue delivering enterprise-ready solutions for greater business agility and end-user productivity.

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Topics: Application Masking, java version control, Application Layering, Citrix

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