M. Davis & Company Uses ProfileUnity to Manage High Performance Desktops for Highly Mobile, Diverse Workforce
M. Davis & Company is a a fifth-generation, Delaware-based construction company that builds, installs and maintains corporate plants and facilities for national and international companies. The technology and tools that have been used to provide a competitive advantage have changed a lot during the company’s 145-year history, but one thing has not: its willingness to pursue innovation to gain an edge. That is why it became an early adopter of VMware virtual desktops back around 2009.
The company's employees work at multiple and diverse customer facilities. They needed a good portable desktop platform that would let them work on any device, from any location. IT staff was able to provide consistent high performance across PCs, laptops and tablets by going beyond basic VMware tools and using Liquidware's ProfileUnity for user profile and environment management. ProfileUnity helped work around the problems associated with low bandwidth and other issues across endpoint device types that also had a variety of different applications and user needs. The company makes extensive use of ProfileUnity’s FlexDisk technology. FlexDisk provisions flexible user VMware VMDKs (Virtual Machine Disks) on a VMFS (Virtual Machine File System) to eliminate the streaming of applications and data over the network. A single FlexDisk can be shared among many users, allowing M. Davis & Co. to reduce application and data storage space requirements by as much as 100:1. Independently of FlexDisk, ProfileUnity automatically compresses user profiles before delivering them to the desktop. It typically achieves a compression ratio of 50:1 or better, which further reduces bandwidth requirements and speeds login times. ProfileUnity’s Profile Clean-up feature can be set to flush profiles at predetermined times or action intervals, which prevents profile bloat from occurring over time, resulting in further savings.
When ProfileUnity’s ProfileDisk feature was introduced it made an immediate positive impact on operations at M. Davis & Co. ProfileDisk seamlessly offloads the entire user profile to a virtual disk. Large profile data is accessed quickly via block level VHD or VMDK volume. That is extremely helpful when employees are working from low-bandwidth locations. ProfileDisk efficiently executes large profiles, including those with Office 365 Outlook Caching and Windows indexing, which eliminates frequent causes of slow logins.
IT staff has used ProfileUnity to migrate physical desktops to virtual, migrate Windows XP machines to Windows 7, and then again to Windows 10. They make extensive use of ProfileUnity’s filtering capabilities to optimize images and profiles, and take advantage of the folder redirection capabilities to give users faster access to their files. Additionally, the company has been virtualizing more and more of its applications. That process has been helped by Liquidware FlexApp, which delivers containerized applications to virtual desktops without modifying the base image. FlexApp can virtualize complex applications that were impossible or difficult to virtualize using other methods. The next phase for M. Davis and Co. IT staff will be to roll out ProfileUnity to physical devices in the organization, thus reaping even greater efficiencies and savings across the entire desktop estate.