Unidesk has announced the general availability of Unidesk 1.0, the company's latest desktop virtualisation management platform. The new solution leverages best-of-breed VMware vSphere virtualisation technology and extends virtual desktop solutions such as VMware View and Citrix XenDesktop.

Unidesk 1.0 offers what the company calls "100% Personalisation," which is said to help drive end-user acceptance of virtual desktops by sustaining user customisations. These customisations include user-installed applications, profile customisations, and documents. It also provides single image management, creating and updating many desktops from single images of Microsoft Windows and applications. And it provides storage savings for IT organisations by shrinking the amount of storage needed to implement a desktop virtualisation solution by preventing duplicate copies of Microsoft Windows and IT-managed applications from being stored.

With Unidesk 1.0, the company also announced its Unidesk Composite virtualisation technology - the company's patent-pending layering technology used to ensure desktop virtual desktop success.

To gain a better understanding as to what Unidesk is doing, and to find out more about their layering technology, I went directly to the source and spoke with Ron Oglesby, chief solution architect at Unidesk.

InfoWorld: For folks who haven't yet heard about Unidesk 1.0, how would you describe it?

Unidesk: Unidesk is true desktop layering done at the file system level. The idea is to provide virtual desktop management by essentially slicing a desktop C: Drive into numerous layers that IT can manage and version as single instances. While we do this we still allow the users to retain full control of the desktop up to and including user-installed applications. So the user gets a full desktop experience, but IT has a desktop they can manage as if it was a single image.

InfoWorld: How is this layering technology different from the other "layers" we hear about from other vendors? What makes your solution unique?

Unidesk: The simple answer is the level at which we do our layering. Most often the term "layer" is used to describe managing portions of a desktop, for example: the OS layer, the application layer, the user work space layer. But really, each of these is managed with agents or software running in Windows that pushes changes to the C: Drive, or tries to scrape user settings from the drive in order to move them to a "new" drive later on. In our case, we work below Windows instead of trying to change it. Our layers are not dependent on something running in Windows, or the administrator being aware of changes users are making. We build our layers at the file system level, which allows us to capture and manage any change in the environment throughout the desktop's lifecycle.