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Quickly deploy virtual desktop environments with Automation Machine blueprints

Quickly deploy virtual desktop environments with Automation Machine blueprints

A typical day for me at the Login VSI office consists of some geek time for trying new technology or playing with our own products to test new functionality or compatibility. As our market is centered on Microsoft, VMware and Citrix I always have an RDS, XenApp, XenDesktop and VMware Horizon View environment standing by for whatever experiments come to mind. Oh yeah, and I regularly break stuff too.

Until recently I would build these lab environments manually. Sure we have hosts ready for the VM’s and the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit is deploying the operating system nicely, but that’s just the start. As you can imagine, setting up these environments and waiting for every component to be installed before you can continue the configuration is very time consuming and gets old fast. This got me thinking on the amount of time both my colleagues and myself waste on building these sandbox environments and we started looking for an alternative.

Requirements

When looking for alternatives to manually setting up sandbox virtualized desktop environments, these were some of the requirements:

  • Deploy environments fully automated
    • VMware Horizon View
    • Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop
    • Microsoft Remote Desktop Services
  • Deploy multiple environments that do not interfere with each other
  • Share configurations with colleagues and customers
  • Apply all of our best practices during deployment
  • A lightweight solution without agents in the users workspace (remember, we care about performance)
  • Easy to use. It had tbe more convenient and faster than manual deployment
  • Support deploying Login VSI fully automated

The solution

Luckily, I regularly get to hang out with the guys from Automation Machine at an undisclosed location in the urban jungle of the Netherlands where inspirational potions are served and great ideas come to life. I learned how their product focuses on automating the deployment and management of dynamic Windows infrastructures. From the past I knew that the initial setup could be a challenge. Dennis Damen assured me that the blueprints make set up easy. I gave it a shot and it blew my mind!

Never have I seen a product that makes it so easy to deploy any of the above mentioned environments. The new Automation Machine blueprint technology allows me to do a deployment in minutes instead of hours. Instead of just talking about it, let me show you how quick I was able to deploy a full Citrix XenApp environment, including the configuration, application publishing and setup of Login VSI.

Now this works great for lab environments, but if you are an enterprise this might also interest you. You can completely modify the blueprints to your needs and add any application you want. They are even able to spin up an instant DTAP copy of your environment. Check out the rest of the features here or meet Mike! If you would also love to save yourself some time make sure to download a free trial.

 Update May 23, 2016: Login AM (formerly known as Automation Machine) is now part of the Login VSI suite.

About the author

Mark Plettenberg (@markplettenberg) is a product manager of Login VSI and has played a critical role in the development and growth of Login VSI. Ask Mark about motorcycle mechanics and breaking/repairing anything and everything that has a power plug.


Tags: How-to, Login VSI, Videos, Citrix, XenDesktop, Login AM

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