Application rights management simplifies admin privileges

A new application rights management feature from Liquidware Labs now offers IT the flexibility to elevate standard users to admin privileges on desired applications securely.

With application remoting in VMware's Horizon 6, the need for application rights management could become more important. One vendor has added application rights management to its flagship user environment management product, while keeping its price flat.

Application rights management can ease the complicated process of ensuring that users have access to apps that are typically reserved just for administrators. In recognizing applications rights management as a key part of any virtual desktop environment, Liquidware Labs added an application rights management tool to the recently-released ProfileUnity v6.0.

IT can now securely elevate applications that require administrative rights to standard users, allow application installations on persistent virtual or physical desktops for those standard users, and include allow/deny process and blacklist/whitelist options for installed applications on a per-user basis.

Application rights management -- along with several other new features including trigger points to add frequency for user profile saves and a Start menu option for Windows 8 -- will be part of ProfileUnity at no extra cost to customers beyond the standard $39 per user on a perpetual license. 

Adding application rights management capabilities is something customers have sought from Liquidware Labs for some time, according to Brian Roets, practice lead for end-user computing at Systems Management Planning, Inc. (SMP), a data center solutions and services company and Liquidware Labs partner based in Rochester, New York.

This is not a desktop world anymore; it's a mobile workspace.
Brian RoetsEUC practice lead, SMP

Application rights management may be more important now than ever with the release of VMware's Horizon 6, where VMware finally joins Citrix in the application remoting market.

"This is not a desktop world anymore; it's a mobile workspace," Roets said. "Whether that is in our customer's data center or in the cloud, we need to be able to manage that."

In the past, admins could not host Remote Desktop Session Host or Citrix XenApp applications that required administrative rights, which forced IT to entitle all users to those rights.

"So if I can now get granular with that and control it by policy or location, or even if it's just certain manufacturers, I can do that both in persistent virtual or physical for standard people," Roets said.

SMP has tested the new ProfileUnity technology with Horizon 6 components with customers, and the environment has been "received extremely well" to date, according to Roets.

ProfileUnity is useful for any company doing non-persistent virtual desktops, according to James Gordon, first vice president of information technology and operations at Needham Bank in Needham, Massachusetts. For a highly regulated business such as banking, application rights management means IT doesn't have to make every user a local admin, according to Gordon.

"In some circumstances, you need to have programs that you run as a power user, so certainly [application rights management] is attractive to probably a lot of people," Gordon said.

Liquidware Labs' approach of including application rights management as an "also" in ProfileUnity and not as a "value-add" is a good thing for customers, according to Gordon. Needham Bank uses ProfileUnity on nonpersistent linked clones and a competitor, Unidesk Corp., on persistent desktops for its application layering capabilities.

The chief competitor to Liquidware Labs in application rights management is AppSense.

A 15-day free trial of the new version of ProfileUnity is available now at www.liquidwarelabs.com.

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