AppSense updates its thin-client performance suite

Thin-client software company AppSense has combined its four performance and optimisation tools into a single application suite

Thin-client software developer AppSense on Monday launched Performance Suite 2.0, which is a set of tools for managing and optimising both Citrix MetaFrame and Windows Terminal Server environments.

Thin-client installations are popular because they are cheaper and provide administrators with far greater control over the applications that users can access than is possible in a desktop environment. The main disadvantage is that many users share a single server, which leads to performance issues and inflexibility.

Mark Austin, chief technology officer of AppSense, told ZDNet UK that Performance Suite 2.0 has evolved from a set of four completely separate but related applications into a single integrated set of products that can be controlled and monitored from a single console: "We put a lot of work pulling the products together. Before, they needed separate installation, separate licences and were sold independently; now there is a single installer and you can get a single licence," he said.

The four modules that make up the suite are: Application Manager, Performance Manager, The Optimiser and Server Toolkit.

Application Manager eliminates unauthorised applications and scripts so that a user cannot introduce executables, DBS scripts and even DLL files; whether maliciously or by accident. Performance Manager monitors the system until it sees that the CPU is overloaded. At this point, it works out which user is taking up too many CPU cycles and which application is responsible. It will then throttle back the application's access to the processor, freeing up cycles for other users.

The Optimiser is used to reduce memory overheads by working out where DLL libraries are not being shared properly and fixing the problem, and the Server Toolkit is a collection of various tools that include a server lock-down facility and the ability to introduce faster logging scripts.

Tony Bolland, chief executive of AppSense, said that server-based computing is now the norm rather than an exception in the enterprise, and although many users sharing one server is a great idea, there is often little or no performance control. "Users frequently suffer poor response times while companies are forced to buy more servers and more memory. Performance Suite breaks the pain cycle by ensuring that hardware resources are used intelligently and that no user suffers due to the greed of another's application," he said in a statement.

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