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The Path to Modern Windows Software Distribution: Q&A with Adaptiva Founder & CTO Deepak Kumar

  • Jason Roszak By

The world of systems management is notoriously siloed, complex and expensive. Windows 10 represents a significant opportunity for organizations to shift from legacy approaches by undergoing digital transformation. As customers adopt a modern management approach for PCs and mobile devices, we’ve heard of major time savings for IT administrators, lower cost of management, hardened security of endpoints and a better experience for end users. At the same time, one of the biggest challenges IT still faces today is how to rapidly distribute Windows software to users around the globe.

Earlier this year, we took the step to address this issue through an industry-first partnership with Adaptiva to bring together the power of VMware AirWatch unified endpoint management (UEM) and Adaptiva’s breakthrough peer-to-peer (P2P) technology. Adaptiva is a global provider of IT systems management solutions, which uses intelligence, automation and bandwidth optimization techniques to distribute content at unparalleled speeds.

deepak-kumar-adaptivaI recently spoke with Adaptiva Founder and CTO Deepak Kumar to discuss these issues and how we’re working together to alleviate the strain. Here are some highlights from our conversation.

Q: Tell us about Adaptiva. What was your inspiration for building a product/company that solves some of the most pressing issues facing IT departments?

Deepak: At a high level, Adaptiva was founded with a vision to deliver cost-effective ways for enterprises to scale their IT initiatives by harnessing the computing power of the end-user devices they already own. This includes empowering VMware customers—for the first time—to perform a single-content download from the cloud and share that content among peers across the enterprise at massive scale, unparalleled speed and big cost savings.

Our inspiration was the recognition that, for many enterprises with large and complex IT infrastructures, the client-server architecture approach was falling apart. The larger and more distributed the systems, the more heavily they’re used, and the more fragile they become. This was not an engineering problem but a fundamental, philosophical problem that couldn’t be solved through traditional thinking. Rather than apply a Band-Aid, Adaptiva took a radically innovative approach.

We believed that if we could combine that computing power of endpoint devices with intelligent software, we could replace client-server architectures with peer-to-peer architectures. This would create an extremely robust, more reliable and cost-effective endpoint management and software distribution system, which could scale much faster, without the need for thousands of servers. The only missing piece was intelligence, and that’s the beauty of what we created.

Q: What are some of these challenges that you saw IT departments running into in managing PCs using existing client management solutions?

Deepak: There were three primary challenges:

  1. Managing the Management System: What few people realize is that managing the endpoint management system has become a massive undertaking, which is somewhat ironic. Companies need their systems to be continuously available during business hours, and this makes it harder for IT to maintain them. Systems management now comes with a high human cost, requiring fixes at odd times, which increases the complexity and fragility of the system. There’s a real need for a solution that understands what a system needs and that can take care of it safely during business hours without negatively impacting the end user, the network or the business.
  2. Hard Costs: People have constantly been trying to fix systems management and software distribution problems by placing servers everywhere. This results in a cost-heavy infrastructure that requires extensive manpower and budget to manage and maintain. We’re talking about the hardware expense (the cost of the servers), the expensive staffing and support to maintain those servers and the need to purchase a lot of bandwidth and storage. Peer-to-peer technology eliminates all of these costs.
  3. Bandwidth: When making necessary fixes, systems and IT managers have been stymied by not knowing what bandwidth was available or how to use it to distribute software effectively. Often, they are forced to set a throttling limit, which is an antiquated process that slows down software delivery and is riddled with inefficiency.

Q: How is peer-to-peer distribution technology, like that from Adaptiva, changing the way enterprises distribute software?

Deepak: We seized the opportunity to tackle these challenges by offering an intelligent, self-managing, peer-to-peer solution that eliminates infrastructure and dynamically adapts to network conditions in real time.

At the most basic level, customers no longer need client-server infrastructure. With P2P, it’s faster, easier and far less expensive. The system only requires a single server to distribute software across an enterprise. Our proprietary solution also has the intelligence to find storage and bandwidth without an IT system administrator having to look for it, reconfigure it or purchase more unnecessarily. The solution is completely self-managing, and software can be deployed instantly. This ensures we always maximize the speed of software delivery without ever impacting other network traffic.

We work with hundreds of large Fortune 1000 enterprises around the world to speed their software distributions using our secure peer-to-peer approach to sharing and distributing content. Our customers love that they are only downloading content once and that the entire enterprise-wide distribution is rapidly completed. For example, customers can distribute a piece of software, like Visual Studio, Adobe Photoshop or even Windows 10, across thousands of endpoints in hours vs. days or weeks, and it’s completely automated.

Q: How are Adaptiva and VMware collaborating, and what’s the value for customers?

Deepak: The pace of technology updates is faster than ever before, requiring IT professionals to rise to meet the demands for rapidly distributing software at massive scales.  As such, Adaptiva and VMware are partnering for a first-of-its-kind solution where enterprises can combine the power of VMware Workspace ONE, powered by AirWatch UEM technology, with Adaptiva’s peer distribution capabilities to elegantly pull software from the cloud once and share it peer-to-peer across the entire enterprise without negatively affecting the network.

We’re combining the world’s leading enterprise mobility solution, AirWatch, with the world’s best peer-to-peer system, Adaptiva, in a very thoughtful way. We’re taking the time and effort to develop a seamless integration so that the products communicate naturally and efficiently with each other and act in unison. Enterprises who want to reduce their infrastructure and bandwidth usage costs for software distribution and protect their network from impacts will simply enable “peer distribution” from within the AirWatch console and let our peer-to-peer technology automatically take care of the rest.

It’s also important to note that we’re developing this integration at the business level, as well as the engineering level. When you select the product as part of your AirWatch purchase, you will use it through the AirWatch console, and you’ll be supported by AirWatch. It will make for a great experience from start to finish. It’s a simple, single download that delivers a cost-effective and network-resilient method of distributing software. AirWatch and Adaptiva are the first ones to bring this to market.

I hope the conversation provided valuable insights on how unified endpoint management and peer-to-peer software distribution can accelerate your move to a modern and significantly better management model for Windows 10. I also understand that you may have other questions on the partnership and how the two products are coming together. Over the next several weeks there will be many ways for our customers to learn more about how VMware and Adaptiva are working together.

Next week at VMworld, we incorporated more information on the integration into the following sessions:

Make these sessions a part of your VMworld 2017 itinerary!

EUC at VMworld

Jason Roszak

Jason Roszak

Jason Roszak is the lead product manager responsible for building out VMware AirWatch management capabilities for Windows 10.

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