Symantec is not “officially” acknowledging this, although I can personally confirm it after using the Symantec-branded management console for about five seconds.
I like RTO’s product, and I’m sure that OEM’ing it to Symantec will work out well for both companies, so this is good news for both. Symantec gets a great product, and RTO gets a much larger market exposure.
RTO Virtual Profiles versus other profile management products
There are a lot of user profile / user environment / user personality management products on the market today. (Can we even make a complete list? How about triCerat Simplify Profiles, AppSense Environment Manager, RES PowerFuse, plus stuff from Scense, Immidio, Sepago, Citrix…)
While the specific techniques used by the various products differ, they all have the same basic goal, namely, to replace the antiquated Roaming Profile feature built-in to Windows with a more appropriate technology geared towards today’s use cases.
Broadly speaking, you could classify these profile products into two groups:
- Pure “Windows Profile” management products, and
- More broad “user environment” products.
The Windows Profile (note the capital “P” in “Profile”) are meant to more directly replace the ineffective roaming profile capability of Windows, while the user environment products start with that and then also try to capture other elements of the user environment, such as user data, applications, and application customizations not found within Windows roaming Profiles. (We’ve written about the differences between these two types of products in the past.)
There’s a trade-off between the two classes of products, with the Profile products being more straightforward to implement but not as powerful. (A good way to think about this is that most Profile management products, while not as powerful, can be “slipped in” to an environment with little-to-no effort, while the user environment management products, while more powerful, require “real” projects and efforts to get them implemented.)
I should be clear that one type of product is not necessarily “better” than the other—it’s really more about what’s important for each specific customer.
That said, RTO’s Virtual Profiles product squarely falls in the first category. It’s a Windows Profile Management product that replaces roaming profiles. You can install it in start using it in just a few minutes.
If you want to learn more about RTO’s Profile Virtualization product and how it can be used in VDI environments, RTO and VMware jointly produced a reference architecture white paper on the topic. (Registration required, but worth it.) Doug Brown also created a video podcast interview / demo with Kevin Goodman about the Virtual Profiles last year.