Virtualization Upstart AppSense Unveils R&D Lab, Security App

AppSense, a virtualization vendor that is riding high on the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend, has decided that the innovation taking place in its R&D labs is too interesting not to share with the public.

Earlier this week, AppSense unveiled DataLocker, an application that encrypts and decrypts local files on a PC or mobile device before synching them to cloud storage services such as Dropbox. Adding extra security to sensitive data is especially important for companies that allow their employees to use these services but are nervously contemplating the implications of doing so.

DataLocker is the first product from AppSense Labs, the New York City-based vendor's research arm, which made its public debut this week. Pete Rawlinson, chief marketing officer at AppSense, said DataLocker, and other AppSense Labs products still under development, aims to solve IT challenges associated with letting employees choose their own device for use in workplace settings.

This quarter and next, AppSense Labs will release "quite a stream" of apps aimed at consumers and enterprises, Rawlinson said in an interview. "We have so many interesting things coming out that we felt we needed to make this official," he said.

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Datalocker works with Windows PCs and Macs by encrypting files in the local file system before synching them to the cloud. There is also an iOS version of DataLocker for iPhone and iPad, but since iOS lacks a local file system, AppSense has integrated Datalocker with Dropbox for the time being, though Rawlinson said AppSense is working on adding support for other cloud storage services.

Appsense specalizes in user virtualization technology, which tackles the IT challenge of preserving and managing an employee's personal workspace across a range of different devices and connection scenarios, whether the desktop is locally installed, virtualized, published, or streamed. It manages an individual's data, personal files and applications as a distinct layer that's separate from the hardware, operating system and application layers.

With AppSense Labs, the company is staking its claim as a pioneer in the consumerization movement, and Harry Labana, AppSense vice president and CTO, said in a Wednesday bog post that the R&D arm's initial focus will be on "blurring lines between personal and business computing."

"We see cloud, tablet, and mobile technologies rising in strategic importance, but no one has really figured out the formula for unlocking their full potential or integrating them into enterprise IT infrastructure in a cohesive way," Labana said in the blog post.

AppSense last year scored $70 million in venture capital funding from Goldman Sachs and launched its Affinity Partner Program.