In an ideal world, business applications would run seamlessly, in perfectly coordinated unison. However, with technological advances, business systems have become more and more complex. While this added complexity has been beneficial, it has also broken fragile bonds. As a result, software deployments have become more expensive, time consuming, and support-intensive.
App virtualization may be an efficient alternative. If you are an administrator considering app virtualization, you should know the five things listed below.
1. Application lifecycle management is simple with app virtualization.
Application lifecycle management (ALM) is a resource-intensive undertaking. Preparing a simple application for deployment can take upwards of ten days. When a company has 300 applications to manage, this amount of time grows exponentially. App virtualization can lessen the workload by capturing the “running state” of an application, not its installation like the traditional method.
2. With the difficulties that accompany traditional methods of app management, app virtualization can really benefit admins.
When you work with traditional applications, the app is installed on the operating system. The operating system is updated with the application’s components, changing both the file and registry levels. The application may include components normally found within the operating system such as system-level dynamic link libraries (DLLs). These components may not sync with other applications, which creates conflict.
3. Despite the app management tools in Windows Vista, app virtualization is still the best bet for systems administrators.
Application management poses vexing problems when administrators work with distributed desktops. When you install applications on a computer, they are embedded into the operating system, which may cause problems when other apps are installed on the same computer. After learning what was needed to program for Windows NT and later for Windows 2000 and XP, Microsoft created another roadblock with Windows Vista. Vista introduced a new User Account Control (UAC), which is an environment where every user – even administrators – runs all processes with a standard user token, and access rights elevation requires explicit permissions. Yes, you may turn off UAC through a few Local Security Policy (LSP) changes. However, in a world of viruses and malware, it’s beneficial to know when processes require elevation.
4. Admins can ease the burden of app management by using Remote App with Windows Server 2008.
One of the major hurdles facing administrators is application distribution – the deployment of applications to all of the endpoints that need to be managed. Terminal Services — or the Remote Desktop, provides one of the best models for Windows server administration. Traditionally, the entire server desktop needed to be shared for users to be able to access a shared application; hence the Remote Desktop. This is no longer the case with the release of Windows Server 2008. Equipped with a powerful new Terminal Services model called RemoteApp, users can share an application through Terminal Services without working through the Remote Desktop.
5. Admins can use app virtualization with streaming to streamline the app management model and simplify support.
Streaming architectures are simpler than traditional electronic software distribution systems, and they can reduce network bandwidth. Only about 50 to 100 MB of data is being sent with streaming; and only at the request of the user. Since data is streamed only on demand, users have complete control over the delivery system. Additionally, a streaming agent can monitor the usage of the program and manage licenses more effectively.
Application virtualization and streaming are game-changing assets for IT administrators. They redefine the application management model and greatly simplify productivity and application support.
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