Virtualization Technology News and Information
Virtualized Application Delivery with VMware ThinApp

Virtualizing servers using the VMware vSphere platform has become a common practice in datacenters across the world. Virtualized application delivery is the next logical step in this process and VMware's ThinApp is a robust solution that will allow administrators to do just that. As operating systems, hardware and software mature and change, these changes need to be addressed. Conventional operating systems and hardware refreshes are both costly and time consuming. Redeveloping and recertifying your apps for new operating systems every few years seems impractical if the organizations core objectives do not change. VMware's solution is to virtualize application delivery using the ThinApp suite. This allows applications to be delivered inside of a virtual sandbox that does not interfere with the operating system. What type of value can ThinApp provide to organizations?

An Agentless Delivery Process

Since there is no agent to install, ThinApp works on most modern computing architectures. ThinApp isolates your application from the rest of the operating system. Regardless if the host OS is 32 bit or 64 bit, ThinApp gives your legacy applications the ability to work properly. This design allows your application to operate without conflicts. Taking the local machine out of the equation means that you can properly lock down your operating system images using GPOs while still being able to deliver applications onto the desktop without a web interface.

When you use VMware ThinApp inside of a fully virtualized datacenter, administrators can expect to see an increase in application performance. If your environment dictates that users must be able to have an application on demand in remote locations, the users can load up applications built using ThinApp from a thumb drive and operate any application from the thumb drive, thus giving the user ultimate application portability.

Agility Across Platforms

ThinApp is able to enhance existing virtualization suites such as Citrix XenApp. VMware ThinApp gives Citrix architects a strategic advantage when managing large Citrix deployments. When administrators traditionally setup XenApp, the application itself must be fully installed onto each and every server in the Citrix farm. While Windows PowerShell commands exist to make XenApp deployments easier, the deployment would still operate under traditional circumstances. ThinApp allows you to deploy the applications you want instantly to the boxes you specify. Once complete, Citrix can be setup to reference those virtual instances and deliver the software using the Citrix Receiver as normal. VMware has created a document that details the process of using ThinApp and XenApp side by side.

The traditional process of deploying apps onto the desktops of your users expends server and network resources such as compute time, disk space and bandwidth. If you have your own hardware, this may not be a big deal. If this deployment uses public cloud services, you will want to do whatever you can to keep your costs low. With ThinApp, the virtual instances of your Windows applications can be installed on any Windows machine regardless of specifications, operating system version or underlying hardware.

About the Author

Eric Silver is a senior contributor for CloudWedge. In his spare time, Eric enjoys reading PC Magazine and exploring all things cloud.
Published Friday, April 04, 2014 7:06 AM by David Marshall
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