As the industry moves from the traditional PC to user-centric computing, desktop virtualization and cloud technologies are growing in popularity, based on the benefits of independently managing applications, user environment and operating system layers. Separating the layers utilizing desktop virtualization technologies enables organizations to transition towards user-centric computing, enabling scenarios for users to work from anywhere and on any device. This transition requires organizations to evaluate and often change their current process to separate the desktop into independent layers of management. This white paper focuses on transitioning applications into the formats required for user-centric and cloud computing models.
Since organizations have hundreds to thousands of applications, transitioning the application catalog into one enabled for user-centric computing and desktop virtualization technologies presents a large task. Application virtualization provides a solution, however the resources and time needed to convert applications into new formats prohibits many organizations. Application virtualization technologies capture applications into packages or resources for delivery to traditional desktops, VDI infrastructures, session and cloud-based solutions. However, each application virtualization technology has unique tools for creating packages, requiring deep application-level knowledge and the entire application catalog must be evaluated for application virtualization and packaged into these new formats. This requires that packaging staff learn additional tools and often perform parallel processes of traditional and virtual packaging. Since a typical catalog sees changes of 30 percent per year, this duplication of effort decreases productivity critical to maintaining an application catalog. Organizations need a more effective way to transition to application virtualization that decreases the timeline and costs.
AdminStudio ® Suite improves application lifecycle management with application virtualization, enabling organizations to remove blockers and transition to user-centric and cloud computing faster and with more consistent results. Application virtualization provides two features that improve application management across delivery systems. Virtualization enables packaged applications to run on a desktop, Citrix™ XenApp ® , VDI desktop, or in the cloud without installation, and isolates applications from each other, thus removing conflicts. The resulting benefits of application virtualization include, but are not limited to, elimination of regression testing, on-demand delivery, decreased support costs and enabling multiple versions of the same software to execute on the same system. These benefits translate into accelerated deployment times, reduction of support costs and server consolidation for session-based solutions like Remote Desktop Services or Citrix XenApp.
Key Steps to Automating Application Virtualization
Automation is crucial for application virtualization projects, enabling IT departments to convert their existing catalog into virtual packages in the shortest time with fewer costs. Automating the process of application virtualization is ongoing and does not end with the initial conversion. An organization that converts 2,000 applications into a virtualization format will see an average of 600 new or updated applications each year. Organizations currently struggle to complete application packaging due to the volume of new software and updates to existing software, even without the addition of IT projects and initiatives that require new package formats and delivery endpoints for testing. Today, packages have to work on traditional desktops, virtual desktops, and session-based solutions (Remote Desktop Services and Citrix) to support user access from any device
AdminStudio ® Virtualization Pack (part of AdminStudio Suite) leverages an organization’s current application packaging resources, processes and previous work, and automates application packaging using one tool, with one process, into the appropriate format (Microsoft ® App-V, VMware ® ThinApp™ , and Citrix ® XenApp™ ). The Virtualization Pack validates compatible applications, repackages non-standard installations with the built-in Automated Application Convertor into MSI and batch-converts applications into virtual application packages. In addition, AdminStudio tests suitability for server-based applications being converted into packages for Microsoft Server App-V.
The AdminStudio Virtualization Pack and Automated Application Convertor enable packaging departments to input applications from a variety of sources and create consistent and supportable packages performing the following tasks:
- Input sources
- Virtualization readiness check
- Repackaging non-MSI setups
- Conversion to virtual packages
The AdminStudio workflow and process allows packaging departments to reduce errors during packaging by minimizing repetitive tasks, reduce the efforts of conversion by validating applications for application virtualization readiness prior to performing conversion, and provides consistent packages for the deployment team. The following diagram provides a detailed view of the Virtualization Pack and Automated Application Convertor workflow.