Software Virtualization

Transform IT and Promote Innovation While Managing IT Costs Effectively

Prepare Applications for Virtualization with Minimal Expense and Substantial Time Savings

Government CIOs view software virtualization as a way to lower IT computing and energy costs while increasing their ability to transform and modernize their IT infrastructure. Many are proceeding with these strategies even though the cost of retooling applications has not been fully assessed. How can you efficiently and quickly make hundreds—or thousands—of mission-critical agency applications ready for software virtualization platforms like Microsoft App-V, VMware ThinApp, Citrix XenApp, and others?

While software virtualization was initially a way to deal with application conflicts, its popularity grew because IT saw it as an alternative software deployment model. IT managers like software virtualization because application delivery now takes on a strategic role and offers a low-cost, highly efficient way to deploy software that users need without installing and maintaining every application on each client device. Both security and control win. IT developers like software virtualization because they no longer need to struggle with the challenges of writing code that doesn't conflict with previous installed applications.

Software Virtualization: Start With a Plan

Software virtualization begins with assessing current and future requirements. The underlying virtualization technologies are so different that each implementation can be quite unique. Understandably, you may be hesitant to launch yet another new project that will require more time and effort from limited staff. Advances in automated packaging technology, however, have made it possible to prepare applications for software virtualization with minimal expense and substantial time savings. That can accelerate a software virtualization project to the top of the strategic initiative list.

As you evaluate a software virtualization strategy and create your plan, consider the following key issues:

  • Leverage what you already have
    Most departments and agencies have a large number of legacy applications already converted to MSI that will need to be converted for software virtualization. You don't want to spend a lot of time redoing this.
  • Ensure reliable virtualized applications
    You don't want to risk that moving to software virtualization will break what already works. So while you need to minimize the time required to prepare, edit, and test virtual applications, you also need to maximize the success of deployments.
  • Know which applications to virtualize
    Knowing which applications make the best conversion candidates saves a lot of time. A pre-conversion assessment can help you make the right decision quickly. This insight can also be valuable in planning a 32-bit or 64-bit Windows 7 migration, since combining Windows 7 migrations with software virtualization projects can deliver an optimized desktop infrastructure.
  • Minimize learning curves
    Native or third party tools for creating virtual applications may be hard to use or limited in functionality. They may not be readily adopted or require additional unbudgeted training. Using a familiar software packaging tool speeds migration times.

Best Practices: Utilize Vendor-Neutral Solutions

If you are still undecided about your virtual platform, you can eliminate some of the above challenges with a software packaging tool that supports a range of software virtualization vendors. This leaves you free to select the software virtualization technology that makes sense for your requirements today without becoming locked into that vendor's product tomorrow.

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