5 Key Considerations to Successful Application Virtualization Implementation


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5 Key Considerations to Successful Application Virtualization Implementation

  1. 1. 5 Key Considerations toW H I T E PA P E R Successful Application Virtualization Implementation From David Davis, IT professional, blogger, speaker, video training author, vExpert, VCP, VCAP-DCA, CCIE, and author of the How-To Guy blog at Virtualization Review
  2. 2. 5 Key Considerat ions to Successful Applicat ion Virtualizat ion Implementat ion 5 Key Considerations to Successful Application Virtualization Implementation Most IT administrators have more tasks, projects and the same time, end users cannot test new applications, problems than they have time for in today’s constantly and applications from different software companies can changing computing environment. And, many of the conflict with one another. common solutions for IT problems are overly complex to • Significant time spent testing to prevent application implement or painful to maintain. Does that sound all conflicts - in order to prevent end user application too familiar? conflicts, an IT administrator can spend significant time testing new applications with existing applications to Application virtualization is an application deployment attempt to prevent application conflicts. solution that many organizations are considering or have already started implementing. This white paper will first • Delayed application deployments - due to the required make the business case for why you need application testing time, end users don’t get the applications they virtualization to begin with, then you’ll learn five key need in a timely manner. considerations to ensure that you successfully implement • Downtime due to applications being unavailable - application virtualization at your company. when application conflicts occur, the involved applications could be unavailable causing significant Making the Business Case loss in productivity for end users and, potentially, Why should application virtualization be on the list of large financial loss for the company. your critical IT projects for the year? • Time consuming application updates - new applications have to be installed causing downtime for end user Most companies today struggle with end user application desktops and loss of productivity for IT administrators deployment because they have a reactive, manual to monitor the queued installations across hundreds or approach to preparing applications for deployment and, thousands of desktops. because they use traditional application deployments which involve installing the application onto the OS. The biggest • Unproductive IT staff - IT staff spends unnecessary single problem with traditional methods is that they are time working on application deployment and, instead, difficult to manage. Installing applications, and keeping that time could be spent on IT projects that provide a applications up-to-date on a single desktop or laptop system positive return on investment for the company. can be a real challenge. If it’s a challenge on a single • Wasted licenses of applications - because application desktop, then it can be an overwhelming challenge across deployment is time consuming, IT staff typically choose hundreds or thousands of desktops in an enterprise. to just deploy all applications on all desktops resulting in wasted application licenses, and potential license The problems include: compliance issues. • Application conflicts - newer applications are in conflict with older applications, both cannot be installed at2
  3. 3. 5 Key Considerat ions to Successful Applicat ion Virtualizat ion Implementat ionTo state it simply, today’s traditional method of deploying format. For example, once virtualized, Microsoft App-Vapplications to end user desktops isn’t enough. It’s costing creates a SFT file, VMware ThinApp creates an EXE,you and your company time and money. The business case and Citrix XenApp creates a “profile”. If you have usedis that your company can no longer afford to be using application virtualization in the past, one of the challengesoutdated deployment methods and it’s time to consider you may have faced is getting your existing applicationapplication virtualization. packages converted into virtual applications that work as expected when run.Many of the challenges covered above are solved bytoday’s application virtualization technologies. Now, let’s Converting applications on your own can be time-cover 5 key considerations that you must take to implement consuming and have the potential of being unsuccessfulapplication virtualization. if you are taking a “trial and error” approach. Today, this process has gotten easier thanks to a greater number of#1 Which Application Virtualization Platform? applications being tested and documented (for example,The top tier application virtualization platforms are: the ThinApp Community Portal offers 66 application project files), and third-party Application Readiness solutions that • Microsoft® Application Virtualization (App-V) automatically convert to virtual formats to reduce the time • VMware® ThinApp™ to virtualize your existing MSI files and allow you to deploy • Citrix® XenApp™ packages to desktops with greater success.Each of these platforms has its own set of strengths and Factors to consider while converting your packages intoweaknesses; and a full-fledged comparison is beyond the virtual applications:scope of this white paper. While any of these application • Application Isolation - what operating system resources virtualization platforms should offer your company a will your application need once virtualized?successful application virtualization solution, you should • Application Linking - what other applications does your research and test each of these platforms to select the one application need to communicate with?that is best for your company’s needs. Free evaluationversions of these application virtualization solutions are • Application Deployment - who will be using the available from their respective Websites. application and what is their network connection? • Application Upgrade - once deployed, how will this While most companies try to standardize a single application be upgraded?application virtualization platform, there are times whenmultiple platforms are required. If this is the case, there Even with a seemingly successful conversion of yourare third-party Application Readiness solutions you can application to a virtual application, you’ll need to testvirtualize applications into any one format, or all three the virtual application on all operating systems in use atformats at the same time, so that you have the flexibility to your company. As part of this testing, you should take intochoose the most appropriate deployment type. consideration not only that the application works but that it can be used with other linked applications.#2 Which Applications Are in Use?Prior to virtualizing your applications, you need to Typically, the process of virtualizing an application is ainventory the applications used in your enterprise. As part two step process broken up into “setup capture” and “build”.of this, it is recommended that you determine not only In the “setup capture” phase, you install your applicationwhat those applications are, but who uses them, and what on a clean computer so that your application virtualizationlicenses have been purchased. Then, with a consolidated program can compare what changes were made duringlist of applications you can begin to determine which the installation. These changes are then stored in “projectapplications should be virtualized. files”. Those project files can be edited and tweaked after creation.Most applications available today can be virtualized butthe old adage ‘just because you can doesn’t mean you Then, the project files go through a “build” process whereshould’ holds true. For example, applications that use they are turned into a “package”. That package file is thehardware dongles, device drivers, low level system virtualized application that, once tested, will be deployeddrivers, or have multiple application dependencies can be in our next step. However, before you deploy it, you’llproblematic. There are third-party Application Readiness need to ensure that you spend time testing it, ensuringsolutions available which can test applications to ensure there are no conflicts due to shortcuts or file associations.they will work if converted to virtual applications. There are Application Readiness solutions for application virtualization available that enable you to automatically#3 How to Convert? convert to virtual formats, test, validate and edit virtualA required part of any application virtualization solution application packages.is that you convert your existing applications into a virtual 3
  4. 4. 5 Key Considerat ions to Successful Applicat ion Virtualizat ion Implementat ion #4 How to Deploy and Determine Success? Summary Depending on the application virtualization platform you Application virtualization platforms and third-party selected, the steps to deploy the virtualized applications Application Readiness solutions have matured to make will vary. To put it simply, the end users just need to “run” virtualizing applications easier than ever before. Traditional the virtualized applications – how you direct them to application deployment headaches, wasted time, and do that is up to you. lost revenue can be reduced with today’s applications virtualization solutions. Enterprises should incorporate In some cases, deploying virtualized applications is as the five key considerations for application virtualization easy as providing end users access to shortcuts that stream listed in this white paper to ensure a successful application the virtualized application over a network share. The virtualization deployment. Once implemented, enterprises virtualized applications could also be deployed using must measure the success, both in saved time and reduced traditional software deployment solutions already in use cost, of application virtualization. Additionally, enterprises in your company. Or, you could deploy the virtualized should ensure that there is a consistent and repeatable applications using Microsoft Windows Active process around application virtualization preparation Directory (AD) Group Policy. and management so that application virtualization can become a default method of deploying applications. If As with any project, you need to evaluate your success planned and executed properly, application virtualization (or lack of success) to determine if you’ve made the right can be one of the best solutions available to solve one of choices. With application virtualization, the major today’s toughest IT problems. success factors are: • Time saved in a typical application deployment. About the Author David Davis is an IT professional, blogger, speaker, video • Time saved by in testing new applications. training author, vExpert, VCP, VCAP-DCA, CCIE, and author • Time saved when updating applications. of the How-To Guy blog at Virtualization Review. • Cost saved by reducing the number of application About Flexera Software licenses required. Flexera Software is the leading provider of strategic • Application downtime prevented. solutions for Application Usage Management; solutions delivering continuous compliance, optimized usage and #5 How can I Implement Application Virtualization maximized value to application producers and their Faster? customers. Flexera Software is trusted by more than Once you have proven that application virtualization can 80,000 customers that depend on our comprehensive be a benefit to you, and to your company, you should solutions- from installation and licensing, entitlement consider how you can make the process of preparing and and compliance management to application readiness managing applications for virtualization more efficient. and enterprise license optimization - to strategically For application virtualization to be truly successful over manage application usage and achieve breakthrough time, you’ll want to minimize the manual effort to convert results realized only through the systems-level approach applications and have a standardized process in place we provide. For more information, please go to: for continued management of applications. The process of www.flexerasoftware.com virtualizing an application needs to be quick, repeatable and consistent. The best way to do this is to research and implement an Application Readiness solution for application virtualization that is designed to automate this process and to manage the applications, once virtualized. Third-party Application Readiness tools can help you to: • Quickly determine what applications are suitable for application virtualization. • Speed the conversion process. • Allow you to edit packaged applications with ease. • Test for conflicts between virtualized applications. In general, streamline the application virtualization process.4
  5. 5. Flexera Software LLC Schaumburg United Kingdom (Europe, Australia (Asia, For more office locations visit:1000 East Woodfield Road, (Global Headquarters): Middle East Headquarters): Pacific Headquarters): www.flexerasoftware.comSuite 400 +1 800-809-5659 +44 870-871-1111 +61 3-9895-2000Schaumburg, IL 60173 USA +44 870-873-6300Copyright © 2012 Flexera Software LLC. All other brand and product names mentioned herein may be the trademarks and registered trademarks of their respective owners. AS_WP_5Key_June12