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Reducing Desktop Costs Part 3 Application Virtualization – Tech Focus September 2009 

Posted By:  Alan Le Marquand 
Publish Date: 9/22/2009


The question posed in the first part of this series was “Is the cost of ownership of your Microsoft client systems rising?" Are you looking for ways to reduce the costs associated with deploying Windows and managing it thereafter? “

There are two solutions available to help combat these costs. The first post covered deploying an actual client and the issues that need to be addressed there, the second post  cover Desktop virtualization options:-

       
             
    • Remote Desktop Services.
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    • MED-V
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This final post looks at the application virtualization and the how this technology will change your view on how to install software onto your clients. 

Centralized-Management-1[1]Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V), which is a core component of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack for Software Assurance, transforms applications into centrally managed virtual services that are never installed and don’t conflict with other applications

In the webcast Optimize Windows 7 with Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack, you will see how the technologies to assist in the virtualization of legacy applications work.

App-V basically works by “pulling” applications instead of the tradition paradigm of "software push" to install the entire applications. The first time end users request an application, the App-V client rapidly responds and "pulls" only the code necessary to start the program from a central Virtual Application Server—typically 20 to 40 percent of the total application. When the session terminates, the application and its user preferences are saved in a file-based cache location. Subsequent application launches are loaded from this local cache, resulting in faster launches with little impact on network bandwidth while ensuring that the user’s applications are also preserved, even in the case of unexpected computer shutdown.

The following two additional webcasts combined go into more details about the above description on how App-V works and how System Center can also assist with built in management of App-V.

How does App-V changes the game when it comes to software distribution? First there is the deployment model. Packages are created using a wizard, the packages are loaded onto a central server and the application is ready for use. Using this you also have much more granular control on who can install an application. Using the security model you simply add the application to the user profile or security group in Active Directory and that user is now authorized to install and run the application. Using this packaging process to get an application ready could reduce IT Department labor by 81%, plus the reduction in support calls for application deployment could be 89%.  

The case for using App-V as the method of choice for deploying applications in an organization is compelling, the latest Cost Reduction Study covers the potential savings of this solution in greater depth, with some very interesting case studies.

So what have we covered in this series? 

       
  • The first thing is that the range of options and tools available to provide users with the latest tools to do their job, whether that is Windows 7 on their PC or Office 2007 as their productivity suite, is wide and varied.
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  • Centralized Management options offer the best form of cost saving, whether that be by providing a desktop through Remote Desktop Services or Applications via App-V.
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  • Application Virtualization (App-V) is going to change the way you think about and deploy applications to users.

Deploying the latest desktops to users and cost savings are not mutually exclusive. However, cost savings are not achieved with the click of button. The best solutions are a combination of technologies well planned. For example, Windows 7 on the desktop with applications delivered by App-V, these are the two most effective technologies, but you do have to plan your implementation. When you do the research and planning up front you can easily prove the cost effectiveness of IT Solutions.

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