Application Virtualization can benefit the entire enterprise as follows:
- Assists IT departments by reducing or eliminating the labor-intensive tasks involved with application lifecycle management.
- Enables the Business to operate more flexibly and efficiently.
- Reduces software, hardware, and support costs
Application Virtualization is an advanced technology that contains or “abstracts” applications from the underlying operating system. It is both a means of delivering applications, and a method of managing them at the desktop. Application Virtualization shows its labor-reducing and cost-saving benefits for applications on desktops, mobile computers and those originating from terminal services.
In the Microsoft stack, application virtualization is offered to customer as a part of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP). MDOP enables customers to better control the desktop, accelerate and simplify desktop deployments and management, create a dynamic infrastructure by turning software into centrally managed services and all while reducing the TCO.
MDOP is a suite of the following five products sold to Software Assurance customers:
- Microsoft SoftGrid Application Virtualization
- Advanced Group Policy Management
- Asset Inventory Service
- Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset
- Desktop Error Monitoring
BENEFITS OF APPLICATION VIRTUALIZATION FOR AN ENTERPRIZE
For information Technology:
- Cleaner, more manageable client PCs. Application Virtualization reduces support costs by requiring fewer desk side technician visits to deliver or troubleshoot applications. Instead, applications are delivered instantly from a central location and are available on-demand. Because applications delivered by this method are “decoupled” from the underlying operating system, base images can be kept “clean”, and machine configurations can be more uniform, meaning fewer images to maintain.
- Elimination of application conflicts and regression testing. Virtualized applications are not installed on the client computer and run in their own isolated environment. Conflicts between applications are avoided and expensive regression testing of new or upgraded applications is eliminated.
- Server optimization and reduced costs in terminal server silos. With Application Virtualization’s unique ability to isolate applications from each other, creating terminal server farms for remote delivery of applications becomes less expensive; fewer servers are needed to support a given set of applications, and the servers that are used, are optimally utilized.
- In-place, active upgrading. For applications whose lifecycles are shorter or that require frequent updates, Application Virtualization provides a stable and instant method to upgrade applications, without desk side visits, or long and sometimes unreliable distribution cycles inherent in traditional software distribution methods. Application Virtualization enables administrators to upgrade an application centrally, and never worry about delivery to users. Users simply launch the application and the new version is delivered automatically.
- Centralized, policy-based management. Application Virtualization gathers all of its management into a centralized console, where administrators can provision, de-provision and upgrade applications using a single interface. Visits to client PCs for software management are effectively eliminated, thereby reducing these labor-intensive tasks, and allowing technicians to focus their energies on larger initiatives.
For the Business:
- True roaming capabilities. Application Virtualization increases user productivity and flexibility by allowing applications to become “user-centric”, rather than “machine –centric”, thereby enabling free-seating strategies in ways not possible before. A user can literally visit any machine in the organization and have their unique applications available. Users can perform their work
- Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery enabler. Since applications are never installed on specific hardware, new machines or standby machines in DR locations can be quickly configured to support users from other locations. In addition, applications are packaged into transportable and easily backed-up flat files, which can be replicated across the organization. In an emergency, virtualized application servers can be quickly configured, and critical users can be back at work in a very short time. Application Virtualization can help reduce downtime from days or weeks to hours or minutes in most cases, resulting in higher overall productivity and lower cost than with other Business Continuity scenarios.
- Tighter control of assets. Software is typically one of the most expensive and hardest-to-track assets in an organization. Application Virtualization allows for more discrete monitoring of application usage and can even enforce licensing, meaning that enterprises can make more efficient use of current licenses, buy fewer new licenses, and provide more accurate reporting at licensing true-ups.