Virtual Apps vs. Virtual Desktops

35 pts.
Tags:
Desktop virtualization
Desktop Virtualization Implementation
Hyper-V
Terminal Server
Thin clients
VDI
Virtual Apps
Windows Server 2008 R2
I work for small school district with about 600 PCs on our network. We have a 1GB backbone and 12 servers (7 of them VMs). I recently put in a large terminal server to utilize thin clients, but found restricts with software I could run on the server OS (Win 2008R2). In some research, I came across software from InstallFree that virtualizes applications. This software allows to application portability, compatibility, and control. However, I have concerns because everyone is talking VDI setups. I don't them my network can deliver full desktops all over the district. So virtualizing apps makes sense to me, but maybe I'm missing something. I look to the experts for a pros and cons on V Apps or V Desktops.

Thanks - John



Software/Hardware used:
InstallFree, Hyper-V, 2008R2, Win7, XP

Answer Wiki

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Virtual Applications is similar as Software virtualization. It helps to increase the hardware utilization, decrease capital and operating cost by sharing in number of VMs, high availability and Secure VM can use from anywhere in intranet. Not only that, it reduces the Costs of Application Management, i.e. cost effective deployment, updating, supporting and terminating applications. Installing an application on hundreds or thousands of computers is almost error less. One more useful fact is since virtual apps just have to be deleted, uninstalling them is usually not required. Application virtualization helps reduce the risks of application conflicts. Generally, Difficulty of troubleshooting applications, need to fully understand the virtualization process of applications to be able to trouble shoot any application problems.
For Virtual Desktops, simple process of provisioning of new desktops, helps to reduce downtime if the hardware-failures, cost effective deployment of new applications, and also there is an advantage of more secure access.

For almost same concept and good guide, please link here.

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  • KFaganJr
    I'm not an expert in this topic but I am working on a similar project. When you said you weren't sure if your network could deliver full desktops all over the district you are saying they will be deployed not just over the gig LAN but also over a WAN/VPN or PTP connection, correct? If this is not the case I don't think there is much worry for the network traffic. I would look into storage and system resources you will have available first. As of now, I am beginning to deploy Microsoft RemoteApp for applications that previously I would have used terminal services for prior to Server 2008. For the applications that conflict or will not run on TS I will be using VirtualApp though the number of apps and users is minimal compared to the RemoteApp users. I've found that even over a painfully slow Mobile Broadband solution remoteapp works fantastically and almost makes me happy to be a Microsoft guy. Going this route has been a quick setup that can be deployed so fast and staged which is important to any organization that doesn't have an unlimited budget. You won't have to put a huge amount of time into testing configurations and you won't be using all of your storage up with nonsense that end users build up. Look into the ability of remoteapp to use local drives, meaning it's as if the application is installed locally if you choose this setup. When a user working in word wants to save to My Docs, they can save to my docs or a jump drive without opening up the terminal server to attack.
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  • Juttej
    Thanks for the replies - they're helpful.
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  • Juttej
    I should have added - even in a 1Gb LAN/WAN delivery a full VDI would take sometime. We have PCs with 20+ different apps and if we move to Windows 7 the VM can't be too small. Right? Also, think of computer lab with 25-30 PCs all being logged onto at once the demand would create issues on decent, but older network. Virtual Apps give me flexibility in OS within the Windows realm. We're 90% XP SP3 with the remaining with Windows 7. Moving forward with full App Virtualization I could run either OS with no concern for app compatibility and essentially the machines would appear to run faster as the local OS would be less cluttered. I was asking my question out of concern for not seeing value in VDI setup for my district. Currently, in our imaging process I have 10+ images , so with VDI I'd have to have that many different virtual desktops created and still manage applications. With virtual apps I can forget about the OS and focus on the apps. Thanks Again,
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  • Pjb0222
    Some questions to consider: - Are you intending to deliver the virtual desktops locally or access them via thin clients? - If running a virtual desktop locally on systems are you going to check it out to the system for offline use? - For virtualized applications do you have a local storage point to distribute the files fom for remote locations? (A dedicated server may not be needed, as a desktop could be used for local file delivery.) For virtual apps, many can run without streaming tghe full application to the system. Alternatively, you can stage the virtual application file to a system in the background and run locally offline. Make sure to check if the application is virtualizable. All of these technologies have advantages and disadvantages. One item to consider is virtaulization always has a big up front cost. Running desktops (VDI) on a server is generally more expensive than using a local computer. The big advantages are in managing, configuration and security.
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  • Juttej
    [...] Virtual Apps vs. Virtual Desktops [...]
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  • Juttej
    The software I'm looking into runs an appliance that reads my active directory and allows me to control virtual applications via the user and/or groups already established in the directory. the virtual apps are stored on that machine (probably run it on a virtual server). the software allows for a local cache of virtual app, so user can run offline if need be. This also helps in the configuration as I can has single user assigned to all my apps log in and preload the apps, so when users login the app looks to the local cache rather than pulling over the network. This package also has piece that virtualizes software. There is a cost, but it is cheaper than an entire data center to store all the virtual desktops i would need. I'm not 100% on VDI configuration, but have some events coming up to learn more to make sure i'm on the right path. Thanks.
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  • Juttej
    [...] Virtual Apps vs. Virtual Desktops: Member Juttej is exploring options for a 600 PC network project. Rechil and KFaganJr shared some of their own experiences with the two options while Pjb0222 gave some questions to consider during planning. [...]
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