This topic is something that has been coming up more often in conversations with customers when talking about architecture of a modern EUC environment. Enterprises are looking for better ways to manage computers that their users rely on for their work each day. A big portion is application functions such as installing, updating and controlling access. A common request is I don’t want multiple ways to do this type of work, one approach is the desire. To that I say
“No one application delivery strategy to rule them all”
I understand the desire to have one master way to package and deliver applications, especially for large clients. There are plenty of options for doing this. I think that depending on which method you choose it might be ideal for the physical world but break many of the benefits in a virtual world or vice versa. A customer that might have 100,000 users, but only intends on virtualizing 20,000 users. They will be left with two very large environments to manage.
The physical computer environment is very static, customers tend to push applications to computers. This push typically does not need to closely follow the provisioning of the PC. There can be a bit of a delay for the apps to install. Customers are exploring other options such as RDS based options and application virtualization such as AppV, ThinApp and others to help with these issues.
In a virtual desktop environment desktops are provisioned quickly and applications need to be present and ready at the time of user login. There typically is not time in most environments to wait for the classic application push approach, because the desktop may be disposable and would need a push every day or more. Users will also not be willing to wait for the apps to appear after login. Vendors like VMware and Citrix have built multiple options for delivering applications at the point of desktop creation or user login.
The problem breaks down to if you move your legacy physical strategy into the virtual world you will break or loose some of the features and values that virtual desktops delivers. If you want to adopt the tools from VMware or Citrix you will then have to license this application technology for all of the physical devices and that can be very expensive.
This is why I think that people need to be comfortable with having a two strategies. One to modernize their physical PC environment and one for the virtual desktop environment and seek to offer the best and most complete offering in each space. This may or may not require you to package apps twice, but will result in you being able to provide the best possible solution.
About Brian Suhr
Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design