It’s hard to believe I’ve used the word ‘plethora’ in the title of a post 3 times in the last 3 months!  I need to start broadening my vocabulary!

Anyway, I blogged about the RC release of App-V 4.6 way back in November, and have been using it in my demos since then, however as of yesterday, the final release of App-V 4.6 has launched, as part of the Microsoft Desktop Optimisation Pack (MDOP) 2010.

In terms of getting hold of the bits, from the MDOP blog:

  • App-V 4.6 can be accessed immediately via MDOP 2010. Existing MDOP customers can download MDOP 2010 at the Microsoft Volume Licensing Site (MVLS).  For evaluation, MDOP 2010 can be downloaded from MSDN and TechNet.
  • App-V 4.6 for RDS (formerly App-V for Terminal Services) can be downloaded immediately here.

So, what’s new in 4.6?

  • x64 Support: Both x64 Client and Server OS’s can now have App-V applications streamed to them.  This is particularly important for Remote Desktop Services environments, as this platform is x64 only.
  • Increased Language Support: Currently available in 13 languages, with an additional 11 coming in April.
  • Better Integration with SCCM R2 SP2: Deliver applications faster, without having to wait for policy refresh
  • Reduced SAN Storage in VDI: Shared Cache of App-V Applications means a reduced footprint of apps within the VDI environment
  • Office 2010 Optimisation: Deliver Office 2010 out to users faster than traditional methods, plus run versions side by side to ease learning and adoption
  • Integrate with Windows 7 Features: Integrates seamlessly with BranchCache, AppLocker and BitLockerToGo.

There’s even more info on the MDOP blog.

Enough about what’s new in App-V 4.6 – let’s move on to the resources that can help accelerate your knowledge around the technologies.  Brace yourself here, there’s a fair few on offer!

1) IPD Guide

The Infrastructure Planning and Design Guides help, as the name suggests, to plan the rollout of a particular technology, and the App-V IPD guide has just been updated to reflect the changes and improvements in 4.6.  It helps to streamline to planning process by:

  • Defining the technical decision flow through the planning process.
  • Listing the decisions to be made and the commonly available options and considerations.
    • Relating the decisions and options to the business in terms of cost, complexity, and other characteristics.
    • Framing decisions in terms of additional questions to the business to ensure a comprehensive alignment with the appropriate business landscape.

This specific IPD guide provides actionable guidance for planning your application virtualization infrastructure. With App-V, your organization can respond to the complex challenge of managing applications. This guide simplifies your App-V planning process; updates now include support for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, including such features as BranchCache; support for 64-bit clients; and server-sizing data. Strategically planning your infrastructure can help you avoid problems before they begin, allowing you to save time and money.

Grab the IPD Guide here.

2) Virtual Labs

<cheesy salesman voice> Don’t have the kit to try this out?  Don’t want to set it up for yourself?  Today is your lucky day! </cheesy salesman voice>

The Windows 7 Virtual Labs are designed to let you work through a script, in your own time, to configure a certain area of technology.  The App-V labs are listed with the Windows 7 labs as they all form part of this Optimised Desktop.  From an App-V perspective, there are a couple of full labs (90 minutes), and a couple of express labs, which are shorter in duration (30 mins).  Here are the full labs:

and the express labs:

They’re all free to use, and run in the browser, but you’ll need to enable some relevant browser plug-ins to make it work.  You can download the manual from the top right of the screen, and interact with the lab in the center, like so:

VirtualLab

The manual will guide you through what steps you should take, and explain the scenario in more detail.  Definitely worth a look if you’re interested in brushing up on a few new areas without having to sit down and configure everything.for…

3) Videos

If the labs aren’t your cup of tea, and you’d prefer to break out the popcorn and watch a video, this next set of resources could be right up your street, and with this number of videos on offer, it’s going to be a long street:

These are just the videos for App-V – if you head on over to this page, there are videos for the whole MDOP suite!

4) Documentation

OK, so it’s the least exciting, but equally useful!

That’s all for now, and there are some more bits in the works that we’ll reveal over coming weeks and months, so stay tuned, and enjoy the stuff above!