Over the last few months we've been delivering evidence to demonstrate the value of App-V, one of the six components delivered through MDOP.  You've heard us discuss App-V in the context of our Desktop Virtualization strategy where we break down the layers so that virtualization itself is more consumable for the novice and the expert.  When we talk about Microsoft's view on Desktop Virtualization we look at the following:

  • User State Virtualization - this is all about maintaining the users settings and data and making it available where ever they go.  This is commonly used in conjunction with other components in the Desktop Virtualization stack.  Today this approach is achieved through folder redirection and roaming profiles.
  • Application Virtualization - this is all about the applications.  We focus on decoupling the app from the OS to make it easier to create, test, deliver and manage.  By creating this separation we can isolate the applications to avoid conflicts and also move to a model where applications are associated with users instead of being tightly coupled to the specific device.  Today, this is instrumented via Microsoft's App-V or RemoteApp.
  • OS Virtualization - this is all about addressing virtualizing the OS.  In some cases you might do this to reduce the number of physical systems in you environment, handle legacy application compatibility, or centralize your desktop due security requirements.  Today we talk about MED-V, VDI and Remote Desktops in this category with the potential emergence of Client Hypervisors.

Overarching to these layers is Microsoft's strength in management.  Our System Center family of products enables us to manage from desktop to the datacenter including but not limited to applications, devices - phones, servers, client systems, licenses, and inventory.  A key differentiator is that System Center manages both physical and virtual assets using the same infrastructure.

This gives you a quick view into our Desktop Virtualization approach and where App-V fits into the bigger picture, now let's get back to App-V specifically and the value it provides.  Apps that are virtualized, in most cases, can be used across multiple target mediums.  For example, you can use your virtual applications on rich clients or virtual machines, in your Terminal Services environments, or in VDI.  So your investment here with App-V reaps huge benefits.  Just a short time ago we published the App-V TCO study where we demonstrated that on average, customers can realize a savings of $82 p/pc p/yr, pretty significant when you start to multiply that across thousands of machines. 

We're also hearing that customers are shifting their approach to delivering applications on the desktop.  For example, take a look at BMW's approach.  CIO Magazine recently wrote an article that highlight's how BMW is using App-V in conjunction with their Windows 7 rollout.  They have ~80,000 pcs across 24 production sites in 13 countries with 250 global branch locations, over a 1000 applications to deploy, with an average cycle time of 4 week-long packaging & compatibility testing per application.  BMW's choice for deployment, App-V NOT VMware's ThinApp.  Why???  

BMW chose App-V because it is part of the MDOP suite and integrates smoothly with System Center Configuration Manager, Microsoft's software suite for managing large groups of Windows-based computers

"We found App-V streaming to be better than the comparable [VMware] ThinApp capability," says Dr. Martin Rudolph, Product Manager, Office Applications, BMW Group. "Packaging, testing, and delivering applications is so much faster, and by enabling zero-touch deployment, App-V helps us realize significant monetary savings."

Their approach, all new computers have the App-V client installed, including machines that are being upgraded to Windows 7. All applications — both virtual and physical — are available to BMW employees through an internal Web portal.  Virtualization will now be the main packaging and delivery method for all applications requested by BMW employees. 

In the end, Microsoft's App-V has helped BMW reduce application deployment time by 50 percent and compatibility testing by 90 percent — from six days to less than a day. By December 2010, more than 400 BMW applications will be virtualized, saving $200,000 that the auto maker spent each year on manual installations.  

That is a significant shift in strategy from the traditional approach and we are seeing this with more and more customers.  You can find some more examples of real world value at our case study site where there are over 100 cases of businesses using App-V in production NOW.

You love what you're hearing but still want more proof?  Forrester applies their TEI Model to App-V to see how impactful this technology really is. 

Well, you can see that we work closely with our customers to bring their stories to market so that others can realize the benefits that Microsoft technologies deliver.  But sometimes you want to hear it from someone other than us.  So we asked Forrester to apply their Total Economic Impact (TEI) model to App-V and see what shook out.  TEI goes beyond just TCO and Forrester will explain the differences.  Now, I should mention that this is unfiltered and unbiased discussions between Forrester and a number of App-V customers.  We weren't on these calls, this was Forrester and the customer, direct, 1:1.

Ben Gray, Sr. Analyst and Jeff North, Principal Consultant at Forrester Research will share their findings via Live Webinar on June29 @ 9am PST.  In addition, they will walk through their TEI methodology and tool that you can use to determine the value App-V can provide for your business.

Registration for the event is now available.

What are you waiting for?  Check out App-V and realize the same great benefits as others!

Karri Alexion-Tiernan
Director of Product Management
Microsoft Desktop Virtualization