With the launch of App-V 4.6 happening today, I was able to catch up with Karri Alexion-Tiernan, Director of Product Management for App-V for a quick Q&A.
Stephen: What problems can Microsoft application virtualization (App-V) solve for my business? Karri: App-V reduces the IT costs of packaging, deploying, testing, updating, and servicing installed software. It can isolate applications from the operating system to prevent application conflicts (for example allowing you to be able to run to different versions of the same software on the same machine without overwriting key settings and preferences. It can stream applications on demand over the Internet or via the corporate network to desktops, terminal servers, and laptops.
In addition, App-V automates and simplifies the application management lifecycle by significantly reducing regression and application interoperability testing. It reduces the end-user impacts. No reboots required; no waiting for applications to install, and no need to uninstall when retiring applications and finally it enables controlled application use when users are completely disconnected.
As you move to Window 7 you can create a simple base image that contains only the OS in a pristine state and deliver only the applications needed by the user on demand. Take a look at App-V MVP Daniel Nerenberg’s blog for real world implementation. We’ve done the heavy lifting for IT Pros and have seamlessly integrated App-V and System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) already.
Stephen: Why should I consider App-V now? Karri: App-V will help save money immediately by freeing up administration time from IT and enhance end-user productivity. It is an out-of-the-box platform to enable you to migrate your applications and deploy Windows 7 faster and easier. We offer much tighter integration with more products (Office 2010, SCCM, 3rd Party Distribution Systems) and we support both Windows 32/64-bit applications and x86/x64 platforms on desktops as well as Terminal Servers. App-V client deployment is easy and plugs into your existing deployment workflows.
Karri: IT organizations will be able to reduce IT costs associated with deployment, testing, application updates. App-V reduces the time spent on application and regression testing because conflicts no longer occur. Once tested, App-V delivers virtual applications faster by using streaming and eliminating application installation.
App-V delivers the virtual application on demand to the user when they need it, not when IT schedules or pushes it overnight. That paired with the ability to consolidate Terminal Services infrastructure and use servers more efficiently as well as being able to reuse existing SCCM infrastructure to deliver and manage physical and virtual applications really helps companies continue to realize ROI on their existing infrastructure investments and expedite deployment.
Karri: Users would enjoy productivity benefits as applications follow them and not a specific device. Some key benefits include:
You can see the step by step videos of the product features here.
Karri: Most of the applications (32 or 64 bit) can be virtualized using App-V. Virtualizing an application is a simple three step process that does not require source code changes to your applications.
The key to application virtualization is sequencing: a step-by-step process going through the installation and post-configuration procedures for the application. Documenting the sequencing process step-by-step is referred to as a “recipe” - a standardized template that you can hand someone else in your organization and have them recreate the same package.
For information about using the App-V Sequencer with down-level versions of App-V check out the App-V Blog and the App-V Sequencing Guide. A video demonstrating the sequencing process can be found here. Microsoft has published a recipe to virtualize Office 2010 and can be downloaded from http://officeitpro.com.
Karri: Microsoft Application Virtualization combines with five other tools to make the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack for Software Assurance, which delivers dynamic desktop solutions. App-V is also available via Microsoft Application Virtualization for Terminal Services, MSDN, and TechNet.
Karri: App-V’s native streaming, no installation and isolation capabilities deliver Office 2010 faster than a traditional install and with less user productivity impact. Our customers will now be able to run multiple versions side by side and ease the learning curve associated with advancements like the ribbon user interface while providing IT Pros more time to migrate LOB applications dependent on older Office versions.
Cross product collaboration with the Office team allows us to deliver seamless integration and new advancements in virtual Office 2010 and the Office family of products not previously available, examples include:
If there was any doubt about virtualizing Office with App-V in the past, you can feel confident that virtualized Office 2010 will deliver a seamless experience for your users.
“App-V 4.6 provides Office customers with a robust set of features to tackle core challenges including application upgrade, application coexistence, and user readiness. It’s an exciting, powerful new way for IT to deliver Office 2010 quickly without impacting user productivity.” --Takeshi Numoto, CVP Microsoft Office
Take a look at App-V MVP Ment Van Der Plas’ blog where he shows how to virtualize Office 2010 Beta with App-V 4.6.
Karri: Over 80 customers have tried and deployed App-V 4.6 with great success and business benefits. You can learn about some of them here. A few examples are below.
“By cutting the time that consultants spend on application packaging and deployment, we’re freeing them to focus on providing quality service to their customers.” - Doug Miller, Practice Architect, CDW
“We want our clinicians to be doing what they’re supposed to do: caring for patients. With App-V, we’re reducing time required for computer work so that clinicians can focus on the business of healthcare.” - Keith Lee, End User Support Manager Care New England, United States
Karri: The App-V Tech Center contains videos, whitepapers; test-drive labs, community resources at document library. We also have the following specialized resources:
Real World Expert Blogs: