Monday, August 3, 2009

VM Hosted Apps

By:Rick Rohne

Well, it's about time I tell you... Citrix made a little announcement last week about VM hosted applications, a new feature that will be introduced in Q3 of 2009 as part of Feature Pack 2 for XENApp.



What is it?


VM Hosted Apps is just another way of hosting published applications (Just like XENApp) only running on a Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7 PC. The PC would most likely be virtualized and placed in a pool of virtual PC's.

You might ask why?

Well, those that have been working with Server based computing for the last um-teen years are probably snickering right now. The fact is, not all applications run well, are supported, (or run at all) in a multi-user environment. With VM hosted Apps, the application is served seamlessly from a dedicated virtual desktop where the processor and memory can still be shared at the hypervisor level, however the operating system is dedicated.

Other uses could be related to processor intensive applications that might run on a blade PC, or graphically intense apps that may require one graphics processing unit per user.You may even want some sort of backwards compatibility for a Windows XP application that is not supported on Windows 7.

Licensing?

What I've seen so far is that each user will have a one to one mapping to their VM hosted app, however, this will change shortly after the initial release to enable multiple published apps per user. Citrix plans on releasing the VM Hosted Apps with XENApp Enterprise or Platinum Feature Pack 2. You will also need a Microsoft VECD license to stay in compliance with hosting Microsoft virtual desktop Operating systems.

End User Experience?

So far, it looks like the hosted apps will have to run in their own farm. For those that are using Web Interface or PNAgent, well good for you because it will integrate into your existing farm seamlessly. As for Management, there will be an MMC plug in directly to the AMC. I'm sure Printing and Citrix Policies will come into play here, but at this time I've not seen anything yet.

Let it all out! Rejoice!

OK, maybe it's not that exciting... Well, yea it is! This is one step closer to Citrix's goal to be able to deliver "every" application to every user in any location. It's not a replacement to XENApp, but instead an enhancement to the delivery center...
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