App Delivery, Deployment and Management Renaissance

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Back in July 2006, Microsoft acquired Softricity, provider of an application virtualization and dynamic streaming system. Seen as a key technology for reducing the cost and complexity of IT management, application virtualization reduced the amount of application compatibility testing typically needed when deploying new applications, upgrades and patches. Softricity’s offer was that applications could be served centrally and delivered directly to the user’s desktop in an isolated, virtualized image, minimizing application-related alterations to the operating system and compatibility challenges with other applications.

Softricity had a good solution for delivering these apps and there was an ecosystem of companies offering similar services. When Microsoft purchased Softricity though, the industry mostly decided that problem was fixed. It turns out, it wasn’t.

After about five years, following the Softricity acquisition (re-launched by Microsoft as App-V), the industry started to realize there was still a problem. Complex business applications were challenging. They had interoperability, integrations, and plug-ins and compatibility issues. The result? Around 40% of apps simply couldn’t be virtualized. Solutions to this problem came from all sorts of perspectives. Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) was a cheaper and more secure way to deliver desktops for example. However, the reality is it’s never that simple. In fact, even with VDI, app delivery wasn’t solved.

Fast-forward 10 years to the App Renaissance 

Today, the reality is that application delivery, deployment and management is having a come-back. A renaissance if you will.? Industry experts, evangelists, bloggers, etc. have realized that delivering apps onto the latest Azure and supported Windows platforms is hard. Especially because the majority are legacy (we prefer the term “classic”) apps, which are fundamentally incompatible with 64bit operating systems. Since many apps cannot easily be replaced because they are critical to the daily operating systems for many large enterprise organizations and, frankly, because they are actually really rather good at what they do, this poses a significant challenge for corporate IT.

Consider that at last year’s 2015 BriForum desktop virtualization conference, there was almost nothing on the agenda about app delivery, the focus was very much on VDI and Citrix. The story was somewhat different at the BriForum London event in London, with a significant increase in app deployment and management sponsors.

Application compatibility management is the elephant in the room, the ‘boring dirty problem’ that still needs solving for many organizations. But, why is it a problem? Mostly because IT puts these apps in three buckets – first its cloud native, so it works. Next, with some tinkering, the app works. Finally, the worst – the ‘I don’t want to touch it because when I do, it breaks’ bucket. It can be a difficult problem to solve, but it’s a dirty problem that, if ignored, leaves an organisation open to security and operating risks.

App Delivery and Deployment Just Got Independent 

The great news for organisations focused on this issue is that there is a solution.

Cloudhouse makes it simple. Take any rich web or fat client apps, package them once and deploy onto Microsoft Azure RemoteApp or Windows 10 and Citrix XenApp. Then access from any device.

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    How much does Cloudhouse cost? Down Arrow

    Cloudhouse costs are split into two elements – the licensing required to deploy application compatibility packages, and the professional services needed to create the application compatibility packages.

    Licensing is offered on a per user basis for desktop applications and a per server basis for server applications. There are discounts available based on volumes.

    Professional Services costs are dependent on the nature and complexity of the application. We quote a cost for packaging once we have been able to see the application, or portfolio of applications.

    Contact us here with your requirements and we will provide you with a quote.

    Packaging and Maintaining Applications
    Who is responsible for packaging desktop and server applications? Down Arrow

    Cloudhouse provide the Professional Services to package applications.

    Requirements for Test and Development Down Arrow

    Cloudhouse recommend packaged applications are tested in the standard UAT environments used for natively installed applications, or applications packaged in App-V. The more representative the test environment is of the live environment, the greater the chance of finding any issues prior to go-live.

    Updating Applications Down Arrow

    Service packs and updates can be applied to the applications in a package using the Editor, refer to Updating, Editing and Maintaining Containers which describes how a new snapshot is created for the update, and how it is then applied to the package.

    Who manages Cloudhouse operationally within an account? Down Arrow

    Cloudhouse recommends the same team who manage the operations of native apps.

    Automation and Deployment Down Arrow

    Applications running in Application Compatibility Packages can be deployed, and managed with same tools, or scripts used to deploy natively installed applications e.g. SCCM, InTune, LAN Desk. Please refer to Supported 3rd Party Products and Versions for details.

    How do we know which of our departments/ teams should support the Package? Down Arrow

    The Cloudhouse Package does not include OS components, it only contains the packaged application plus Cloudhouse components. Cloudhouse recommend the same team that is responsible for supporting applications packaged with App-V, or delivered as natively installed applications, support Cloudhouse Application Compatibility Containers.

    Documentation for Service Desk & Service Management Down Arrow

    Full documentation is made available to Cloudhouse partners and customers as required.

    Do Cloudhouse provide training? Down Arrow

    Cloudhouse offers a full packaging service that can scale to meet any requirement. In the event, however, that a partner wishes to offer application compatibility packaging as part of a wider solution, Cloudhouse will work with that partner. Please contact us here for details.