One of the many challenges within the challenge of a basic application lifecycle centers on the delivery of applications to end users. The number and types of devices leveraged by end users is expanding daily and enterprises are now expected to essentially accept this change and improvise.
Tried and true delivery vehicles like MSI are starting to bend under the burden of this expanding demand. The primary bottleneck within the MSI platform that was once seen as a tremendous benefit has become its Achilles heel. The full re-install of each application for every deployment, for every user, has become part of the problem. The bandwidth required to fully deliver the packages to endpoints can be alleviated with caching infrastructure. However, once the package has been delivered to the endpoint, a full install has to complete before the application can be leveraged. I don’t want this to sound like a knock against the MSI based delivery mechanisms, but the inherent risks of this process grow exponentially as you add more desktops and devices accessing enterprise infrastructure.
Application Virtualization platforms have evolved to alleviate some of this burden, eliminating the need for a full install, within Microsoft App-V packages for example. Unfortunately, enterprises are discovering that not all applications are compatible with application virtualization solutions – primarily because of the proprietary virtual operating system within the virtual “Bubble.”
A new method for application delivery emerged a few years ago, Application Layering. Application Layering has the ability to alleviate a number of application lifecycle challenges. FlexApp Layering from Liquidware Labs, for example, does not isolate the corresponding applications within a proprietary virtual operating system but rather leverages a pair of file system filter drivers communicating between the virtual disk “container” and the host operating system. The corresponding FlexApp Layers have the look and feel of a native install, without the overhead and complexities of a native install. This can lead to a higher overall application migration success rates. FlexApp Layers can be delivered to both physical and virtual endpoints in the form of either a VHD or VMDK. FlexApp Layers can be attached during the standard logon process, and are available immediately without having to wait for an install. Leveraging new unique functionality, FlexApp Layers can even be provisioned and attached to a user’s endpoint without the need for a logon or logoff event. This “On demand” application delivery capability has the potential to be a game changer with respect to the ever changing device requirements faced by enterprises.
The key take away is that enterprises will require an efficient application strategy to account for the many challenges faced. FlexApp Layering from Liquidware Labs is poised to become a significant pillar within any application strategy for enterprises.