I have several inspirational quotes hanging in my office, one is from the 1997 “Think different” campaign; “Here’s to the crazy ones” especially the ending of the statement is what always keeps me going, so call me crazy and I will wear it with pride. Now the world of business is filled with these kinds of inspirational quotes like for instance Henry Ford’s “If You Always Do What You’ve Always Done, You’ll Always Get What You’ve Always Got” and most are from leaders that embraced change to achieve their goals. The IT industry has in the last decades perhaps seen the most of these “crazy ones”, people or companies that dared to think different.
So how does all of this relate to application layering you might ask?
Well, ever since the introduction of VDI we’ve seen the phrase “first day experience” or words like this referring to that happy feeling we got the first day we got our computer, and everything was nice and shiny, the honeymoon period as some might refer to it. I would just look back at the hype-cycle I talked about in my previous blog and apply this to this scenario. However, it’s not all “just a feeling” technically we do see a degradation over time of the performance of our system and that’s why a lot of IT specialists will re-install or (ever since Windows 10) reset their device since over time something called Windows rot has occurred. Most of the time we delay this since the tedious job of having to reinstall everything is holding us back. In my past I’ve worked with people that even extended the physical life cycle of their device because they were dreading having to re-install everything and accepted the degradation in performance (and perhaps productivity). In all honesty these people were often non-techies.
So, what if we would be able to have our cake and eat it to?
Some might argue that by silent installing apps a reset would require less effort from the user, which is true, but it still doesn’t solve the windows rot issue. Furthermore, what to do with those apps that will not do a silent install, unfortunately there are still apps which fall in that category and one way or another these tend to be LOB apps. Ok, let’s automate these apps by leveraging some scripting language. Yes, and while we do let’s add some nice UI on top of it to hide the fact we are basically just delaying the inevitable.
We need to start thinking differently. You might argue that’s what application virtualization tried to do, think different, and your right unfortunately this did not solve most of our issues. And that’s where application layering is so much different. Application layering goes beyond applications and offers the possibility to layer plugins, certain drivers and many more apps. Application layering solutions have addressed a lot of the challenges we saw with application virtualization and traditional software deployment. Best of all it has become extremely cost effective in the process. If yours doesn’t please shoot me an email and I will stir you in the right direction.
To all the naysayers all I can say is Think different