Simplify Application Management with VMware App Volumes

Get Real-Time Application Delivery, Increased Manageability, and a Seamless End-User Experience

Tony Dancona

Application management – provisioning, delivering, and updating end users’ apps – can be a challenge for many organizations. Whether you’re still managing physical desktops or you’ve made the switch to virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), the difficulties associated with application management are real. Application management is resource intensive for IT staff, it can significantly impact the end-user experience, and – quite honestly – the work never stops.

You’re tasked with creating different master images for HR, Finance, and every user group that needs a specific set of applications. And then you have to maintain those images forever. If you’ve got a dozen images, every time you patch or update, you’ve got a lot of work to do. There’s got to be a better way. Fortunately, the area of application management continues to evolve, and VMware’s App Volumes has made some significant leaps forward in terms of streamlining the end-user experience and increasing IT manageability.

We’ve come a long way since the old days of rolling out applications PC by PC. The arrival of virtualization simplified things greatly – but even with VDI, you’ve traditionally been limited to two different types of virtual desktops: persistent and non-persistent (also called floating desktops). The former offers great personalization, giving users the same desktop every time they log in and enabling them to add their own applications and customize as they please. The downside is that IT has to provision lots of desktops, and that takes time and resources. Floating desktops, on the other hand, provide a new desktop every time a user logs in and then wipe all data after the session is terminated. That’s great from an IT perspective, because it reduces the management burden and improves security, but the user experience suffers due to lack of personalization. What if you could combine the best of both worlds and get an application management solution that delivers an exceptional user experience without sacrificing manageability?

That’s where VMware App Volumes comes in. App Volumes dynamically delivers applications in real time. It’s called push-button application delivery, but I actually like to call it “application injection.” Here’s how it works: upon login, applications are delivered based on the user and user group. So users get a desktop with all the personalization they want, and they get an injection of all the applications that are appropriate for them. When a user from a different user group logs in, they might see a completely different application set. App Volumes enables IT to give an application stack to the user based on the applications that they need. You can manage not only IT sets of applications, but also the users that have rights to install applications. App Volume solves user installed apps problems by giving the user (if authorized) a writeable app stack to install their owns applications in. This solves a lot of problems with application management, allowing organizations to create a stateless desktop that combines the best of persistent and non-persistent solutions. When a user logs in, he gets his files, settings, IT apps, and his own apps in a new desktop.

Now, when a user calls into the help desk and says, “Hey, I need this application for a project I’m working on,” IT can inject that app in real time. In, literally, 3 to 4 seconds, the application pops up while the desktop is still running. It’s a pretty incredible technology, and it highlights just how rapidly the area of application management is maturing.

If you’ve been wondering about virtualization and what it can do for your organization, now’s a great time to get started. The experts at Connection can help you discover how the latest end-user computing technologies work in real-world environments. Whether you want to schedule an assessment, install a Proof of Concept Appliance (PoCA) in your facility, or see a demo in our Customer Briefing Center, we can give you all the information and guidance you need to make an informed end-user computing investment.