At Endeavors Technologies, we’ve spent the last decade pioneering different kinds of application virtualization approaches. I thought it might be helpful to provide a brief overview of the different types of application virtualization out there.
The first type of app virtualization approach is isolation. As the name suggests, this type of virtualization isolates an application and the files and settings it needs to run, so that it does not interact with the underlying operating system, other applications and, in some cases, hardware.
The virtualized and isolated application can reside on the desktop in a “bubble,” or it can be streamed down from a server to a remote user on just about any device or to the local drive.
(A little history: Endeavors Technologies came out with the first product to adopt this approach to virtualization and maintains the earliest patents (1996-97) in this space. Endeavors’ original product was designed to stream and virtualize video games to an operating system in an isolated environment, preventing conflicts and system crashes. Today, nearly all streaming solutions use isolated virtualization as their sole approach.)
ADVANTAGES: This approach maintains the benefits outlined above where the desktop machines are tightly controlled and all the applications are deployed in this manner. Some organizations rely on custom or out-of-date applications which unfortunately have bugs, faulty programming, or interoperability issues. Isolating these applications can protect the rest of users’ systems, keeping productivity up by preventing system crashes.
DISADVANTAGES: There is no interaction between the applications with the operating system and other applications that reside locally. With each application being isolated from the OS, the application is unable to use many of the local resources of the machine or even interact with other applications. Modern applications are designed to interact (often as suites of software). For example, MS Visio with MS Office, Sage with Excel, Adobe Photoshop with Illustrator and InDesign. If this interaction is taken away by isolating the applications, productivity issues arise and end user adoption diminishes.
The next blog post will discuss the next type of application virtualization to come on the scene: integration.