CTO’s views on news: App-V from the Cloud, Browser Dependent Apps, BriForum and More

Published: Wednesday, May 25 2016

In my version of ‘Last Week Tonight' (and if you haven’t watched it, it’s funny!), today I present to you a rundown of some key things happening in the application virtualization space – namely how to make business critical apps work anywhere.

Browser dependent apps are rife! (and I’m mainly looking at you, Public Sector!) 

While at a Microsoft Public Sector event last week, I met a number of government organizations, and they all had a similar problem… Many (if not most) had applications dependent on old or even retired browser technology (IE 8 was easily the most popular but there was a smattering of IE 6 too – we even discussed a 16 bit app! – more on THAT later).   

For the people who “own” these apps, they have a problem. Policy dictates that if they don’t need new features or support, then the app cannot be upgraded. One person in particular faced an issue that if they did upgrade, they’d have to make back-dated support payments. This organization faces a conundrum. Leave the app running on an unsupported (and potentially risky) environment or pay money for support for an app upgrade they don’t really need. Couple this with the fact that these applications, which are entrenched in the organization, can also be blocking platform migrations and upgrades and the headache gets even worse.  

I’m pleased to say that we had a solution. Instead of paying for back-dated support or continuing to run on risky environments, Cloudhouse enables apps to be securely and safely deploy anywhere, on any device with performance assured. Apps are containerized with all the vital information needed so that managers can extend the useful life of web apps that have browser or desktop dependencies.
  

Rendezvous with the Guru - Mighty Mangan 

A huge moment at Cloudhouse, the virtualization guru, Tim Mangan was in the office. One of our own software engineers, Priya Saxena said: 

It was a rare opportunity and honor for a software engineer to meet the legend, a guru and an inspiration for many virtualization aspirants like me and whose blogs, books and presentations are a reference to dig into details of virtualization and the hidden secrets of App-V.   

An interactive session, Mangan saw a demo of our tech-preview for App-V offering admins the ability to upload their App-V packages, unchanged, into our app management platform – on Microsoft Azure – and then deploy them out onto physical desktops, XenApp, XenDesktop, RDS or Azure RemoteApp infrastructure(s) using scripts or build tools like SCCM. Existing App-V customers won’t have wasted anytime in packaging because the Cloudhouse cloud based configuration management will enable them to configure packages on the fly; with different license keys, database connection strings or language packs based upon the target machine, user or customer.

Tim’s suggestions, experience, technical insight helped us ensure our App-V solution offered even more value to customers.


50% of BriForum Needs Help Moving Apps 

The desktop virtualization conference, BriForum, held last week in London further cemented our view of the world – people need help migrating apps to Azure, adopting Windows 10, enhancing their Citrix and App-V environments, or overcoming browser dependencies. Between 200 and 250 attended the conference, 50 of which attended my session on “App-V from the Cloud” (watch this space for the recording to be released) and over 100 people visited our booth.  

There is a distinct shift towards cloud be it use more of the cloud, or have end-users use more of the cloud. But not all have figured out where the cloud sits with end-user computing. We were asked time and time again how to take apps that have existed in the “traditional” world of on-premise hardware to a more diverse world of cloud.  

This ignited conversations related to delivery of Windows applications to non-Windows devices.  Once you’ve managed to get your apps on Azure, you can benefit from Microsoft Azure RemoteApp to deliver applications to any Windows, Linux or Apple device. This was a huge hit to people with users that need to access, download, and install apps locally on to a desktop or tablet - wherever they are in the world – via a cloud-based self-service portal.  Another hot discussion topic was around the “App-V journey” –  there’s heavy investment but some uncertainty about what to do next and how to take it to the next level. Suffice to say our “App-V from the Cloud” Tech Preview got a fair few submissions during and after the show. Register here if you are interested in participating.   

The other topic of particular interest was related to us recently being approved “Citrix Ready”.  Applications management becomes simpler when combining Cloudhouse with solutions like Citrix XenApp.   

Customers can easily re-use virtualized applications across departments or companies because they are configured on-the-fly to meet the specific needs of each customer or machine at the point of download. You can configure license keys per user, or per customer; deploy specific language packs, or office plugins; and configure an application to use different connection strings depending upon the customer’s SQL Server database.  All with a single application package.  This helps reduce hosting costs through server consolidation and decrease the time and effort required to manage applications in images and servers.  Furthermore, managing applications from the Cloud means that Citrix Service Providers are able to offer their customers a horizontal or vertically aligned catalogue of applications in portal using their own brand and report application usage and licensing.  

All in all a terrific, informative and interesting event!  We can’t wait till next year!  

GE Centricity Live!  

Our team certainly got around last week! We attended GE Centricity Live in Arizona to discuss the challenges associated with deploying software within a hospital or ambulatory setting (which is rife with incompatible operating systems and on-site installations). Cloudhouse further cemented its partnership with GE Healthcare to provide a simplified deployment and management of GE’s Centricity™ Business application. You can see how Cloudhouse helps GE Centricity here.   

It’s certainly been an exciting week, get in touch if you want to discuss how we can give your business critical apps a future.

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