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Deployment

App-V 5

In 2012 Microsoft released App-V 5, which is actually a complete new version of the App-V product. Although there were already some reviews published and the product is on the market for some time now I think it’s still valuable to write down my view on this new release.

 

Just like the previous version the product exists of three main parts: a server part, a client and the sequencer (for creating the packages). Let’s start the server part.

Read more: App-V 5

Semper Continuity Suite

Introduction

Techniques like VDI (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) are becoming popular because maintaining and managing the Fat Client is still time consuming in many organizations. However implementing VDI requires high levels of investment. When personalized desktops are a requirement the same challenges still exist and the performance does not equal that of a personal Fat Client. Even more importantly although several virtualization solutions are available the operating system is still usually traditionally installed and managed, even in SBC (Server Based Computing) or VDI environments. A failure within the operating system which cannot be solved, leads to a full reinstallation of the operating system. While there is a possibility that personal data is lost, it will always take at least one hour before the machine is up and running again.

Semper Software recognized these challenges and with the Semper Continuity Suite they can offer a highly available client in both traditional Fat Client and VDI environments, using self-repairing techniques. Within the product suite they can also offer a read-only image principle so that after a reboot the machine is automatically back in its default state. This is very useful for Pooled Desktop, shared kiosk, and SBC environments, so combined environments can be handled within one product.

Semper Continuity Suite technology provides IT professionals with the critical ability to efficiently and cost-effectively recover PC and server software from virtually any state back to a working state within minutes, without deleting any user data.  It will maintain your system's continuity with fast software deployment, Linux and Windows recovery, and multiple rollback points, providing availability in excess of 99.9% in enterprise PC environments.

In this review we will take a look at Semper Continuity Suite in all its aspects. 

Read more: Semper Continuity Suite

Immidio AppScriber

Introduction

One of the daily tasks of service desk employees and/or system administrators is assigning applications to end-users.  A fairly simple technical task that could be automated easily. However before assigning the application someone should approve the request of the end user first. To accomplish the approving process still much hard copy forms are used for such requests. Mainly because most workflow based software is too rogue, really expensive or suitable for only one deployment solution.

Immidio noticed such demands and the current gap between those demands and available products and started developing AppScriber. Immidio AppScriber allows users to select the applications they want to use via a web-based portal. Thanks to the Immidio AppScriber Workflow Engine, AppScriber allows users to activate, deactivate directly or request applications. These activities require no IT intervention and give users a sense of independence when selecting the applications they need, all while enabling your IT department to retain control.

AppScriber is platform independent, because it's based on assigning users to group memberships. A clever thought because (mostly) all solution use groups to assign applications. Immidio officially supports Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), Active Directory Group Policy Software Distribution, App-V, Citrix Published Applications, Windows 2008 R2 RemoteApps, but actually the software can be used for all kind of deployment- or virtualization products. You can go also go one step further for using the product for assigning rights to file shares and/or printers.

With the release of a new version (2.0) it's time to take a detailed view of this product.

Read more: Immidio AppScriber

App-V 4.5

Softricity was the pioneer with application virtualization. Microsoft did a great acquisition in January 2007 by buying this company.  After one and half year the new 4.5 version is the first version which is branded to Microsoft. The name SoftGrid is almost disappeared and replaced by App-V 4.5 (or Microsoft Application Virtualization, which was initially the new name for the product).

Besides the Microsoft rebranding this version also offers several new features. Summarized these are the most important new features are:

Read more: App-V 4.5

visonapp Server Management 2008

Products for automating installation of operating systems and applications have been on the market for years now. However these products have not been optimized for deploying Terminal Server environments, mostly because the crucial starting-point of a Terminal Server environment, called the chronologic installation order, was not supported. With the growth of Terminal Server environments, a few specialized installation products for Terminal Servers have recently been introduced, which support the chronologic installation order rule and enable an easy installation of the well known Citrix Presentation Server software. One of the pioneers in this product range was visionapp with their Platform Management Suite.

visionapp products provide central management to application delivery infrastructures based on Microsoft and Citrix technologies, with the goals of increasing efficiency, stability, scalability and compliance. visionapp's Application Delivery Management Suite 2008 (vADM 2008) consists of two products: visionapp Workspace Management 2008 (vWM 2008) and visionapp Server Management 2008 (vSM 2008).

vWM 2008 provides effective administration and deployment of corporate applications to a range of user groups through a web-based portal. The product enables access to Citrix Published Apps, Microsoft RemoteApps, Softgrid Streamed Apps, Citrix Streamed Apps, locally installed Windows Apps and Web Apps.

vSM 2008 provides standardized and reproducible build and operation management of centralized application delivery environments including Terminal Server, Citrix server, hosted desktops, web server, database server and standard servers. This increases consistency and stability, and helps enable ITIL-based change and release management.

In this review, I will take a look at the visionapp Server Management (vSM) product. This product is created to automate the installation of operating systems and applications and the ongoing operation management and configuration of the infrastructure.

Read more: visonapp Server Management 2008

Enteo Management Suite

Automatic deployment is become widely accepted more and more. After the general deployment systems also products are available adding specific deployment mechanisms. One of these is the installation (and configuration) of Terminal Servers combined with Citrix Presentation Server. Also the Enteo Management Suite (of FrontRange Solution)s offers a specific management suite for Citrix Presentation Server. With the new version 6 they rebuild their product with a simplified installation process, a full new simplified management console and lots of new features based on customer experiences. This new V6 will be reviewed in this article mainly based on deploying and maintaining Citrix Presentation Server infrastructures. Do not forget that the same product can be used for installing operating systems, patches and applications on other servers and workstations and much more.

Read more: Enteo Management Suite

Wisdom 4.1

Several years ago RES released RES PowerFuse. With RES PowerFuse all kind of user settings can be configured, managed and monitored concerning applications and Windows. Because PowerFuse is only developed for those user settings, the applications need to already available on the Terminal Server or workstation. In other word the machine part is not the responsibility of RES PowerFuse and some other way need to be used to accomplish the installation of Windows and applications. Till now you should use some other products for this. Now with RES Wisdom RES aims to this machine part of the Terminal server and workstations.

RES Wisdom is build with a starting point "Keep it simple and easy". RES claims that with three steps the product is operational. They called these steps in version 3.0 Get Ready, Set, Go, but are renamed in version 4. Let's find out if Wisdom is that easy and which new features are available in series 4.1.

Read more: Wisdom 4.1

Ardence OS Streaming 4

The last few years more and more new techniques are presented to the IT field. Probably the hottest word at this moment is virtualization. Application virtualization and hardware virtualization is becoming more and more popular.

The next step in the virtualization market is virtualizing your complete Operating System and that's exactly what Ardence is doing. Also for Terminal Servers could this be very usable (think again of the Terminal Server Basic to keep your server 100% identical), so the product is definitely a VanBragt.Net SBC Centre review worthy.

Read more: Ardence OS Streaming 4

TS Farm Configurator

As described in my article Basic Concepts of a Terminal Server Environment, automated installation of operating system and applications is one of the most important concepts to keep your servers 100% identical.

A Dutch company called GTS-Gral recognized these concepts and developed a software solution for their customers. Now they released this solution on the market as a commercial software product named TS-Farm Configurator.

In this review we will take a look at this product and how it competes with other deployment products.

Read more: TS Farm Configurator

VisionApp Platform Management Suite 2005

VisionApp is a German company where a well known SBC specialist Bernard Trisch works. Out of practices in the field they developed VisionApp Platform Management Suite (vPMS). The VisionApp PMS software is developed to deploy servers (mostly related to SBC) from the beginning with installing Windows to the installation and configuration of applications. VisionApp PMS uses several third-party software to do a specific task in the overall process. Using templates, variables, preconfigured settings and prepackaged applications should help you to install your server quick and simple with the same settings.

Read more: VisionApp Platform Management Suite 2005

Softricity 3.1

Is Softricity a SBC product? In essential not, just like Wise Packager and that kind of tools are used in SBC environments but not specially made for a SBC environment. Why although a review of Softgrid? Because the concept of this product solves a big SBC problem often called as  the DLL (sharing) hell. 

Softricity virtualizes applications, so the application will run in his own environment above the operating system. All needed files like DLL's, executables are placed in the virtual layer of the application. The application can use the underlying OS system layer but it can only read this layer. In this way there is no DLL intervention of the several applications on a Terminal Server environment and you can offer applications together on one server which normally can not operate if both are installed on the same server.
Also upgrading your applications is much easier in comparison with normal installed applications, your just make a new sequence (the name of a application package within Softgrid), give it a higher version number, publish it and the job is finished.

Read more: Softricity 3.1