Many new products, services and features have been announced during these three days @ Citrix Synergy in Orlando.
One new feature that I believe will be very interesting for XenApp and XenDesktop users is AppDisk.
AppDisk is an application layering technology that allows you to create disks containing applications (single instances or groups of them) and then attach them to XenApp servers or XenDesktop OSs.
Note: this is not an application isolation technology! Applications in AppDisk are not isolated and they can talk and interact to any other application in the OS just as any traditionally installed application would do. So, for instance, you won’t be able to run two MS Office versions on the same OS as you could do with other technologies like App-V (just to name one).
The main advantage of this solution is that you can create and manage one single OS image without having to install any application on it and deliver AppDisk applications based on the user profile. This is more or less what you can do with App-V but without incurring in the application isolation issues that App-V brings (VFS permissions, application incompatibilities… ). On the other hand, you won’t have the advantages of application isolation, like for example the ability of running two incompatible apps at the same time and on the same OS.
The process for creating an AppDisk is as follows:
- Open to Studio
- Click on the AppDisk menu
- Click on create AppDisk
- Choose the Machine Catalog that contains the base image you want to use and then Studio will create an instance of that OS through MCS or PvS
- Install the app on that OS image and then seal it (through an apposite button located on the desktop)
- Deliver the AppDisk to the Delivery Groups
The limited tech preview will be available in Q2 2015, the tech preview in Q3 2015. The GA version probably at the end of 2015 or early 2016.
We don’t know yet how many AppDisks can be published on the same OS as well as what kind of license you need to run it.
AppDisk does not use any drive letters and you can see the application in the Add Remove Programs Control Panel applet. AppDisk apps are ‘merged’ in the base OS, which means that you can find them in C:\Program Files or Program Files (x86).
AppDisk and Studio can leverage and integrate AppDNA in order to check whether the applications can run properly in the target OS. AppDNA can also show incompatible AppDisks and propose steps to fix any eventual issue.
I’m looking forward to test the Tech Preview!!!