Citrix AppDisk is a component of XenApp and XenDesktop that will deliver a software application in a layer that is independent from the virtual desktop operating system (OS). This approach allows administrators to deliver, manage and update applications independently from Citrix virtual desktops. AppDisk layered applications function as if they are natively installed on the host OS.
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Application layering gives administrators the ability to install fewer applications on the golden images for a XenDesktop deployment. For example, an administrator can create layers of department-specific applications and assign them to specific groups, rather than creating a master image for each department. Additionally, an administrator can create AppDisks for widely-used applications and only update them once, rather than making changes to several golden images.
Citrix AppDisk is compatible with Citrix XenServer and VMware ESXi hypervisors. To deploy AppDisk, an administrator needs to install Citrix Receiver on client devices and Virtual Delivery Agent on virtual machines (VMs) hosting AppDisks. Administrators can create AppDisks from the Studio management console in XenDesktop or from the hypervisor console and then import the AppDisks into Studio. Citrix AppDisk also integrates with the AppDNA tool in XenDesktop Platinum edition, which can automatically analyze AppDisks and remediate app or OS compatibility issues before deployment.
Citrix AppDisk operates differently than application virtualization products, which often deliver individual apps isolated from virtual desktops and other applications. Some of AppDisk's competitors in the application layering market include VMware App Volumes and Liquidware Labs FlexApp.
Citrix released AppDisk for all editions of XenApp and XenDesktop 7.8 in February 2016, but AppDisk is not backwards compatible with older versions of those products. Citrix AppDisk is not available as a standalone product.