Essential Guide

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Guide to application delivery options

Learn how to find the best methods for delivering applications in your organization.

Application delivery often goes hand in hand with desktop virtualization, but delivery options are changing as the traditional desktop goes by the wayside.

What about streaming technologies? Or mobile apps? With this guide in hand -- or maybe just on your laptop or smartphone screen -- learn how to deliver the right applications to your end users.

Fresh look

1. App delivery gets a facelift

Application delivery has moved far beyond the basic "just install it." Now, virtual desktop infrastructure and other hosted technologies provide new ways to get apps to end users. In fact, desktop virtualization isn't about the desktop anymore -- it's about delivering specific applications. Get more insight into this new outlook on application delivery with these resources.

  • Bright idea: Delivering apps as needed

    Windows isn't going to disappear overnight, but Windows OS and app delivery is changing -- mainly because of mobile. That's why desktop virtualization and its vendors need to shift their attention away from full desktop delivery.

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  • A handy application delivery worksheet

    As you determine how to deliver apps, consider whether you want to go browser based or native, whether you need touch capabilities and how the end user will employ the application. Along with considering remote access requirements and the amount of usage, this worksheet will help you decide what kind of app you need and how to deploy it.

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  • Handing the reins over to end users

    Those app delivery changes mean that users have more options than ever for the way they access and consume information. If IT wants to keep up, it needs to supply users with more flexible app and desktop delivery options.

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  • Breaking down options for application delivery

    VDI can serve as an application hosting tool, and the technology has come around to the idea of focusing on specific app delivery. Plus, consider technologies such as reverse seamless windows, which make remote applications appear like local ones.

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  • VDI isn't the only way

    Desktop virtualization might be one way to deliver apps, but it shouldn't be your sole app delivery method. Before you deploy VDI, determine your business needs and figure out whether this technology will actually reduce your desktop management.

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Virtualizing apps

2. All about application virtualization

Application virtualization is one way to deliver apps. App virtualization tools -- available from many different vendors -- let you do bulk app delivery and management. Still, not all applications make solid candidates for the job. Learn when to virtualize and which tools are out there. Hint: Think past VMware, Citrix and Microsoft.

  • Explaining application virtualization: Q&A

    Application virtualization can mean a few different things. Learn how remote delivery and app streaming differ, and how these methods can affect performance and the network.

    Q&A

  • To virtualize or not to virtualize?

    That is the question. Make sure you're getting the benefits of easier provisioning and management if you decide to virtualize an app. Then, choose the right use case: Is it for BYOD? To help a migration? Or maybe you're running multiple operating systems in your environment?

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  • Comparing application virtualization tools

    XenApp is an overall application delivery tool with flexible options, while ThinApp and App-V provide traditional application virtualization. ThinApp is the most portable option and can deliver offline apps. App-V takes an agent-based approach and plays well with Windows 7 or 8 migrations.

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  • Alternatives to major app virtualization vendors

    Those major vendor tools are all well and good, but take a look at some other options. Tools from Spoon.net, Evalaze and InstallFree Inc. are just a few of the choices. Some of the alternatives tend to be cheaper -- even free -- and can provide similar functionality.

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Going mobile

3. Mobile application delivery

To meet the needs of today's mobile workforce, you must be able to deliver apps to mobile devices -- whether they're corporate apps or just the file-sharing and social apps workers need to get their jobs done. If you're already doing desktop virtualization, you might think it's a good idea to deliver a user's full desktop to his device, but that's not necessarily the case. Remember -- it's all about the apps.

  • Do you need full desktop access?

    On a mobile device, you don't necessarily need a full virtual desktop. VMware CTO Scott Davis talks about "teasing apart" the Windows desktop in this Q&A.

    Q&A

  • Using cloud rendering to deliver apps to mobile

    One way to deliver applications to mobile devices is by using your existing infrastructure to render a browser in the cloud. That's the method behind Splashtop, which offers a SaaS edition for the enterprise or lets consumers download the app on their own.

    Q&A

  • How to do mobile application delivery

    If you want to deliver apps to mobile devices, do you want to use an app store, Web delivery, virtualization or the cloud? You can virtualize apps and send them to devices, or you could build an internal or external cloud.

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  • Using Horizon Suite for app delivery

    VMware positioned its Horizon Suite as a better way to deliver apps to mobile devices over VDI. A virtual desktop doesn't provide an ideal user experience on a mobile device, so the combo of Horizon Mobile and AppBlast technology in the Horizon Suite can help deliver individual apps to the mobile workspace.

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Videos

4. Listen to the experts

One of the best ways to determine how you want to deliver applications is to hear from the experts themselves. In these videos, learn about new perspectives on app delivery in the enterprise and how vendors are working to bring the desktop to mobile.

  • App delivery takes center stage

    The desktop virtualization conference scene has shifted to focus more on application delivery than full desktop delivery. Surprised? You shouldn't be, as many vendors are starting to think that way too.

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  • Panel: Discussing enterprise application delivery options

    Six experts discuss the challenges facing IT in the age of consumerization. They explain methods of delivering apps such as streaming, app stores and more, plus a few uses for those technologies. Remember, it's critical to assess the users' needs before making any decision.

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Quiz

5. What have you learned?

Now that you have the tools to make a solid decision about delivering apps, test your knowledge with this quiz on virtual desktop delivery to mobile devices.

Take the quiz