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Breaking down application delivery options: It's the apps, stupid!

Hosted apps, VDI and application streaming take center stage as the curtain rises on this dramatic series about application delivery.

As desktop virtualization and the consumerization of IT gain steam, it's become clear that user management is no longer all about the desktop. It's about application delivery.

More important than the desktops themselves are the applications on physical and virtual PCs, as well as other devices. There are lots of ways to deliver apps, from application streaming technologies and VM hosting to virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and remote delivery methods.

What better way to hash out application delivery options than to have a lively chat? In these five episodes of It's the Apps, Stupid, experts Greg Shields and Don Jones converse about Citrix VM Hosted Apps, reverse seamless windows, the confusion around ever-changing product names and more.

New application delivery methods: More than just install

Many IT pros are stuck on the old way of delivering apps -- by simply installing them. But with Remote Desktop Services and application streaming technologies, you have many more options.

For instance, you could install or stream an application to a server, then present it to a user as a remote application on his local desktop. Or, you could stream it to a user's local desktop or virtual desktop. The trick is to figure out what method works best in different situations and apply those application delivery methods to get the best user experience.

Citrix VM Hosted Apps: Using VDI for application hosting

VDI can be a vehicle for application hosting. Using tools such as Citrix VM Hosted Apps and VMware AppBlast, applications can be provisioned to virtual desktops and then presented to users in a seamless window when they go to access that app. With Citrix's tool, for example, the application is hosted on a desktop somewhere, but users only have access to the application they're using -- not the desktop itself. It's a good alternative for organizations that already have experience with VDI and application virtualization.

Reverse seamless windows: The secret to local apps on remote desktops

Seamless windows technology makes remote applications appear like local apps on a user's local desktop. Reverse seamless windows does just the opposite: It presents local applications to remote desktops while making them appear to run within the remote session. That allows organizations to run certain applications (resource-heavy ones, for instance) locally using the desktop's resources -- greatly simplifying application delivery to remote desktops.

What's in a name? Demystifying app delivery and VDI product naming

Published desktops haven't gone anywhere, but vendors are always changing product names to keep up with the times. They're called Hosted Shared Desktops at Citrix and Server Hosted Session Desktops at Microsoft. As Greg and Don clear up VDI product naming, learn which re-branded technologies are now part of Citrix Receiver and what Microsoft might name its future all-in-one VDI and Remote Desktop Services offering.

What VDI can learn from Terminal Services' mistakes

VDI certainly isn't the silver bullet of desktop or application delivery, but it's still learning. In the series finale of It's the Apps, Stupid, the guys look back and consider how VDI can learn from Terminal Services' mistakes. At first, Microsoft meant for Terminal Services to deliver full desktops, which caused major server disruptions depending on user activity. Since then, Microsoft, along with Citrix and VMware, have instead focused on delivering just the Virtual desktop applications.

Dig Deeper on Application virtualization and streaming