In the recent past, we have seen an evolution of the end user computing industry. There has been a shift to multi-cloud. And this shift includes virtual desktops and applications being deployed in the cloud as well. In fact, many organizations may use many different clouds, and at the end of the day your end-users still need their applications. Virtual applications also require the flexibility of being able to run on any operating system. Today, we will take a closer look at the challenges that come with application packaging in multi-cloud enterprises, uncover issues with packaging applications, and then wrap things up by looking at Liquidware’s FlexApp One.
The Cloud Solves All Problems
Put your virtual workstations in the cloud and all your problems are solved, because the infrastructure is offloaded and done in an expedited way. Well, not completely. The cloud deployment option in end-user computing usually is done in addition to the physical workstation options you always had plus it’s not unusual for multiple clouds to be leveraged. So essentially you could be left finding a way to package your applications and deploy them to physical workstations, thin clients, and cloud workstations in any cloud (ex. Azure WVD, into AWS, Nutanix Frame, and more) your organization decides to use.
Application Packaging Challenges
So, if we break this down, as administrators of these environments we may need to create multiple sets of processes for each type of workstation deployment, have different sets of application packages for each platform, and more. Talk about complexity just to make sure users can do their job regardless of where their virtual workstation resides (ex. on-prem, thin client, in the cloud, desktop as a service).
Let’s highlight some key issues with application packaging in a hybrid environment with multi-cloud:
- Managing Base Desktop Images: It’s not unusual to maintain multiple base desktop images, and ideally you are not baking any applications into them. However, whether you have installed the application into the image or are packing applications to deploy to the desktop the more desktop images you maintain the more work you will have around maintaining applications.
- Application Availability/Downtime: Keeping your end-user applications online can be a challenge. Server resource contention, server/image corruption, and application update requirements can all factor into availability. Having processes that proactively promote availability can be key.
- Too Many Applications: Applications and the enterprise data within them help drive our business, but we often end up with too many applications to manage. At one organization I previously worked at, we created a script and automated the discovery of applications throughout our enterprise and there were over 900 applications! No not all of them were used, but it was a process to figure out what was really needed, then package and deploy those applications to the enterprise.
- Automation with Microsoft Endpoint Manager (MEM) or SCCM: Automation can be critical to streamlining any process, but two common automation toolsets that can simplify this for your organization MEM is the common choice for the cloud and SCCM primarily for on-premises workloads. Automation of application deployment can be a time saver and ensure that each user gets what they need to do their job.
So, it’s clear that application packaging is challenging enough, so do your research around toolsets that can help.
Simplify Application Packaging with Liquidware FlexApp One
Similar to FlexApp, FlexApp One doesn’t layer the Windows OS, and focuses on the applications. They are self-contained in a shareable file and run without the need for any additional player software that can be run by executing the application container quickly. This means that the Windows OS itself will not be changed and can significantly reduce complexities around base image management. FlexApp One also offers the ability to work with applications offline and off the network which is great for situations where Wi-Fi or network availability are temporarily unavailable, but you need to get some work done.
Key capabilities of FlexApp One that are standouts to me:
- Application availability even offline
- Automation application deployment on-prem or in the cloud with Microsoft Endpoint Manager or SCCM
- Application packages work on-premises or in any cloud platform where you have a Windows OS and user access granted
Being proactive around simplifying application management ensures that your end users can do their job, and your administrator can efficiently deploy enterprise applications. With the right tools this can be done to any desktop whether it be on-prem or in the cloud and be done in alignment with business needs to create long-term efficiencies and success.