Recently, the AppVirt Guru team collaborated with WhatMatrix to transform the popular feature matrix from the annual Application Virtualization Smackdown white paper into a web-based product comparison tool. For this article, I walk you through some use cases (with videos) to experiment with on WhatMatrix.
WhatMatrix – what’s that?
WhatMatrix provides free in-depth technology evaluations curated by industry specialists. They’ve been doing this for a few years, but just a few days ago they implemented some killer new features which make the site more than just a static side by side comparison tool. Now, you can customize the comparisons based on your own specific use cases. You can see how it works from the video below:
Perhaps you work in a construction companies IT shop, and they have a lot of applications which contain drivers. This makes using tools with restrictive application isolation close to impossible, but not all products in the matrix are unable to virtualize drivers. You can weight the driver virtualization feature as ‘high priority’. You can also exclude features you don’t care about to give you a result which reflects what’s best for your unique needs.
Watch these videos for a short demonstration of how to use the tool to generate your own unique reports and also for some use cases which may apply to many of you out there.
Use Case 1: Application Compatibility.
In this demo, I use WhatMatrix to compare Numecent Cloudpaging with the two industry leaders, VMware ThinApp and Microsoft App-V for application compatibility rates. One of the great benefits of appvirt is isolation. Unfortunately one of the biggest obstacles to deploying virtual applications is the compatibility issues caused by isolation. App-V has quite a rigid level of isolation; there’s very little control for packagers over this isolation. VMware ThinApp has a greater level of control possible but still shares most of the limitations related to isolation. As you can see in this demo, Numecent Cloudpaging doesn’t have as many limitations thanks to features like the ability to run applications seamlessly, virtualize drivers and more.
Use Case 2: Citrix Migration.
Migrating from a XenApp 6.5 farm with application deployed using XenApp Streaming to a new XenApp\XenDesktop 7.x farm
In this demo, I use WhatMatrix to compare Microsoft App-V 5.1 and CloudHouse Compatibility Containers, formerly known as Applications Anywhere, to the now-defunct XenApp Streaming. Some organizations used and loved XenApp Streaming in the past and now that it’s End Of Life, the only native option provided in Citrix Studio is App-V 5.x. We have had customers come to us who had difficulty completing their migration due to having many legacy applications that needed to run multi-user on the session hosts but had user writeable files hard-coded to the root of C:\.
This worked great with XenApp Streaming thanks to the file, directory and registry level redirection features. So, is App-V going to help in this scenario?
This use case shows that CloudHouse is a much better fit for this customer.
Use Case 3: Deploying frequently updated in-house developed LOB apps.
We have a customer who deploys many in-house line of business applications which get updated by the developers quite often. The developers require a container platform for their desktop windows applications which can provide a flexible delivery method and an isolated network stack to prevent port conflicts, virtual web directory conflicts and more.
Here we compare Turbo.net with App-V and ThinApp. We focus on a subset of features to help enable our developers to share their applications in an instantly deployable package to the enterprise team and a product which can handle server-side applications as well as virtualizing most modern browsers to allow comprehensive regression and unit testing for the Development and IT teams.
Try it out.
These are just three use cases. I’d bet you have your own use cases which you’d like to report against. If you are exploring application virtualization for the first time and would like advice or even help to generate a report focused on products reflecting your best choices, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d be happy to help.