Application virtualization architectures require careful planning. A variety of methods is available for deploying applications. The choice of application-deployment method is based on multiple factors, such as site size, preferred application-delivery mechanism, existing infrastructures, and network availability. Components requiring planning include:
· Application storage. The storage requirements for App-V vary based on deployment method, number of applications, the sequencing options used while packaging applications, and the package-retention policy regarding how many historical versions of virtual application packages will be maintained in the virtual application content repository.
· Location types. The App-V deployment methods and components used depend on the location and available network bandwidth between App-V clients and App-V servers. Central locations will often use Full Infrastructure mode, while branch offices will use Streaming mode.
· Application streaming. Application streaming is a compelling reason to deploy App-V. However, there are important aspects to consider when deciding whether to stream virtual applications and which network protocol (SMB, HTTP, or RTSP) to use.
· Configuration Manager. Configuration Manager is Microsoft’s premier solution for managing operating system and application deployment and maintenance. It includes integration with App-V to allow the deployment of virtualized applications. For more information, see the white paper, Virtual Application Management with Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5 and System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2.
Note When using Configuration Manager for streaming delivery, a virtual application is not streamed until the user launches the application for the first time. When using streaming delivery, it is possible for a user to receive program shortcuts for virtual applications, and then disconnect from the network before launching virtual applications for the first time. If the user tries to launch the virtual application while the client computer is offline, the user will receive an error and will not be able to launch the virtualized application, because a distribution point is not available to stream the application. The application will be unavailable until the user reconnects the client computer to the network and launches the application. This scenario can result in a negative user experience, but it can be avoided by using the local delivery method for virtual application delivery to client computers.
· Network requirements. Streaming applications requires that client computers be connected to the App-V server infrastructure. The connections must be reliable, and they must provide the bandwidth necessary to allow the peak number of clients in a given location to access applications. Application streaming can also make intensive use of network bandwidth. Plan streaming deployment of virtual application appropriately to avoid overloading the network.
For detailed guidance on planning an App-V infrastructure, see the Infrastructure Planning and Design guide, Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5 at http://www.microsoft.com/ipd, which provides step-by-step planning and design guidance for the topics that this section introduces.