What is a Virtual App? | Parallels Explains

The advent of virtualization technology has brought revolutionary changes to IT procedures. Many IT components, from servers to networks, are now virtualized. With the smartphone dominating the IT world, “virtual app” and “application virtualization” are the latest industry buzzwords. So what is a virtual app?

In a traditional IT environment, applications are installed on each machine. When an application is installed, it creates multiple files on the client device. While application files are stored in the application folder, DLL files go to the Windows folder, and system files are saved in the registry database.  As more applications are installed, DLL files get overwritten, and another program might uninstall shared files. These issues result in an application conflict and mess up the operating system as well. In a large enterprise of tens of thousands of nodes, application conflict is a big issue. When you deploy a VDI, there are additional problems. You need to install all the applications into your base image or install each app on-demand, which again takes time.  That’s where virtual apps come to the rescue.

Virtual App

Virtual apps are applications that are optimized to run in a virtual environment. Simply put, a virtual app simply runs on a computer without being installed on it. Remote apps are a popular virtual app delivery solution wherein the virtual applications installed on a server are delivered to users’ devices. These applications are not installed on the user’s device; instead, software called a client is installed on the device that connects to the server, and the application is presented as screenshots sent to the device.

There are several other virtualization solutions, such as portable apps, wherein all the DLL and registry files are encapsulated in an EXE file, enabling you to copy or move the application as a single file. You don’t have to install portable apps on a computer but can still use them on a USB stick, laptop, or any network. Application streaming is another process whereby the application’s resources are carried to the endpoint at the time of its execution. VMware ThinApp is an example of an agentless application virtualization solution, while Microsoft App-V represents an agent-based virtual app solution. Parallels Remote Application Server, Citrix, and VMware are the leading providers of application virtualization solutions in the market.

Challenges with application virtualization solutions

Application virtualization solutions do come with its own set of challenges, including the following:

Benefits of Virtual Applications

Virtual applications have several benefits, including the following:

Virtual Apps vs Virtual Desktops

Virtual apps and virtual desktops are both virtualization solutions that organizations can leverage to deliver business applications to employees anywhere, anytime, from any device. Organizations can either opt for complete desktop virtualization, individual app virtualization, or even a mix of both. Desktop virtualization refers to publishing a complete desktop environment in a data center, whether on premises or on the cloud, that can be accesses by users through any endpoint device. App virtualization refers to publishing individual applications on a server and allowing employees to access them through a remote display protocol (RDP) or app streaming.

Desktop virtualization or VDI is best suited for employees that need access to all business applications for their jobs. Virtual desktops allow employees to switch between multiple devices and still enjoy a consistent desktop experience. App virtualization comes in handy for employees that need to access a select few applications for their work. Using app virtualization within a VDI can allow IT admins to customize app deployment based on individual user requirements. Admins can conveniently deliver and manage business apps for both physical and virtual desktops and ensure optimal hardware resource utilization.

Parallels Remote Application Server is a comprehensive solution

Parallels Remote Application Server is a leading provider of virtual desktop and application delivery solutions. It is a comprehensive package that transforms locally installed products into centrally managed services. It is easy to install and use. All the virtualization components, such as load balancing and universal printing, come auto-configured. Parallels Remote Application Server supports a range of platforms and devices, including iOS, Android, Windows, Chromebooks, and Linux. It provides greater security by removing administrator privileges from end-users. Control and tracking of licensing usage are improved while workforce mobility is empowered. With Parallels Remote Application Server, you can easily manage local and virtual applications on your host. Most importantly, Parallels Remote Application Server is significantly cost-effective.

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