What is a Virtual Application? Parallels Remote Application Server

Virtual ApplicationWhat is a virtual application?

In a traditional IT environment, applications are installed locally on each system. When an application is installed, it writes specific information at specific locations. For instance, the Windows registry is updated with the application settings, and the system32 folder is updated with .DLL files related to that application. There are two major issues with this setup. Firstly, it is tedious for an administrator to install applications on thousands of systems and keep track of that information. Moreover, updates and patches need to be done on a regular basis. Secondly, .DLL files are sometimes overwritten, which results in application conflicts. Publishing a virtual application addresses these issues while significantly improving the performance of the network.

An overview of virtual applications

Application virtualization is a technology wherein the application is separated from its underlying operating system and is streamed to an isolated environment on a target device, but is executed on the server. Registry keys and files are written at an isolated location and are recalled from that location when the application is executed. When Remote Desktop Services (RDS) is used to publish applications, the actual application is executed on the centrally hosted server, and the user interface is delivered to the client device through an RDP client. The client device sends mouse clicks and keystrokes to the server and receives screenshot updates of the virtual application.

There are other forms of application virtualization as well. For instance, desktop virtualization delivers full desktops to remote users. A virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) model best suits organizations that run virtual offices or deal with remote workers. Application streaming is another form of virtualization wherein only pieces of application code, settings, and data are delivered when they are first needed. Application virtualization offers amazing benefits to organizations. It reduces IT hardware costs, simplifies IT management, and significantly improves the performance of the network. Most importantly, application virtualization allows businesses to publish Windows applications to non-Windows devices running on iOS, Android, Mac, or Linux.

The role of Application Delivery Controllers (ADCs)

Application Delivery Controllers are normally used to manage connections between servers and client systems with regard to virtual application delivery. An ADC is a component that acts as a network load balancer and directs the flow of data between the server and the client device. Placed behind a firewall and in front of application servers, ADCs accelerate the performance of the application, secure the connection, and scale up resources on demand. ADCs can be a physical network device or a software program.

Parallels Remote Application Server, Citrix Virtual Apps (formerly Citrix XenApp)/Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop (formerly Citrix XenDesktop), VMware vSphere, and Microsoft App-V are the leading application delivery tools available in the market.

Why does Parallels Remote Application Server have an edge over other application delivery tools?

Parallels Remote Application Server is the only comprehensive virtual desktop and application delivery solution that offers all virtualization components in a single edition. From application virtualization to virtual desktops, Parallels Remote Application Server offers everything in a single tool. With other virtualization tools, you need to purchase multiple components that need to be installed and configured. For instance, Citrix offers Citrix Virtual Apps (formerly Citrix XenApp) to deliver virtualization applications and Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktop (formerly Citrix XenDesktop) to deliver VDI desktops.

Moreover, with Parallels Remote Application Server, major components such as load balancing and universal printer redirection come auto-configured by default. Installing and deploying this tool is simple and quick. With a single tool, you can deliver a virtual application as well as full desktops with ease. The central dashboard enables you to effortlessly monitor and manage the entire infrastructure. Most importantly, Parallels Remote Application Server is inexpensive.