Remote Application – An Overview

Remote application overview

A remote application is an application delivery solution wherein the actual application is installed on a central server and is used from a remote device. The end user receives screenshots of the application while being able to provide keyboard, thumb tap, and mouse inputs. Remote apps have many names: remote application, server-client apps, app remoting, application virtualization, and virtual apps. The RDP protocol is one of the more popular protocols used to transmit data from the datacenter-hosted application to the remote devices.

There are different protocols that are used by different application virtualization solutions. Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) was developed by Microsoft. It was initially designed for LAN connections but has been extended to support WAN. Microsoft RemoteFX is the enhanced version of RDP that was released with Windows Server 2008 R2 to boost high-definition graphical rendering. While RDP used TCP, RemoteFX can work with TCP as well as UDP. VMware uses a protocol called the PC-over-IP (PCoIP) that was developed by Teradici Corp. PCoIP is based on UDP and uses the server CPU for bitmap coding. Citrix uses a proprietary protocol called HDX. It was earlier called ICA. It works on TCP but uses UDP in certain instances. HDX 3D PRO is another protocol used by Citrix for high-end graphics application delivery.

RemoteApp from Microsoft is a helpful tool that makes the programs running on the remote client devices appear as though they are running locally. RemoteApp programs are integrated with the end user’s desktop or mobile device instead of being a part of the RD Session Host server. Users can perform regular tasks such as dragging the remote application between two monitors or resizing the program window. A RemoteApp program also has its entry in the taskbar. RemoteApps provide multiple benefits to businesses. They are useful for businesses that run virtual offices in areas of limited IT support and low bandwidth availability. You can install multiple versions of the same application without any application conflict issues. Line of business programs can be easily deployed. Overall, RemoteApps reduce administrative overhead and the complexity of VDI management.

Challenges with RemoteApp

While RemoteApp is a useful tool, installation of Microsoft Server OS roles and components is a complex task. You need IT staff that are well trained in virtualization concepts, deployments, and maintenance. There are multiple components that need to be installed. In addition to regular components, you need to configure components such as NLB for load balancing. An active domain directory is required. Publishing a remote application using RemoteApp involves a lengthy procedure. Backups and restores are not done from a centralized location. Reporting features are not available. Moreover, it provides limited functionality for iOS, Android, and BlackBerry devices.

Parallels Remote Application Server provides a comprehensive solution

Parallels Remote Application Server is a comprehensive application delivery solution that is easy to install and use. You only need to install an msi file and the tool is up within five minutes. All the components such as load balancing and universal printing redirection come auto-configured. Publishing a remote application is pretty simple. By following a simple wizard, you can quickly publish a central application to remote devices. Connections can be filtered by IP address, MAC address, users, groups, gateway, and client address. It supports authentication mechanisms such as Radius, DeepNet, and SafeNet. Parallels Remote Application Server actually complements and enhances RDS. Most importantly, Parallels Remote Application Server is inexpensive.

References

Remote Application: Comparing remote display protocols: RemoteFX vs. HDX vs. PCoIP | searchvirtualdesktop.techtarget.com

Remote Application: Overview of RemoteApp | technet.microsoft.com

Remote Application: Application virtualization | en.wikipedia.org

Remote Application: What is app virtualization? Part 1: Remote Apps | brianmadden.com

Remote Application: VDI shoot-out: HDX vs. PCoIP | infoworld.com

Remote Applications - Parallels Remote Application Server

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