The Way Business Is Moving published by
Issue Date: July 2008

VMware launches ThinApp 4.0

July 2008

VMware ThinApp agentless application virtualisation enables 'package once, deploy anywhere' non-disruptive virtual applications that run virtually any application on any Windows operating system without conflict.

VMware has announced the upcoming availability of VMware ThinApp 4, an application virtual-isation solution that lets customers run multiple versions of virtually any application on any Windows operating system without conflict.
For example, users can run both Internet Explorer 6 and Internet Explorer 7 on the same operating system without disruption.
ThinApp, based on Thinstall technology, requires no pre-installed software on physical or virtual PCs and no new deployment infrastructure or management tools.
ThinApp improves application packaging, delivery, and management by enabling plug-and-play applications using an enterprise's existing systems and management tools. ThinApp packages applications in familiar formats (.MSI or .EXE) that can plug into existing infrastructure for software licence management, deployment, audit and compliance.
ThinApp 4 introduces two new features: Application Link and Application Sync, which enable two virtualised applications to communicate with each other and remote virtual applications to be updated. These features are important for easier management of the virtual applications.
Traditional application packaging and delivery tools are fraught with application and operating system conflicts, which lead to a brittle desktop environment. ThinApp eliminates these conflicts and securely packages applications for delivery to physical and virtual desktops throughout the extended enterprise. The result is an application delivery solution which lets IT administrators define their technology roadmaps based on their business needs rather than being constrained by application limitations.
Customers want application virtualisation technologies that do not restrict applications to one presentation format or another, ThinApp enables the same virtual application to be streamed from a network, presented from a terminal server, delivered to USB stick (eg, for a contract worker), or delivered through standard software delivery tools with little to no integration required. ThinApp also helps IT administrators manage applications that do not run as well in shared-user environments such as Microsoft Terminal Server. By creating a separate instance with its own private sandbox, each application runs in the context of each user session without having to be modified; if a user breaks the application, other users are not impacted.
"Application packaging, testing and delivery continues to be one of the biggest drivers of desktop management costs and a barrier to compliance and security," said Jeff Jennings, VP of desktop products and solutions for VMware. "With VMware ThinApp, customers can decouple applications from the underlying OS, which makes their application environments more agile and flexible while maintaining control over their desktops."
Rolling out new applications, desktops, or operating systems brings with it the challenges and complexity of managing IT change. This disruption puts the business at risk, as employee productivity can suffer when applications do not work. In addition, the growing trend for mobility and the need for agility are often compromised by strict regulatory requirements.
"During the past two years, new client architectures have emerged that complement today's PC configuration tools, improving efficiency of management and enabling user-provisioned client computing," said Ronni Collville, vice president, Gartner. "Over the next two to five years over 50% of medium to large enterprises will adopt application virtualisation - to save costs, complexity, and time to value throughout their desktop lifecycle. The ability of upcoming application virtualisation technology to work with multiple PC configuration tools is critical to reducing the overall complexity and realisation of true costs savings of packaging, testing and deployment of applications and desktops."
VMware ThinApp 4.0 highlights include:
* Application Link (NEW) - Free-flowing communication between interdependent virtual applications. Application Link allows interdependent applications to communicate with one another (such as Java, .Net, IE, Office) to eliminate conflicts, reduce application size, and maintain continuity and tracking of software licences.
* Application Sync (NEW) - Internet-based updates of applications. Application Sync streams byte-level updates to users' critical applications inside and outside the enterprise using HTTP/HTTPS, and on managed and non-managed PCs running virtualised applications.
* 'Package once, deploy anywhere' with agentless application virtualisation. ThinApp uses Thinstall technology, which pioneered agentless application virtualisation allowing applications to be deployed on virtually any Windows OS across virtually any device (kiosks, PCs, laptops, thin clients, virtual desktops).
* Works with existing management tools to streamline costs and maintain compliance. ThinApp plugs into existing processes and desktop management tools to reduce the costs and complexity around managing the physical and virtual desktop. According to Gartner, "Virtualised applications can reduce the cost of testing, packaging and supporting an application by 60%."
* Conflict-free applications eliminate risks to business continuity. Applications are isolated from the underlying OS, eliminating costs of conflicting resources and allowing different versions of an application to run side by side (such as different versions of Internet Explorer).
* Regain control of the desktop. ThinApp, along with VMware's desktop virtualisation family of products (ACE, Fusion, Workstation, and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure) enables IT to segment their applications, operating systems and migration deployments to speed time to value while decreasing complexity of managing the desktop.
For more information contact Chris Norton, regional manager Southern Africa, VMWare, +27 (0)11 575 6718,

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