Q. I've heard that Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) is recommended for use with XenApp for virtualizing applications—even by Citrix. Why?

A. Microsoft and Citrix have a very close relationship, with each company focusing on specific technological aspects. As part of the joint Microsoft-Citrix solution, the strongest technologies from each company have been chosen. Both Citrix and Microsoft have application virtualization solutions, but App-V is recommended for several reasons:

  • App-V has a more flexible and powerful sequencing process for capturing applications than XenApp's profiling process.
  • App-V virtualizes user mode services and Distributed COM, XenApp doesn't.
  • App-V has better isolation of virtualized applications, resolving more app-to-app compatibility challenges.
  • Major ISVs are starting to ship App-V sequenced versions of their software in addition to the MSI versions, making deployment easier and accelerating App-V's adoption as the application virtualization standard.
  • When Microsoft software is virtualized using App-V, it has improved support.
  • App-V integrates with System Center Configuration Manager.
  • App-V supports a shared cache, which is key for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure environments.
  • App-V can create MSI versions of software that, when installed, populate a machine's cache with an App-V sequenced application.

The best news is that even though App-V is used to virtualize an application, XenApp's flexibility in presenting applications can still be used, because XenApp ties into App-V, giving the best of both App-V and XenApp.

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