Does anyone use App-v to virtualise applications? We're in the process of planning our summer upgrades and I've been experimenting with app-v. I've already fallen in love with it as it would make updating software much easier.
My question is, how do you decide which applications are suitable for virtualisation? For instance I'd love to virtualise stuff like Adobe Reader(used often) and Studio MX(not used often) Obviously I'd leave important applications like Office 2007 on our images.
My main concern tho is working out how much load applications would place on a server, eg I have no idea what sort of spec I'd need to support X amount of clients running application Y at any given time.
Whist MS offer a server sizing guide, I'd love to hear from anyone already running this in an educational environment already.
We're running app-v on a virtual machine with 2cpu's and 2 gig of ram.
Every application in the school is virtualised (around 250) and this one server copes very well for our 400 client machines.
We are looking into using App-V also.
saundersmatt: You say you have 250 apps on App-V... do any of these install from a CD-Rom drive and then utilise resources FROM the CD?
I've tried to App-V apps like these, but it simply crashes the App-V Client.
As for what you virtualise - it's down to personal choice really.
Some apps are too big, such as Dreamweaver (CS4) and such.
Some apps are better suited for Terminal Services - in our case, applications that need CD resources, smaller web-based apps - that kind of thing.
I've managed to virtualise a fair few of our apps (including Office 2007) but I can't virtualise anything that installs FROM a CD-Rom to a HD, then uses resources ON that CD-Rom.
Everything I try in regards to above - causes the App-V client to crash badly - could just be the way I'm doing it but I'm not sure.
Anything that installs plugins to other applications is tricky; Adobe Reader for example. The virtualised application effectively runs isolated from other applications, so PDFs opened in IE would not open in the browser, because the plugin is not present on the system. There are cheats to get around that, but it involves users running a separate copy of IE (or whatever browser you're using). File associations would be fine, however.
I believe anything that installs drivers is also out. I would have loved to deploy TrueCrypt using App-V but it simply didn't work.
Lastly, beware of product activation. I've tried virtualising Creative Suite before; the size isn't actually too much of an issue, but the activation is. CS3 (and probably CS4) has code that screws up the licence when it's virtualised, and the programs won't run, claiming the licence is not present on the machine. Some Microsoft applications also require reactivation every time they are launched unless they are activated with a VLK (MS Project is a documented example of this).
I've tend to use App-V as a supplement to a fat-client system, rather than to replace it. If I can deploy something to the local machine using Group Policy, I prefer to do it that way. For programs that prove troublesome, I'll look to App-V. One of my better achievements was virtualising the SIMS FMS client.
Azrael: We have successfully managed to utilise app-v with applications that require a CD to be present in the past - we've made an image of the cd available on the network and written a launcher script that will mount the iso with daemon tools, launch the program and then unmount the cd again. This did however break with the latest version of daemon tools on vista. We are considering having another go at some point in the near future, using script dependencies within the sft file rather than a separate launcher app.
AngryTechnician: I know what you're saying about browser plugins, adobe reader does launch virtualised in the browser for us, but it's that long ago that I can't remember what we did. Equally it's one of the things that I love about it. We have a version of IE with realplayer plugins sequenced, makes downloading flv videos nice and easy for staff. Also agree entirely with the drivers and licensing statement, there are 3 or 4 programs that we just cannot get to for those exact issues.
We have been using App-v for the last year, and have just removed it from our network!
Once you think you finally have App-v running and stable you get yet another bug!
My advice would be to be extreemly careful, as in our experience it is very unstable, and we have had a lot of annoyed users when applications dont run!
The concept is good, but in practice if it sounds too good to be true it usually is!
Out of interest, is anyone using VMware's ThinApp? All the apps I have created using the trial version have worked perfectly, so I was thinking of getting the full version.
Looking at App V today - its awesome!
Any issues with it? How did you get on with outlook and making sure that the user gets the correct settings for the server and the correct mail box.
Initially had issues with this on Ternminal Servers had to install it with the office Resorce Kit
Outlook can be a right b****d to setup! You can use the ORK to set the exchange server and let the user enter the mailbox on first run, or like we're doing use Exchange 2007's autoconfig feature (where it pulls the email address from the ad mail field.
That's interesting - we're using the latest version of App-V and use a similar script and setup to you.
Originally Posted by saundersmatt
It seems to break when the app installs some parts to the HD but requires some of the CD contents or resources.
Something like this: Runs C:\SomeApp\SomeApp.exe PARAM
However, if the CD isn't in the drive, it fails to run.
If it IS in the drive, it causes a BSOD on an XP SP3 PC.
It could well be that my script is being over-complex for it's own good but I just don't know - haven't had much chance to look at it properly.
Just out of interest - what version of Daemon-Tools and is your script overly complex? Could you perhaps post it here or something so I can take a look - will allow me to determine whether my script is at fault or whether it's something else in our environment that's causing the issue.
Fortunately it's not live yet so I can still afford to play with it.
I've played with the trial of this and have found it great - unfortunately management here won't plump for it as they see App-V as the holy grail... something I'm finding isn't exactly true.
Originally Posted by Arthur
Originally Posted by saundersmatt
How do you get on with an app, ie that needs flash player etc - would you package the app with flash player, or package it seperatly, or is there a way that they can communicate between each other?
Normally for a small additional application like Flash player we would package it with the main application. However you can integrate two packages together, this we do for example with sims and office, in order that you can easily view reports that require word etc.
any tricks and tips - or do you just package them at the same time - or can you get two previously packaged products and link the?
Just out of interest - what version of Daemon-Tools and is your script overly complex? Could you perhaps post it here or something so I can take a look - will allow me to determine whether my script is at fault or whether it's something else in our environment that's causing the issue.[QUOTE]
We were using version 410 on XP when it was working.
The above is the AutoIt script that we were using (compiled) to launch the app. 1drive.exe and 0drives.exe are BTEWIN scripts that cause daemon tools to set the number of daemon tools drives to 1 and 0 respectively.
runwait( "1drive.exe", "V:\IEPWriter\")
ShellExecuteWait( "daemon.exe", '-mount 0, "V:\IEPWriter\IEPWriter.nrg"')
ShellExecuteWait( "sfttray.exe", '"IEPWriterV3 188.8.131.52"')
ShellExecuteWait( "daemon.exe", "-unmount 0")
RunWait( "0drives.exe", "V:\IEPWriter\")
Hope this helps.
I tried to use App-V, and found it very unfriendly and failed lots of time to virtualize all kind of apps. I used thinapp by VMware, and had much more success with it. It was much more simple to use.