VCAP-DTD | Objective 5.3 | Create a Physical Design for Desktop Application Storage

Identify the applications required for the design

This is very difficult to do manually with a tool that can go away and look what is installed on desktops and how often they are used. Pay extra attention to web applications. It’s a common mistake to see that IE6 for example ls installed on a machine and it’s accessed x number of times throughout the day, however what is IE6 accessing. Real world experience shows that some web apps aren’t compatible with some web browsers so take care to audit what is actually going on within the web browser itself.

If moving between OS’s ensure that compatibility checks are done and the application vendors will support the application in a VDI environment and, if applicable, support the application being virtualised with ThinApp.

Speak to stakeholders within the project and get them to sign off applications as they are discovered and packaged either embedded within a virtual desktop or virtualised with ThinApp. Try to ensure the business provide you with step-by-step instructions on how the applications should be installed, removing the need for any guess work.

Determine the appropriate deployment method for each application (e.g., ThinApp streamed, ThinApp deployed, native install etc)

Testing will prove what is the best fit for the environment here as different environments will vary.

In general, I prefer to use streaming, when desktops are local and network performance is not an issue. This works great also, for floating desktops as there is no need to install anything into the desktop and the applications are simply streamed as required. For streaming to work successfully client must have a minimum 100Mbps LAN access to the ThinApp repository. The connection must be reliable and have low latency. 1GB would be recommended.

ThinApp deployed comes into play when perhaps bandwidth is at a minimum or for certain power users that have the ability to install applications locally. ThinApp deployed will create an MSI that allows the application to run locally.

Native installs will work best with heavy power users that need to make modifications to applications. Also, some applications simply cannot be virtualised, so then a native install is the only option. I’ve found that Microsoft Office, whilst it can be virtualised, tends to perform better when installed locally. Generally all users will use some function of Office so, generally, it’s easier ti simply install natively.

Establish Application Capacity Requirements

The analysis tools mentioned already will help you monitor how much disk space each application will use.