Application streaming simplifies application delivery to users by virtualizing applications on client devices. Administrators can install and configure an application centrally and deliver it to any desktop on demand.
Use the application streaming feature to install and configure an application on one file server in your App Hub, publish the application using the XenApp publishing wizard, and deliver it to any desktop or server on demand. To upgrade or patch an application, you make the updates only in the location where you stored the application. Application streaming augments application delivery not only to user desktops, but also to servers in your server farms.
Application streaming offers the following features:
Install once, deliver anywhere
Provides the ability to install an application once on a profiler workstation and have it replicated to file servers within the existing enterprise infrastructure. Once there, the applications are delivered to client devices that request access to the application, on-demand, as a result of end-user activity.
No need to profile applications again. Updates are as simple as updating an application on a desktop using the update program supplied by the manufacturer. The update is performed once on the profiler workstation and delivered to client devices in a manner similar to that used in the initial delivery.
All streamed applications run within isolation environments that keep the applications from interfering with others running on the same client device. The isolation environment is specific for the application and user session, regardless of whether the user streams to the local client or virtualizes the streamed application from a server. The specific data files of the application, such as INI files and registry keys, are all isolated and maintained centrally for the streamed application.
Application files can be cached on the client device to allow faster access the next time the application is launched. Before an application runs, cached files are updated automatically if there is a newer version on the file server. Note that application caching is strictly for performance reasons; there is no requirement to have the application cached for the application to run.
Wide range of target environments
Nearly any modern Windows platform can host a streamed application. Specifically, supported operating systems include Windows XP Professional, Windows Server 2003 and 2008, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. With dual mode streaming, target environments are increased to include all supported XenApp client desktops.
Configure XenApp to stream software to client devices; otherwise, virtualize from a XenApp server. If launching a streamed application fails on the client device, XenApp seamlessly streams the application to the server and virtualizes the application on the client device from XenApp.
Easy delivery of applications to farm servers
When publishing applications in a server farm, choose to virtualize applications from XenApp, which can simplify application delivery. Instead of installing applications on your farm servers, you stream them to XenApp from a central file share in your App Hub. Update the application in the central location, and you update the application on all the farm servers.
Consistent end-user experience
Applications that can be accessed through the server appear next to other applications that the user is accustomed to either within the Web Interface, Citrix plug-ins, or on the desktop. The user does not have to know where and how the application is executing.
Once configured and delivered, applications are available to the user while disconnected from the network.
On-demand application delivery is a powerful concept for disaster recovery situations because the application and data are not lost if the profiles can be easily backed up, and servers and desktops can be replaced easily.