Hi Guys,

I'm at the beginning of our App-V / App-Virt Implementation Project and I'm currently evaluating AdminStudio as a replacement for Wise as it seems to be more Vendor independent.

Do any of you have experience with the Virtualisation pack? From my experience I was very excited about it initially as it promised wonderful things in terms of converting all of our existing MSIs to virtual as if by magic! Of course, these promises are usually a let down and I'm starting to see why.

I have nothing against AdminStudio per se, and have used it in the past for various customers - but the Virtualisation pack seems to be limited to "just" a conversion tool. Once you've "converted" your MSI to an App-V format, you don't seem to be able to edit the SFT in a GUI without going back to the associated MSI, editing the MSI and then re-converting it. Trouble is, the converter doesnt process certain MSI tables, custom actions correctly, meaning its difficult to customize your virtual app without going into the native MS products. And if this is the case, why would you bother with AdminStudio?

I'd also question the logic in converting your already regression tested and functional suite of MSIs - why go to the effort?

Anyway, looking forward to hearing of any experiences with this product.

Cheers
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Yes I've seen the Virtualization pack but I have the same concerns over quality. There were all sorts of issues existed back when there were legacy to MSI conversion tools as well. Ultimately your success will depend on how close the MSI gets you to a useable configuration in your environment. I typically deal with energy clients and they have plenty of very specialized applications where the end users expect a very specific configuration when launching their applications. A conversion tool has a very limited value in this sort of an environment.

If you are looking to use this tool I would expect it to bring value by trying to sequence the more simple applications using a batch process but you will still need to test the sequences to see how suitable they are for production use. There will be re-working of that batch conversion but you should be able to save some packaging effort using this technique. I still like a hands on approach with a skilled team but that costs $$$ and time which some companies are not willing to spend.

I've seen the question about using application virtualization if you already have a conflict free and stable MSI deployment. I would say your savings typically are seen in the reduced time to package and more importantly the application delivery. With the classic management server infrastructure for App-V I can add a user to an Active Directory group then tell the user to refresh the client. They click the icon then the application is delivered which can be a far cry from some delivery methods.

If SCCM needs to target a machine or even a user the process can take hours. Add the user to the Active Directory group, wait for SCCM to poll Active Directory (default is once a day), wait for SCCM to populate (evaluate) the collection, wait for the SCCM client to poll the server and finally wait for the MSI(s) to deliver (I find MSIs slower than SFTs). As much as Microsoft is working on the App-V + SCCM integration I think the classic management server infrastructure delivers the on demand experience enterprises want from application delivery. Target the user and deliver to them in as close to real time as possible.
Answered 09/25/2009 by: kkaminsk
Ninth Degree Black Belt

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Hi dm1, we are using Wise for regular packages and Citrix Streaming Profiler to create XenApp apps.

The profiler is simple/crude depending on your take. Some things it struggles with, e.g. Office Add Ins each needs a shortcut. So for the end user needing 12 Add Ins, 12 WinWord shortcuts are delivered to the desktop. Ugly.

We are considering moving to App-V and using AdminStudio to accelerate the migration/virtualisation.

Any comments from your experience ?
Answered 11/03/2010 by: Future_machine
Senior Yellow Belt

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