01/05/2010 4889 views

My company is looking into application virtualization. They are also looking into taking some of our client based apps to web based apps. I am sure there are arugments both ways. but I would like to know if there has anyone who has had the same discussions with their companies. I would like to get some high level talking points on WHY we would go either way.

I personally like the idea of bringing our applications to the web vs virtualization. My reasons are:

1. Once they are on the web, we are able to use the app with any device (that has the company approved browser).
2. Changes to the application can be created on the fly, so that the application does not need to be down for any time. (I know, that depends on our devs. :))
3. Moving forward, if we want to make these applications external facing, we can just change some network settings.
4. Mobile devices: I think moving forward we will have 10-20% if the applicaitons available to mobile devices. Not sure how the virtualization world would handle that one. We have many different devices internally. Currently, most of our companies desktops are running windows XP, but we will be upgrading soon to 7. Not sure how that will effect our virtualization efforts as well.

Thanks for any thoughts guys.

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Here are some of my thoughts.

1) Yes in an ideal world that is the case but I see too many "web" applications that have considerable client side requirements such as plugins and middleware. I guess this depends on who is making your web based applications.

2) My worry with that arguement is that developers can start breaking good release management processes and start chucking changes into production on a whim. I know this can be mitigated with process but you can tell I don't trust developers to perform good pre production testing. Also it isn't just developers I pick on but anyone that needs to test applications in a corporate environment seems to always lack completeness.

3) That is true but you do have to realize you are opening up the potential for the data in the application to be stolen. External facing web applications containing sensitive data should have extra authentication measures to protect the data and be audited for the security that the implementation contains. It can be done but I would say be cautious as to how this is done.

4) I do see mobile devices as being more of a suitable computing platform for mobile workers. Will that be XenApp delivered applications or custom built web applications is up in the air but this will be a growing market I think.

My last project we did have web applications as being preferred over virtualization but I think the largest challenge about going web is ensuring that there is good code running on that platform. Corporate applications seem to lack good coding and making changes to the browser and or browser's host sometimes results in disaster because there's an application (or a few) in your portfolio that can't handle the change. You can look at tools such as ThinApp or Terminal Services to deliver an alternate browser but then you are leveraging virtualization technologies. In short I think virtualization and web will have to be used in conjuction to some extent in larger environments but yes the pie in the sky is to have applications that aren't tied heavily to the client computing device.
Answered 01/07/2010 by: kkaminsk
9th Degree Black Belt

This is what termed as cloud computing these dayss......
Answered 03/10/2010 by: deepak_2007
Senior Yellow Belt

My initial thought would be:

- Virtualise an app
Engage a packager to sequence the app, test, release to UAT. UAT passed, deploy to Production. Total time (very generalised, obviously): 2 working weeks

- Convert app to web
Engage a business-aware developer. Liaise with business to determine app's complete functionality. Determine where code belongs: server, middleware, client. In most environments, we're in week 2 already...


Engage a business-aware developer. Wait at least a month before he/she becomes free to even look at the outline specification...
Answered 03/10/2010 by: VBScab
Red Belt