App virtualization (application virtualization) is the separation of an installation of an application from the client computer accessing it.
From the user’s perspective, the application works just like it would if it lived on the user’s device. The user can move or resize the application window, as well as carry out keyboard and mouse operations. There might be subtle differences at times, but for the most part, the user should have a seamless experience.
How application virtualization works
Although there are multiple ways to virtualize applications, IT teams often take a server-based approach, delivering the applications without having to install them on individual desktops. Instead, administrators implement remote applications on a server in the company’s data center or with a hosting service, and then deliver them to the users’ desktops.
App virtualization can be an effective way for organizations to implement and maintain their desktop applications. One of the benefits of application virtualization is that administrators only need to install an application once to a centralized server rather than to multiple desktops. This also makes it simpler to update applications and roll out patches.
In addition, administrators have an easier time controlling application access. For example, if a user should no longer be able to access an application, the administrator can deny access permissions to the application without having to uninstall it from the user’s desktop.
pp virtualization makes it possible to run applications that might conflict with a user’s desktop applications or with other virtualized applications.
Users can also access virtualized applications from thin clients or non-Windows computers. The applications are immediately available, without having to wait for long install or load operations. If a computer is lost or stolen, sensitive application data stays on the server and does not get compromised.
Application virtualization attempts to separate application programs from an OS with which it has conflicts, even causing systems to halt or crash. Other benefits to application virtualization include:
However, there are limitations to application virtualization. Not all applications can be virtualized, like applications requiring device drivers and 16-bit applications running in shared memory space. Some applications must become closely integrated with the local OS, such as anti-virus programs, as they are very difficult to run with application virtualization.
Application virtualization is used in a wide variety of applications, including banking, business scenario simulations, e-commerce, stock trading, and insurance sales and marketing.