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Tim_Mayert
Pilgrim

Virtualization Questions

I have been tasks to research more into Virtualization of Installs/Applications and I was wondering if anyone has any good reference papers/links that they can share?

1. How does Virtualization affect install creation?
2. How does Virtualization affect application creation?
3. If you have 3 different apps and 3 different installer and we want to make them Virtual installs/apps then once they are installed can they interact or are they all in different virtual windows and therefore do not have access to interact?
4. what needs to be done to convert an install/application to install and work in the Virtual machine/OS?

Thanks for any and all input.
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4 Replies

Re: Virtualization Questions

Hi Tim,

#1 - Instead of a traditional install package, you would need the virtual package itself (basically a binary proprietary file that contains the application payload and settings).

#2 - Since application virtualization technologies do a good job of fooling applications into thinking that they are actually running in the physical environment, normally not much tweaking is needed to the application itself to get it to work virtually.

#3 - Most application virtualization technologies (such as App-V and ThinApp) have built-in support for interaction between virtual packages. App-V has a feature called dynamic suite composition (DSC) that supports specifying dependencies between virtual packages.

#4 - The system changes made by the package installation need to be captured with a capture tool such as Repackager and then converted into the binary format of the virtualization technology that you are interested in. With InstallShield, you can directly convert from ISM and MSI formats to an App-V package - in some cases it would be necessary to repackage a MSI package before conversion to an App-V package.

I hope that helps to clarify some things for you.
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Tim_Mayert
Pilgrim

Re: Virtualization Questions

Thanks for the repy Ajay.

So by the sound of #4 the install package itself would be only used to geneate this converted binary for virtualization and therefore would no longer need to be used for user deployment. Would this not mean that Install packages and therefore Installer application would not be needed as much?

Also how does this work in an admin push senario, would it be just like pushing a new image on to uses machine? How would they go about setting admin configurations that they had control over when pushing the msi?

Oh and do you know about any limitations to what can and can not be virtualized? I saw somewhere that if you app installs device drivers then it would not be good for virtualization. So do you know anything about this?

Thanks again for you reply and any more information you can supply.
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Tim_Mayert
Pilgrim

Re: Virtualization Questions

Is there any other information that I need for install application virtualization?

We would like to look more into this, but need to know what is needed, what works good, is there a trial version that we can look at to create a test install appliation for virtualization just to see how they are created and how they would work in our environment?

Any more information would be great.

Thanks,
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Re: Virtualization Questions

Hi Tim,

Let me answer the questions you raised:

1. Do installs become less relevant?
It is possible to distribute just the App-V package binaries without an installation. This is the likely scenario if your own company will be pushing out this package internally. But there is a strong possibility that you may need to create an install wrapper around the App-V package if you are distributing the App-V package to your customers. InstallShield has an option for creating such a wrapper install.

2. How does an administrator push scenario work?
The admin would use Microsoft SCCM 2007 R2 (most likely) to push out the App-V package internally similar to how they use SCCM to push out MSI packages.

3. Limits on what can be virtualized?
Please see Microsoft App-V Sequencing Guide section #5 Sequencing Limitations. You can find the version 4.5 guide at the following location (should be similar to what is in the more recent 4.6 guide):
http://download.microsoft.com/download/f/7/8/f784a197-73be-48ff-83da-4102c05a6d44/App-45_Sequencing_...

4. Trial version available for evaluating?
InstallShield 2010 evaluation has App-V support. You would also need to get an evaluation copy of App-V from Microsoft - for this please contact Microsoft directly, they may have an evaluation of their MDOP program or some other way to evaluate App-V.

-Ajay
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