Given this is the inaugural entry of the Citrix application virtualization blog, it only makes sense to begin at the beginning by defining exactly what we mean when we say application virtualization. This is something we know a fair bit about since we’ve been doing it for a long time. How Presentation Server works is the very definition of virtualization. It separates the application from where it runs. The apps execute in the data center, where IT managers can put their hands on them for fixes or updates. Only the screen displays, user mouse-clicks and keystrokes are sent back and forth. It’s efficient, secure and proven.

The new Application Streaming feature just extends this centralized model out to desktops and laptops that are not necessarily connected to the network all the time. Applications are packaged up for delivery and stored in on a regular file share. Users stream them down to their local machines and run them in a protected environment that isolates them from conflicts with other apps. They are cached on the local machine and run as natively installed applications, just without all the headaches.

It’s that simple. Manage the apps centrally, but give users the flexibility to use them however they want. I’m looking forward to exploring this topic with you further in this blog and will do my best to make regular contributions to the conversation. Until next time.