In a previous post, I talked about the 3 layers of a virtual desktop (OS, Apps and Personalization) and spent some time discussing the must haves and might need items that should be part of the base OS build.  This time I want to talk about the second layer, application delivery.

As you are probably aware, application delivery in a XenDesktop environment is done with XenApp.  Now, I’m not going to tell you about how cool XenApp is (I leave that to the product marketing people). What I do want to spend time talking about is how we choose the best application delivery technique for a virtual desktop, because XenApp gives us three options:


  • Applications part of the virtual desktop OS build
  • Processing occurs on the virtual desktop
  • Impacts processor and more storage required for deployment as base OS image also includes applications


  • Applications streamed to the virtual desktop upon request
  • Processing occurs on the virtual desktop
  • Slightly higher utilization when compared to installed applications due to the streaming client
  • Base Operating System images and applications remain separate entities


  • Applications run remotely on a XenApp server
  • Application processing occurs on XenApp server
  • Running multiple applications has little impact on virtual desktop utilization due to the hosted application client

So, how do you choose the best option? Simple, close your eyes and point to one.   This might work, but it probably won’t give you the best results.  If I was designing a solution, I would want to base these decisions on the following criteria:

The Primary and Secondary options are general recommendations.  For base applications like Microsoft Office, it will be a decsion by the business whether streaming or installing makes the most sense. But remember, installing applications into the virtual desktop means that everyone assigned that OS will receive those applications.  Streaming and Hosting allows fewer base OS images while still allowing for dynamic application sets based on user credentials.

If you think the criteria will be difficult to remembr, look at it this way:

  • Base applications
  • Anomalous applications
  • Resource intensive applications
  • Technically challenging applications

This is the BART Principles of Application Integration.  It is really amazing how much you can do in life by basing ideas on The Simpsons.

Let me know your thoughts on the BART Principles.


Bart Quote: If I do something bad and there’s no one there to catch me, does that mean I’m good?