Many of you tuned into the TechTalk webinar over a month ago when I spoke about how to integrate applications into a virtual desktop. If you didn’t attend the live event, you can still listen in to the recorded version of it.  It sounds like an easy topic, right? “Just install them stupid!”  Of course that approach does work, but is it the best approach?  Many of us are long-time XenApp people.  We see the value with virtualizing applications in XenApp.  We’ve already spent lots of time, money and sanity to get our XenApp environments tricked out so it is running smooth.  So I’m here to tell you, leverage it.  Just because you are going to do a virtual desktop solution does NOT mean you have to throw away your XenApp environment. That is just crazy.

Before you start on the XenDesktop build out, take a look at the just released Reference Architecture.  You can share and streamline your XenDesktop environment by using and sharing your XenApp environment. Some of the XenDesktop components can be shared with XenApp components.  Which ones? How about the license server, data store or Web Interface? 

Also, the integration must be streamlined.  You don’t want to make your users jump through 20 hoops before they get to their applications. They will be tired and hate the solution, resulting in your project failing.  Make it look like the following diagram… Simplified user perspective

The user authenticates once, and they get a standard desktop image that is personalized with their unique set of applications, automatically.

Next, which apps go where?  This is a big question.  Do I let my XenDesktop users simply connect to hosted XenApp applications? If that is your objective, then why are you using XenDesktop?  Truth be told, some applications work better on a desktop OS. But these applications can still be delivered via XenApp.  Focus on application categories of Base, Anomalous, Resource Intensive and Technically Challenging.  These categories will guide you to the best solution. 

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Interested in building the XenDesktop/XenApp solution? Then grab the Implementation Guide.  Step-by-step instructions (with pictures) that shows you how to leverage your XenApp environment for XenDesktop.   If you are really good and just need a high-level guide, then grab the Getting Started Guide

The important thing to remember is don’t throw away your past successes to build something new.  Leverage your past success to make your future success easier.

Daniel – Sr. Architect

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