I received an inquiry recently; can Application Streaming be used to virtualize server infrastructure apps, like Apache, SQL server and a variety of others?  I’ve heard the inquiry before, but have so far ignored it.  I write this post to find out if I’m somehow missing the point because as the Citrix Architect of delivering applications virtualized, I don’t see any point in isolating these applications.

My response: Sure, use Provision Server.  Don’t like that one, use XenServer.

Let me put it differently.  COULD you “App Streaming” style isolate the execution of a server side infrastructure application? SURE.

Should you? In my view, no.  Why do it?

The entire PURPOSE of the server is running that application, so why isolate the application execution.  Well, it isn’t really an application, the entire purpose of the machine is redirected to serving this single purpose.

Could I STREAM the application bits in just time time for execution?  Sure. Would I ever do that?  No. I would go out of my way to make sure the execution bits were in place before runtime.  That leaves isolation.

What about application updates

RADE provides for hot updates of applications as users run them.  In the case of server side, I could profile the application in one place, prove it works, then reboot the production servers to have then bring in the new version of the application.  This sounds like a perfect use of Provisioning Server.

Maybe I could get the new version of the app onto the server by closing the app and relaunching it; no reboot needed.  The result is the same result, the web/database server still has to go down to come back up.

Notice this is the App Streaming architect saying “Don’t run these apps with my stuff”.

Okay – IT people, tell me what I’m missing.

Joe Nord

Citrix Systems

Product Architect – Application Streaming