One of the exciting new features in XenApp 6 is App-V integration. Now you can publish App-V packages directly from XenApp, deliver and manage the App-V client as a plug-in for Receiver and enable IT self service by allowing users to subscribe to App-V packages using Dazzle.
As you start to go down the path of incorporating App-V into your XenApp environment, an important consideration is the delivery of App-V to your branch offices. Keep in mind that App-V packages are very large – exceeding 500 MB for Microsoft Office. For a branch user connecting over a T-1 connection, this translates into several minutes before the application is functional and almost an hour before it is fully loaded. Note that App-V caches the application on the client making subsequent launches much faster. Still, the long initial launch times might cause enough user dissatisfaction to derail your App-V rollout. And the large amounts of bandwidth consumed can congest the network, impacting the performance of other business applications.
Fortunately, Branch Repeater can help.
Branch Repeater appliances and the new Branch Repeater VPX virtual appliance speed the delivery of App-V packages from the datacenter to branch offices. Even more dramatic performance gains can be achieved using Branch Repeater with Windows Server – the industry’s first WAN optimization appliance built on Windows Server 2008. With this solution, you simply pre-populate the App-V package on the Branch Repeater appliance (which supports up to 250GB of file storage) and then install the lightweight App-V Streaming Server so that users access the application locally, instead of pulling it from the datacenter.
The graph below shows an example of the App-V performance gains that can be realized across a typical T-1 connection. Without any optimizations, App-V takes 190 seconds (over 3 minutes) to initially launch Microsoft Office. With a Branch Repeater appliance accelerating the traffic, that time is reduced to just 17 seconds (over 10 times faster!). And using Branch Repeater with Windows Server to locally stage and stream the application, it takes only 5 seconds (over 30 times faster!).
What do you think? Do you plan to take advantage of the new App-V integration in XenApp 6? If so, what do you plan to do about delivery to branch offices?