I ponder, is anyone still using AIE?  Surely the answer is “yes”.  Why?

Application Streaming has it’s foundations in Application Isolation Environment (AIE) and even shares many binary components.  The file system filtering for example is done by the same device driver, even when AIE and App Streaming are done concurrently.  Everything AIE does, App Streaming can do and … does better.  So any current usage of AIE is likely just an installed base item.  Do you agree?  How big of an installed based problem?

History

Application Isolation Environment (AIE) was first released in Citrix Presentation Server 4.0.  Here is a link to a nice article by Rodney Medina which provides a good introduction to AIE.  This article was written in May 2005!  It’s 2010 now.

AIE was last released in Presentation Server 5.0 on 32-bit platforms before being officially pulled from the system on the 64-bit side for XenApp 5.0 and then gone completely in XenApp 6.0

Application Streaming first shipped in Presentation Server 4.5 and quickly replaced AIE as the preferred method of application isolation.  Every streaming client has supported over-install on top of older versions of XenApp in a fashion similar to installing newer versions of the ICA client (online plugin) on top of XenApp Servers.

The primary point of conflict is on PS 4.5.

The challenge

There has existed a “both” problem on PS 4.5.  Every time we release an update to the App Streaming client some of the shared binaries for AIE must also be updated or else the two isolation environments cannot get along on the same machine.  This has been a recurring issue in LCM for every App Streaming release. 

How big a problem?  Not huge, but it is a regular item.  If update the App Streaming binaries, the AIE binaries will also require a spin.  After 4 years, it gets to be an old process, and old process to support the AIE technology that hasn’t seen significant development since it’s first release.  For AIE using customers, likely also an old process to repeatedly get updates to the same technology while no development is occurring in the area of that technology.

The fix

We “fixed it” in 6.0 by officially disavowing any knowledge of AIE and giving up on making them run on the same machine at the same time. 

If you move up to Streaming Client 6.0 on your PS 4.5 server, then you’ve made a commitment to move away from AIE.  If this cannot be done, to continue using AIE you’ll have to silo it away.  The question is, how many people does this impact? 

I dream that today, nobody is using AIE, but I know this is false.  If you are, please reprofile on App Streaming and move off of the AIE world.

Joe Nord

Product Architect – Application Streaming

Citrix Systems