Performing application compatibility testing on non-MSI applications, commercial or homegrown, is no problem for Citrix AppDNA application compatibility software as it integrates with VDI technology to capture those applications. And now Citrix AppDNA hypervisor support has been extended with support for Microsoft Hyper-V (Hyper-V 2012, Hyper-V 2008 R2, Windows 8 Hyper-V Client), helping customers leverage investments in their existing VDI technology to automate the capture of non-MSI applications for import and analysis into AppDNA for compatibility analysis, and the often forgotten (or unknown) ability of extending Citrix AppDNA to automate and streamline processes.
If you are wondering what you can automate in your environment, here is a list of tasks that customers commonly automate using AppDNA:
- Auto-clicker (AppDNA Install Capture feature that automatically clicks through the steps of a manual installation wherever possible, accepting the default options)
- MSI packaging
- App-V sequencing
- Cloud Services
- File Sharing (i.e. Citrix ShareFile and Citrix StoreFront)
- Running automated tests
- Anything else that can be automated by customizing the Execution Profile and Forward Path scripts available in AppDNA
The examples I mention should help get your own juices flowing as to the automation that could be taken advantage of in your own environment.
As you work on a Windows XP migration, upgrade from XenApp 4.5 and work on larger scale XenDesktop projects, the hypervisor support in AppDNA will not only streamline your processes, but enables you to simplify your workflow. You benefit from saving time, cutting costs, and enabling your resources to put their focus on the more critical tasks that require a human touch.
Hyper-V joins the existing AppDNA support for Citrix XenServer 5 or 6, Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 SP1 (no longer supported by Microsoft), VMware vSphere 5.1, VMware Workstation 7.1, 8.0, or 9.0, VMware Server 2.0 (no longer supported by VMware).
You might be asking, why Hyper-V compared to other VDI options available in Citrix AppDNA? Well, it depends on what you already have to leverage in your environment and the importance of processing power.
As a reminder, hypervisors are used alongside the Citrix AppDNA Install Capture feature (available in both Standard and Enterprise editions) to import windows applications for which an MSI, SFT, or APPV file is not available. These applications are not limited to commercial applications, but include custom, in-house developed applications, and legacy applications that have no source media. AppDNA Install Capture installs the application (whether it be through a setup executable, a script, or by manually copying files and registry keys) within a virtual machine and creates an MSI file that is then imported into the AppDNA software. If you have the software required to create the automated output, you can extend the capabilities of AppDNA Install Capture to create usable App-V sequences, as well as production usable MSI packages (and anything else you want to automate), during the AppDNA import process. You can see the process Citrix AppDNA goes through to start the import process and call the selected VM.
Also, the Citrix AppDNA Forward Path feature uses hypervisors like Hyper-V to extend the capabilities of AppDNA. AppDNA Forward Path uses scripts to model business decisions and automate the solution. The business decision that gets modeled can be customized to fit the needs of the customer. Let me give you a simple business decision for a Windows 7 migration that can be modeled in AppDNA Forward Path.
Using this logic, the AppDNA Forward Path report is customized to produce an outcome which can have a task script associated with it that will automate the suggested solution through AppDNA Install Capture using a Hyper-V virtual machine running the required operating system and the applications required to produce the output for the desired outcome.
Although the VDI option you choose to integrate with Citrix AppDNA is most likely going to come down to what is already in place in your environment, the most important consideration should come down to processing power and the amount of RAM you can throw into both the host and VM configuration in order to get the fastest turnaround times. This is particularly important when considering several factors:
- Number of applications to import for which an MSI, SFT, or APPV file is not available
- Size of applications being captured for import
- How much you want to take advantage of the automation available through AppDNA extensions
I’ve put together some data to show the difference between the most powerful VDI options supported by Citrix AppDNA.
For more information about Hyper-V and how it can also be leveraged by XenDesktop 7, check out the Citrix blog Eight Reasons to Run XenDesktop 7 on Hyper-V 2012 by Ed Duncan.
If you plan on integrating Hyper-V Server 2012, Hyper-V Server 2008 R2, and/or Windows 8 Hyper-V Client, here are a few things to point out before you get started:
- The AppDNA Install Capture feature requires a virtual machine for its exclusive use
- You must use a Hyper-V user account that provides administrative permissions
- The guest operating system must be configured to allow remote desktop connections
- Under some configurations, the virtual machine needs the Hyper-V Integration Services to be installed (these are supported on Windows XP SP2 and later)
- When using Windows 8 Hyper-V Client, the AppDNA client must be installed on the same machine as the Hyper-V Client.
For information on setting up a Hyper-V VM for use with AppDNA Install Capture and AppDNA Forward Path, as well as configuring the Hyper-V VM for use with Citrix AppDNA please follow the instructions closely as documented in the Citrix Support documentation:
Now go get started and explore the endless possibilities of AppDNA that go beyond compatibility testing to improving overall processes and productivity.
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