Application Virtualization 2X RAS – Introduction
Today, virtualization has become part of most organizational networks. While this concept was initially implemented to optimize mainframe computers and scale up resources, it has now entered into every aspect of IT. Be it server, network, desktop or application, every entity of an IT system can now be delivered as a virtual element. Optimal use of resources, scalability, reduced TCO (total cost of ownership) and improved revenues are some of the vital factors that pull businesses into implementing virtualization in their business processes.
Application Virtualization 2X RAS-The Evolution of Virtualization
Virtualization can be defined as the process of creating a virtual instance of an IT resource that is isolated from the environment and is run in a virtual bubble. It was first implemented by IBM on mainframe computers in the early 1960s, when servers were first virtualized. Full virtualization was first used on CP-40 in 1970. However, the 80s and 90s saw a great rise in personal computers and virtualization was left behind for some time. In the new millennium, businesses understood the potential of virtualization and started exploring various facets of it. There are different types of virtualization available today.
a) Server Virtualization
Server virtualization transforms a single physical machine into multiple virtual machines, to take advantage of the machine’s computing power. Each virtual machine acts as a physical server and runs its own OS. By fully utilizing the computing power of each server, rack space can be reduced, power consumption is optimized and heat generation can be reduced as well.
b) Desktop Virtualization
Desktop virtualization creates a virtual instance of a user desktop. In this model, the user desktop runs on the server as a virtual machine and the user accesses it using a thin client. With a centralized desktop management system, patches, upgrades and maintenance become easy. Hypervisor — virtualization software — is run on the server to create a platform for administrators to effectively create and manage virtual machines.
c) Network Virtualization
Network virtualization involves the creation of virtual networks to run in isolated environments. Using this method, virtual networks are created within a single physical network. Alhough they share the same IP range, they are not authorized to communicate with each other but operate within a logical entity with different processes and functions.
d) Data Virtualization
Data virtualization or storage virtualization is the process of creating a logic space for data storage and mapping it with the actual storage location. By creating a virtual storage system, data become location-independent and can be effectively managed. While DAS (direct-attached storage) is a basic storage technology, NAS (network-attached storage) is the first step towards virtualization and SAN (storage area network) is a sophisticated version of data virtualization.
e) Application Virtualization
Application virtualization, the final frontier of the virtualization paradigm, isolates applications from the operating system to run on a client system without actually being installed on it. With a centralized management system and platform-independent environment, businesses can take advantage of this modern technology to securely process data. Virtual applications enable IT administrators to significantly reduce the cost and complexity associated with development, setup, configuration, deployment and maintenance of software applications. A virtual application is a virtual machine image pre-configured with files, registry data, settings, components, runtimes and other dependencies required for a specific application to execute immediately. A virtual application improves the user experience, and reduces test and support complexity associated with deploying the application. Because virtual applications run in isolated environments, applications that otherwise interfere with one another can run simultaneously. For example, applications which overwrite system DLLs or require different runtime engine versions can run concurrently on a single host device. Application virtualization enables you to deploy, update and support applications as services in real time, on an as-needed basis. It transforms individual applications from locally installed products into centrally managed services. Applications become available everywhere they need to be — no computer pre-configuration or changes to operating system settings are required. Advantages of application virtualization:
- Allows applications to run in environments that do not suit the native application.
- Secures and protects the operating system and other applications.
- Runs incompatible applications side-by-side, at the same time, and with minimal regression testing against one another.
- Reduces operating costs.
- Enhances security by removing administrator privileges from the end-users.
- Simplifies operating system migrations.
- Includes accelerated application deployment through on-demand application streaming.
- Improves the control and tracking of licensing usage.
- A legacy application is an application which is obsolete or installed on an obsolete system.
Replacing legacy applications, or making them work with new systems, is one of the most time- and money-consuming aspects of the modern organization. For example, in April 2014 we saw the end of support for Windows XP, although the obsolete OS is still involved in a number of business-critical applications. Such an event forces companies to undertake a mandatory migration with high cost and risk. Using application virtualization you can prolong the lifetime of a legacy application, continuing to use it in a safe, fast and reliable way.
Application Virtualization 2X RAS – How Does it Work?
Traditionally, applications are installed directly on each system. When an application is installed, it changes registry settings and, at times, two or three applications conflict with each other. With application virtualization, applications are installed on the server and a virtual instance is delivered to the user in an isolated environment so that it does not affect registry settings and only works inside an application-specific bubble. Here, only the application layer and not the operating environment is virtualized. Each application comes with a separate installer package that comprises files, libraries and settings; registry settings, DLLs and the operating environment are not modified. The thin client that accesses these applications is encapsulated from the OS — it appears as though the application is running on the thin client but in reality it is running on the server and uses the server OS. Using this method, users can run several versions of a single application on a system.
Application Virtualization 2X RAS – Where is it Useful?
In application virtualization, data are transmitted by the server and stored on the server, and users can still enjoy a native experience. Issues such as bugs in the program and incompatibility with the OS can be effectively resolved by running applications on virtual machines. For instance, you cannot normally run MS Office on a Chromebook, but application virtualization allows you to do this. Moreover, legacy applications can still be executed on newer OS without conflicting with other applications. Consider another example: A network consists of four terminal servers out of which one server runs legacy applications that conflict with other applications. Even with server virtualization, a legacy application still needs a virtual machine. By using application virtualization, one virtual server can handle the sand-boxed legacy application, resulting in fewer virtual resources to manage and improved scalability.
Application Virtualization for Businesses of All Sizes
Today, application virtualization has become a great option for businesses to cut down maintenance costs and improve business revenues. Here are some reasons why businesses of all sizes should consider implementing application virtualization, irrespective of whether they are small or among the Fortune 500: Small and medium-sized companies need to keep administrative costs low. Large businesses commonly seek to deploy secure applications rapidly while maintaining the highest levels of management and agility. Application virtualization is the best way to accomplish all of these goals. It uses a centralized computing model where employees can access all of the company’s resources regardless of their geographical location.
Application Virtualization 2X RAS – Easy Deployment and Maintenance Results in Increased Productivity
As virtual applications do not conflict with the environment, testing a new application becomes simple and quick. There is no need for integration testing. Deployment of applications is easy as well. You don’t need to install or uninstall applications. You only install a virtual file and delete it. By providing uninterrupted application services, you can maintain SLAs and increase worker productivity. As issues associated with registry keys and DLL files are completely eliminated or reduced, support staff have more time to concentrate on other issues.
Application Virtualization 2X RAS – Worker Mobility
Another important benefit of application virtualization is worker mobility. This technology offers the flexibility to run applications from DVDs, USB drives or through predictive streaming. Today’s employees are working from a variety of locations, using a mix of personal and corporate devices. Employees need seamless, secure access to all of their business apps, data and services wherever they are and on the devices of their choice — from PC to smartphone — alongside their personal content. The flexibility to choose how, where and when work gets done empowers the workforce to produce great results. With application virtualization you can run these applications from anywhere, anytime.
Application Virtualization 2X RAS – Data Integrity and Security
Organizations are keen to keep their information safe, but at the same administrators want to use the advantages of cloud computing to reduce costs and increase productivity. With application virtualization, data security is highly prioritized. As data do not reside on the client machine and are transmitted from the server, businesses can rest assured of data integrity and security. A different way to visualize the concept of application virtualization is that the information is safely stored within your perimeter, and you have access to it through a secure encrypted connection. The data never leave the datacenter and are accessed through a remote connection; what you see on your screen, on whatever device you are using, is just a projection. Lost and stolen devices have little impact on the organization’s data integrity. This innovative technology is the perfect mix between mobility, security and business continuity, taking companies to the next level of virtualization.
Application Virtualization 2X RAS – Reduced Application Conflicts
Another important benefit of application virtualization is reduced application conflicts. As you install a complete executable package for each application in a virtual environment, no changes are made to registry or DLL files. In this manner, two conflicting applications or two different versions of the same application can run on the same machine. Moreover, legacy applications can easily be executed on newer OS machines.
Application Virtualization 2X RAS
2X Remote Application Server (RAS) allows you to deliver applications to remote users and mobile devices in a seamless and easy-to-manage way. File types are automatically associated with the virtual applications, making them as transparent to the user as though they are sitting in the office. 2X RAS avoids unnecessary consumption of resources, and several applications can run at the same time without affecting performance. It transforms complexity into simplicity; with the drag and drop functionality, publishing an application is a matter of one click. 2X RAS provides a solution for any organization seeking to reap the benefits of today’s mobile work styles. It empowers the company’s workforce to collaborate anywhere, inside or outside the organization, on any of the latest devices, as easily as they would in their own office. It supports the BYOD philosophy, allowing employees to work anywhere using their own personal devices. It increases productivity by permitting corporate application access from mobile devices. Allowing your workforce to access corporate apps and data from their mobile devices delivers huge productivity gains BUT brings huge risks along with it. 2X RAS mitigates that risk by keeping ALL CORPORATE DATA on the server: it virtualizes the apps and data onto the mobile device, but the data remain within your company’s control. 2X Remote Application Server delivers applications and remote desktops where you need them and on any device. You can even access apps from a browser, without requiring any additional software, using the HTML5 gateway, which enables you to quickly access applications and virtual desktops with zero setup. No need for Flash, Java or Silverlight.
About 2X Software
2X Software is a global leader in virtual desktop, application delivery and mobile device management solutions. Thousands of organisations worldwide trust in the reliability and scalability of 2X products. 2X offers a range of solutions to make every organisation’s shift to cloud computing simple and affordable.The company’s product line includes the award-winning 2X Remote Application Server (2X RAS), providing platform-independent virtual desktop, application delivery and integrated thin client management from a single software package to any modern operating system, as well as to mobile devices including smartphones and tablets.2X Mobile Device Manager (2X MDM) offers a complementary (or stand-alone) solution that enables 2X Software’s customers to monitor and manage corporate and employee-owned mobile devices. With 2X MDM, customers will be able to track their devices and remotely lock or delete data if a device is lost or stolen. In addition, organisations will be able to monitor mobile devices for malware and remove inappropriate apps. For additional information, visit www.2x.com or contact Giorgio Bonuccelli by email (Giorgio.Bonuccelli@2x.com) or phone (+356 2258 3800).
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