Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Virtual Platform of the Week – Citrix XenApp

For this Virtual Platform of the Week post, Ben Cook, Senior Technical Consultant, is checking out how our chosen apps will behave on virtualised infrastructures using Citrix technologies. Using Virtualise-It, Ben has tested the applications for compatibility with Citrix XenApp in order to highlight some of the issues that organisations may encounter when virtualising their application estate. Moreover, by testing for both Citrix XenApp hosted and Citrix XenApp streamed, this week's report emphasises the difference between technologies, even from the same vendor, and the importance of recognising the impact that this may have on an application estate.

ChangeBASE AOK 4.1

No compatibility issues were detected with either XenApp hosted or streamed, so this application was safe to proceed directly to UAT. As predicted, the application is fully functional.

FileZilla 3.5.1

This application also passed the test without flagging up any compatibility issues and, as expected, this application worked on Citrix XenApp without a hitch.

Google Chrome 14

AOK revealed that this application will behave differently on Citrix XenApp hosted compared to XenApp streamed, highlighting the importance of checking applications for the specific new environment and the potential risks of assuming compatibility.

With regards to Citrix XenApp hosted, this application contains a reference to an executable in the HKLM registry hive which resides in the user profile. This machine-level registry value will be accessible by all Citrix users, but the executable will only be accessible by the user who installed Google Chrome. This could cause issues and was therefore flagged as Amber.

As far as XenApp streamed is concerned, more major issues were found. Google Chrome places an entry in the “Run” area in the registry and, as this isn’t supported in XenApp streamed, this may cause the application to fail. For this reason, a Red report was raised.

Lightroom 3.3 (x64)

AOK found that this package contains 64-bit files - exactly as you’d expect! As XenApp streaming doesn’t support 64-bit, this application was flagged as Red.

AOK has emphasised in this week's tests that all virtualisation technologies are not the same - even those from the same vendor - and that this can have a considerable effect on the overall compatibility of an application estate. Finding a platform that is suited to your environment therefore becomes all the more important.

For more information on how Quest's ChangeBASE solution set can make such an assessment, and ultimately get your applications working on virtual platforms quicker, please visit the Virtualise-It product page.

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