This article discusses how the State of Indiana and the Fairfax County School District in Virginia are looking at how they can cut management headaches by expanding their use of Microsoft Application Virtualization.
Microsoft Application Virtualization streams an application from a server in an organization's data center to a local PC as pieces of the application are needed. The streamed data is stored in a local cache, but it's never formally installed on the local machine, so applications don't corrupt the registry or interact improperly with other apps. Microsoft is one of several companies in the space, VMware bought Thinstall earlier this year and its ThinApp application virtualization technology, while Citrix has its own line of competitors and a number of start-ups have their own technology.
The State of Indiana is in the midst of a multi-year transformation of its IT infrastructure, having centralized the state's formerly disparate IT functionalities while actually cutting staff. As part of the transition, central IT went from supporting 900 PCs to supporting 25,000 and created a common configuration across many of them, and has had to deal with a multitude of old applications and old computers.
"We've got legacy applications we need to run, and in some places that means people need like three different versions of Oracle (NSDQ: ORCL)," said Gerry Weaver, the state's CIO. Since SoftGrid apps run in a bit of a sandbox isolated from one another, the state decided to use SoftGrid to deliver the applications rather than install them all and[…]