It’s a common misconception that Terminal Server (or Citrix) competes with Microsoft Application Virtualization (SoftGrid) as they're really two completely different technologies designed to solve two completely different problems. So when you team them together you get an awesome solution that will solve most of the problems large enterprises are trying to solve. You don't have to take my word for it though as there’s an entire section on TechNet dedicated to this very topic. I pasted the main topics below but for more information visit http://www.microsoft.com/systemcenter/softgrid/evaluation/softgrid-ts.mspx.
Challenges with Today's Terminal Services Environment: Rigid, Costly, and Unwieldy
Server growth is a costly issue for organizations that rely on terminal services. To avoid post-installation application conflicts, applications must be tested up front to determine which applications will collide and, therefore, must be separated and run on different Terminal Server silos – a time-consuming and costly process. Servers are routinely underutilized because each one is locked into a specific configuration, capable of serving only a limited set of non-conflicting applications, typically using just 25% of capacity. Often, 20 servers are required to support 1,000 users. Microsoft SoftGrid for Terminal Services completely changes this situation.
Microsoft SoftGrid Application Virtualization for Terminal Services: Features and Benefits
• Consolidate servers and end server siloing, increasing server farm ROI: SoftGrid's application virtualization allows any application to run alongside any other – even applications that normally conflict, multiple versions of the same application, and many applications that previously could not run under Terminal Services. This eliminates the need for server silos and significantly improves server utilization. As a result, the number of servers needed is much lower, operational costs for managing the remaining servers is reduced, and the server farm ROI is increased. For instance, it has enabled Russell Investment Group and Fidelity National Financial to shrink their application server farms by 33 – 40%.
• End application conflicts and regression testing: By eliminating the need to permanently install applications on servers, and shielding the operating system and applications from changes created when installed applications run, Microsoft SoftGrid for Terminal Services prevents problems that hinder deployments. The need to perform lengthy regression testing is also significantly reduced.
• Build business continuity for applications: Replicate your virtualized applications like any other enterprise data to maintain an instant-on failover plan for your applications. Applications can be kept up to date between live sites and back-up sites by automatically replicating virtualized application files on the live sites' SoftGrid servers to SoftGrid servers at a back-up site (using third-party tools).
Microsoft, Cirtix, Terminal Server, Terminal Services, Microsoft Application Virtualization, SoftGrid, AppVirt