A New Approach to Per User Application Management

The FSLogix premise is simple: existing methodologies for delivering and deploying Windows® applications are based upon outmoded ideas and outdated technology. They believe there remains a need for a product that makes it simple for each user to have their Windows applications individually tailored for their device. When a user logs on they should see only the applications that they are licensed to use regardless of whether they are using cloud desktops, virtual desktops or traditional desktops.

Traditional application virtualization solutions that operate by packaging and streaming down to the device have severe limitations:

  • Poor Application Coverage
Due to limitations in packaging methodologies many applications, especially those that use device drivers, cannot be packaged.
  • Poor scalability 
When an application is delivered at runtime “Streaming” servers can be overloaded.
  • Lack of IT agility.
Your IT staff has no idea if the next version of your business critical application will be able to be packaged until they actually attempt the packaging. Due to poor application coverage it is impossible to effectively plan ahead.
  • Network performance bottlenecks 
Introducing additional streaming servers can bottleneck at the network.
  • Prohibitive labor costs. The most expensive variable in the equation is always labor.

Ask any administrator and they will tell you that they prefer to install applications the way the vendor intended them to be installed (e.g., via its .msi file).

FSLogix introduces a new way to control application availability by user. The administrator defines application policies and which users should have access to those applications. Once the policies are in place, applications that are on the system will only be available to the appropriate users. To the users that are not supposed to have access, all traces of the application disappear. Application files, application registry settings, uninstall information, file associations, run entries, etc., all simply disappear for the user. They are not simply “hidden”. It’s as if the application has been uninstalled. The per-user visibility always applies on any kind of system, for example: concurrent multi-user systems, serial multi-user systems, and single user systems.

Advantages:

  • No application re-packaging. The system administrator simply installs the application normally. That may be via MSI, application virtualization, etc.
  • Performance impact is low. The FSLogix agent is doing the opposite of application virtualization. Instead of making things appear to be installed, it is making things appear NOT to be installed. This is a much simpler operation and therefore the impact to the system, in CPU utilization, storage utilization (IOPs), and memory utilization, is much lower than other systems. Applications that are allowed to be seen run on the normal file system and registry without any work being done by the FSLogix agent.
  • Compatibility. Since the FSLogix agent is not actively altering the behavior of the system, other than making things disappear, application compatibility is not a problem. Applications execute completely normally.
  • Dynamic. Because there is no installation, uninstallation, changing of files, etc., the availability of an application to a user is instant. Schedule based, network based, and other types of events can quickly and easily change application availability for the user. Users that are using the same computer will all have the proper visibility, even when they are using the system at the same time.
  • Finer grained control (plugins, etc.). FSLogix policies can represent any set of files and/or registry entries. It is very well suited to handle some types of products that other methods simply can’t deal with. For example, Microsoft Office add-in products, browser plugins, etc., are all very simple to control.
  • Disconnected. Because all of the application files are on the system and the policies are cached on the machine, the system continues to work perfectly in a disconnected environment.

-Kevin, Randy, and Brad -FSLogix Team

 

This e-book is broken down in to the following sections:

 

FSLogix Apps Implementation Overview
How to Configure the Daily Backup Roll Up Feature