Friday 31 October 2014

Server App-V: The New Lift and Shift for server applications

There is a lot of talk these days on application virtualisation, especially regarding Microsoft’s App-V desktop application virtualisation products. A little know server component has been in development for a number of years know. For a number of both technical and organisational issues, Microsoft’s Server App-V technology is just not getting real traction in today’s application migration and server migration programs.

If you have not heard about Microsoft’s Server App-V server-application virtualisation technology, you can read more here.
Quoting from Microsoft;
"Server App-V builds on the technology used with Application Virtualization (App-V) by separating the application configuration and state from the underlying operating system running on computers in a data center environment. Server App-V allows for dynamic composition of application and hardware images which can help significantly reduce the number of images that need to be managed."
Possibly one of the reasons why Microsoft Server-App has not generated the broad level of interest and acceptance in IT, is that server based applications are less likely to packaged and included in automated deployment systems like Microsoft SCCM. In an effort to resolve some of these technical challenges, Microsoft has released a tool that allows for Remote Application Packaging and then conversion to the Server App-V format.

There are a number of packaging and deployment scenarios that this application packaging tool supports including;
  • You need to deploy an application to a newer version of Windows Server
    • Note: Using this tool does not guarantee that your application will work with a newer version of Windows Server. You will need an application compatibility tool for that.
  • You need to migrate an application from physical server a to a virtual machine
  • You want to leverage VMM Service Templates to deploy a select number of application workloads
This Microsoft tool does not support all packaging scenarios, but Microsoft has indicated full support for the following deployment scenarios (note: all the following required Server App-V Sequencer SP1 (build

  • All MSI based installers
  • The following Windows components:
    • Windows services
    • Registry
    • File systems
    • IIS
    • Environment variables

  • You can download the tool here.

    Monday 20 October 2014

    Is Application Compatibility (App-Compat) over?

    Just a quick post today, and a great (re)start to the application compatibility conversation. As we have learned over the past (almost) seven years, application compatibility was a big challenge for organizations moving from Windows XP to Windows 7 and even now Windows 8.x

    Watch Chris Jackson present his views on the "Last App-Compat Session" at TechEd 2013 in North America.

    You can download the high-quality video here:

    As always to you can tune into Chris Jackson's latest thinking at his blog: The App Compat Guy

    Application Compatibility may not be quite as important as it was during the past few years due to all the "heavy lifting" required to get some pretty old applications on to Windows 7.  However, my current thinking is that application compatibility is now simply part of the application management "fabric" in most organisations and is part of the many challenges in getting applications to work.

    You will hear more from me on this topic -soon....

    Thursday 16 October 2014

    October Patch Tuesday on Computer World

    It looks like a massive Patch Tuesday update for this month, as we see updates from Microsoft, Apple, Oracle and Adobe.

    You can read more about some of the details and concerns for each patch on my Computer World blog posting here:

    Each month I post a review of the recent updates and the releases from Microsoft. You can find my other, past posting here

    See you next Patch Tuesday!

    Update: Microsoft releases a video update on Patch Tuesday every second Wednesday of the month. You can find the October Security update video here

    Monday 13 October 2014

    Application Management Event 2014

    I was worried that no one would show-up, but show up they did. The annual AppManagEvent 2014 Event (organised by PDS) in the Netherlands was a great success.

    Fortunately, I was able to present on one of the technical break-out sessions on virtualization with summary of the past few years of application virtualization titled, "The Rise and Fall and Rise of Virtualization". 

    Here are some quick photos from the session:

    Greg Lambert presenting at the Application Management Event

    We also had a stand at the exhibition, and had a chance to get some feedback on our cloud-based Assessment, Remediation and Conversion service.

    Qompat Demos at Application Management Event
    You can view the virtualization presentation via Slide Share here.

    Overall, we had a great response to our planned products, services and pricing.

    If you would like to find out more about how we can assist with your migration or business as usual application management efforts, please join our BETA program, listed below.

    Tuesday 7 October 2014

    Join us at the Application Management Event 2014

    Join us the Application Management (and Packaging) Event.

    I will be presenting one of the technical break-out sessions at the Application Packaging event in the Netherlands.

    The delights and frustrations of technology are such that with each wave of progress, a new set of issues come to light. In this session, I will reflect on the early history and technical challenges encountered in the process of migrating desktop, and sometimes server environments, to virtualised platforms  

    Time, October 9th, 13:40 – 14:20

    It would be great to see you, and if you have time, please stop by the Qompat stand to see a demo.