What is Application Virtualization?

By | June 7, 2022
What is Application Virtualization

Today as the technology is evolving day by day it is helping everyone in reducing their workload and cost of managing the companies. The technology world has turned tables with the introduction of the concept of virtualization. It has helped the industry take productivity to another level and made every task simple and efficient. One of the major changes is the virtualization of applications, allowing the users to access and use the application even when they are not installed on the same machine on which they are working. This results in reducing the cost of purchasing applications and installing them on individual machines.

Using the application virtualization, IT teams can set up the application on the centralized server that will deliver the application to the end user’s system. The users will feel as if the application is installed on their physical machine without having any impact on the performance.

If you are not aware of this concept, then you can go through this article to understand application virtualization, its functioning, features, benefits, strategies, and how it is different from desktop virtualization.

What is Application Virtualization?

Virtualization is a new and advanced technology that has changed the working of the entire industry by saving a lot of cost for infrastructure, buying software, and applications. Application virtualization is the process that allows you to run applications on the centralized server from where multiple users can use the application on their system without actually installing it.

These applications may be running on servers in different locations and on the operating system of that server. Any user can access those applications over LAN or WAN as per their company’s structure.

How Application Virtualization Functions?

You can use and leverage the applications that are running virtually either via streaming or remotely.

Many IT experts use the streamlined-based approach that will provide the application to the users without the need to install them on their machines. To use this approach, the user must be connected to the network while downloading or using the desired application as per their requirement.

While some of the experts like to implement the remote-based applications on the server using a hosting service and then they will deliver the desired applications to the dedicated systems of the users over the WAN.

Whatever approach you take, all the applications are being processed on the server of the hosts. It will give the users a feeling that they are accessing and using the applications as if they are installed on their machines. For this, the users can select the required options, open dialog boxes, click menus, and enter the desired text.

To ensure smooth functioning of the application virtualization, IT experts should use any of the application virtualization products like:

  • Citrix XenApp
  • AWS AppStream 2.0
  • Microsoft App-V
  • VMware ThinApp
  • App Volumes
  • Parallels Remote Application Server
  • Horizon Apps

By using such software, they will be able to transmit the applications as pixels directly from the hosting services to the desktop of the user using remote display protocol like VMware View.

Features of Application Virtualization

Here, we have mentioned the salient features of application virtualization:

  • You can support different types of applications.
  • You can deliver applications to a wide range of endpoints along with some restrictions like driver management and others.
  • It will provide you with an easy deployment environment.
  • It allows you to package the applications within a single package that can be run individually on any platform.
  • It ensures security using the access control via proper authentication, IP address, and others.

This application virtualization is based on separating the physical from the virtual that creates the base for the application virtualization. Using the application virtualization will prevent you from any type of incompatibility issues while running any application due to the underlying operating system. In this virtualization, the application is using the operating system of the host where it has been installed for use by multiple users.

Benefits of Application Virtualization

This kind of virtualization has made remote working possible and people do not have to sit tight completing the hectic office hours. You can get the most out of using the application virtualization. Today most companies are working using this technology and leveraging huge benefits. Some of the major benefits are mentioned below. So take a look and implement it for your business.

  • It allows you to install the application to the server and make it virtual to be used by multiple users over the network. Thus reducing the need to install the desired applications on individual systems and saving the cost for installing and licensing the software for every machine.
  • This has made the deployment of the applications an easy task for the clients or partners. You can easily deliver the executable file of the desired application to your clients making the deployments easier.
  • You can place the virtualized applications anywhere on the server or make required copies, saving them in different locations. Thus you can use such applications on any type of endpoints either Windows, macOS, iOS, or Android. Thus providing you the portability and you do not have to worry if any of the endpoints have been compromised, you are still able to use your application from another endpoint.
  • You can easily remove the unwanted virtual applications directly thus saving you from uninstalling the applications from individual systems.
  • Having application virtualization will save you from having conflicts among various applications running on the system due to any compatibility issue.
  • In case of the virtual application failure you can easily roll it back to its last stable state and it is done centrally so that every endpoint can access it.
  • This allows you to update the application only in a single place preventing you from making individual application updates for every system.
  • The virtualized application relies on the operating system of the host where it is installed. One need not worry about the OS installed at the endpoint or any other compatibility issue.

Drawbacks of Application Virtualization

Application virtualization offers a wide range of benefits. However, there can still be some challenges faced while using it. It may be possible that all the applications can be virtualized. Also, you need to check if the virtualized applications can be run in your environment or not.

For example, some of the Windows-based applications are not designed to run in the virtual environment. You won’t be able to run Graphic-intensive Windows-based applications and may have lower performance on the new desktop as they need to have some basic system specifications to run which may not be available on all systems.

You are not able to virtualize the stem monitoring applications as they may face some challenges during troubleshooting the issues. So to overcome such issues, companies like Microsoft are using the testing server App-V which is used as an application virtualization app for managing the Windows server applications.

Most of the drawbacks may result in many more problems if you do not have the right IT provider. You must have application virtualization technology to reduce IT complexity, business disruption, and management costs.

Application Virtualization Strategy

You need to have the right strategy to make sure that the application virtualization functions properly. You must take care of the following strategies while implementing the application virtualization.

  • If you do not have the right application virtualization in place then the number of images will increase in size and it will create a difficult situation for handling the environment. But if you virtualize your applications, the images will get reduced and can be managed easily.
  • With the help of application virtualization, you can easily simplify the traditional desktop management as these devices can easily and efficiently use the virtualized applications.
  • If you remove the hosted application component then you can easily and efficiently simplify the aspect of the virtualized applications as you will be required to use a few resources.

Desktop Virtualization vs Application Virtualization

If you refer to desktop virtualization then it allows you to virtualize the desktops and the operating systems to a local client. While virtual application refers to making the applications be hosted on a remote server to be used by various endpoints without worrying about the underlying desktop.

You can refer to desktop virtualization as the virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI has overcome the same problem as the application virtualization. But they differ on some aspects that cannot be used interchangeably.

Desktop Virtualization Application Virtualization
Ensures flexibility to virtual infrastructure. Less flexibility as compared to desktop virtualization.
Ensure an amazing and interactive desktop experience. Provides different experiences that may differ from application to application.
Maintenance of applications is challenging as you need to redeploy the changes to all VDI instances. Ensures easier maintenance and change of applications, without impacting the performance.
May incur a cost as per the scenario. Cost-effective solution.
Applications rely on the underlying OS. Applications do not rely on the underlying OS.
Users will get the experience of a complete desktop. Users will get an application-specific experience.
Complete virtualization may impact the underlying hardware. Application virtualization has a low impact on the hardware.
Challenges in implementing access and authentication management. Easy implementation of access and authentication management.


Well, there is no doubt on the effectiveness and benefits of application virtualization. You do not have to worry about implementing the applications on your system. Also, you do not have to maintain the minimal requirement for running those applications as they will run on the hosted server so that you will get a feeling that the application is running on your system. You will not face any lack of performance issues as the application runs. There will be no overload on your system and you do not have to face any compatibility issue due to the underlying OS of your system.

So enjoy the latest technology that has been designed to make our lives simpler. But make sure you place the right strategies to implement and enjoy it.

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