App-V FAQ: Does App-V replace Citrix XenApp or Remote Desktop Services?

“Does App-V replace Citrix XenApp?” or “Is App-V a Citrix killer?” I’m surprised that this one keeps coming up although I’ve been hearing it for years. People make assumptions about the ability to stream applications to end-points with App-V and confuse this with remote presentation of applications. See the comments on this post as an example. If you’ve come here seeking an answer to this question, then you should first read about what App-V is.

There’s a couple of points to consider when understanding where App-V fits within the application deployment puzzle:

  • App-V doesn’t change where applications are executed – applications delivered by App-V still use local resources just like installed applications
  • App-V requires far more bandwidth to deliver applications than Remote Desktop Services or Citrix XenApp because the complete application (and often a bit more) is delivered to the client

Here’s the good news though, you can combine both solutions – deliver via App-V to your RDS servers and then present the applications remotely using the ICA (XenApp) or RDP (RemoteApp) protocols. Because App-V runs on Windows and has no dependencies on the the desktop deployment solution itself it will work with other products such as VMware View, Quest vWorkspace, Citrix XenDesktop and even Microsoft MED-V.

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  • Jake

    To muddy the waters slightly — Citrix XenApp does compete directly with App-V with their "Application Streaming" deployment method to the "XenApp Offline Plug-In". This technology allows application sequencing, then delivery to a client (or server) isolation environment.

    To make things even more complicated — XenApp actually supports delivery of App-V packages through its Web Interface, alongside its own streamed and presented apps. Owie.