Is VMware paving the path for application layering for others?

For years now, application layering has been around starting with Symantec SVS long long time ago. not many companies used to use it for it was strange and well it wasn’t that manageable at that time many thought, Symantec is still around SVS is now called Symantec Workspace Virtualization.
Going to this century we come across three companies that offer Application Layering, Symantec, Unidesk and Liquidware Labs with FlexApp. Of course there are more but I focus on Unidesk and Liquidware Labs for they are the ones I hear most about in the market.
For both companies it’s been a battle, certainly on the European market, to gain access and convince companies that what they offer is a solid solution.
I’ve had many talks with customers about application deployment and even though we don’t sell e.g. Unidesk I still talk about them for they are one solution in many that a customer could choose from. Customers were reluctant to even consider it, layering was still something that had that SVS sauce over it… let’s stick with Application Virtualization (I’ll get to that in another article).
More companies arose that did application layering, some layering was more like installation on demand but all had the same issue no one dared to touch them…until 2014.
VMware acquires CloudVolumes and add application layering to their portfolio. Now a huge vendor, one that we trust with delivering virtual machines in our production environment adds application layering.
VMware rebranded CloudVolumes to Appvolumes and offers it  included in the Horizon license, in the DAAS license and separate for any customer with e.g. Citrix.
At first some in the field would comment VMware is making application delivery to complex with one more option to choose from. That of course was utter crap for since when is more choice not a good thing. Now when delivering applications in a VDI desktop you have options, you can either;
  • Install in the golden image manually
  • install in the golden image automated
  • Virtualize with VMware ThinApp or Microsoft App-v
  • Deploy an AppStack through Appvolumes.
As we say with diner, the more the merrier. As a consultant I rather have more options available to suit my customer needs than having to say “sorry we can’t”.
So again jump forward to May/June/July 2015
I noted that customers are asking about application layering, if I can tell them if it would benefit them in their environment.
Beside the fact that perhaps it does, I was thinking back about all those years application layering was something you didn’t talk about in public, things change so it seem.
It takes one acquisition but a large vendor with big public support to chance things. I’m sure Liquidware Labs and Unidesk and all other doing Application layering are also seeing this change.
Who knows perhaps we finally can get that beast called application virtualization back in it’s cage and use it only for the freaky apps instead of trying to do virtualize all.
Just my quick thoughts on paper about this, if you want to know more about the choices and application layering option, contact me via @robbeekmans.

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