Testing It Out

By Cameron Sturdevant  |  Posted 2010-05-04 Print this article Print


Testing It Out

My VMware ThinApp 4.5 test environment ran on a Lenovo W510 mobile workstation with dual Intel Core i7 quad-core processors, 8GB of RAM and 450GB of hard-drive space. I used VMware Workstation 7 to create several Windows XP SP3 and Windows 7 Professional end-user systems and a Windows Server 2003 system to handle software distribution.

In addition, I used snapshots of the Windows XP and Windows 7 Professional systems as my clean reference machines for creating the application packages. These systems were then reset to a pristine state and used to access the file share on my Windows Server 2003 system to access and install the various test applications.

As is the case with application virtualization products, I was able to use ThinApp 4.5 to run multiple versions of the same product. Thus, organizations that need employees to use an older version of an application (say, Word 2003) while transitioning to a more up-to-date productivity tool (for example, Word 2007) can do so on the same system without the two versions of the product causing interference.

Organizations that are considering a migration from Windows XP to Windows 7 but are concerned about application compatibility can use ThinApp 4.5 as a bridge between the two operating systems, using the same principle of application isolation.

I used the previous version of ThinApp 4.0 to create several application packages and then employed the new Relink utility to update these packages to the new ThinApp 4.5 format. Both versions of Word, WinZip and the Adobe After Effects packages transitioned without a hitch.

For midsize to large organizations, ThinApp 4.5 is still best used in conjunction with an enterprise-class software distribution system, such as HP Client Automation, LANDesk Management Suite or Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager. These products provide the management infrastructure-such as deployment success/failure-that is not provided by the ThinApp 4.5 product.

Cameron Sturdevant Cameron Sturdevant has been with the Labs since 1997, and before that paid his IT management dues at a software publishing firm working with several Fortune 100 companies. Cameron also spent two years with a database development firm, integrating applications with mainframe legacy programs. Cameron's areas of expertise include virtual and physical IT infrastructure, cloud computing, enterprise networking and mobility, with a focus on Android in the enterprise. In addition to reviews, Cameron has covered monolithic enterprise management systems throughout their lifecycles, providing the eWEEK reader with all-important history and context. Cameron takes special care in cultivating his IT manager contacts, to ensure that his reviews and analysis are grounded in real-world concern. Cameron is a regular speaker at Ziff-Davis Enterprise online and face-to-face events. Follow Cameron on Twitter at csturdevant, or reach him by email at csturdevant@eweek.com.

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