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Application Streaming

Application streaming refers to an on-demand software delivery system which is based on the fact that applications typically need a minor fraction of the entire program code in order to run. This means that only the important parts of the application’s program code has to be set up; when the end user does certain actions in any application, the relevant code and the files are delivered across a network as and when necessary. Unlike application virtualization where the application runs directly from virtual machines and separate from local systems, in application streaming, the program is run locally and involves centralized storage of the application code. Application streaming is transparent to end users; the server will send enough data to the client for launching the app and then the remaining is streamed to the client in background while he is working.

Application streaming or app streaming is an on-demand, real-time, software delivery model that makes use of the fact that most applications require a small portion of the total program code.

Just like progressive audio/video downloads, app streaming is completely user transparent. The associated mail servers will send enough information to the client to enable the launch of applications and then stream the remaining in the background. App streaming uses the concept of real-time streaming and is often used along with desktop streaming, which we have discussed later in this wiki.

Application Streaming – inside out

If software applications are to be streamed, appls should be packaged into sequences of 4-byte blocks, sent to the end-user one at a time. The blocks are then divided into categories, depending upon the function they serve.

There are following blocks -

  • Starter blocks,
  • Predictive blocks,
  • On demand blocks.

Every time a user clicks on a shortcut, the startup blocks are streamed to their clients. When the startups blocks are locally available, the application starts to stream predictive blocks. Predictive blocks are the same as any other block except that they have intelligence built into them to enable them to anticipate the move the user is likely to make. If the user clicks on a software feature that has never been streamed before, the on demand blocks are sent.

The network admin can allow each of the blocks to be locally cached so that the apps are available even if the user is not connected to the network. If the network admin installs some newer patch or some recent version of the software, the blocks will be delivered the next time If the network administrator installs a patch or new version of the software, the blocks containing the updates start to get delivered the next time users launch the application.

How (App) Streaming Works

Application streaming is when you install apps on a pool of web servers and configure them the same way rather than configuring them a thousand times. So, instead of deploying 100 or 1000s of endpoints you only deploy a single instance of the application. This approach is vital over a standard VPN Network because it only transmits pixels when the app is in use – no data is stored in the endpoint.

Application streaming often coincides and works in unison with desktop virtualization, which is becoming increasingly popular because organizations, these days, want their employees to work remotely. This can only be achieved if they have access to the applications to ensure employees and contractors have access to the apps needed anytime.

Given the rise of BY OD and the ever-increasing dominance of remote workers, who use their own devices, the complexity of apps and their compatibility has seen a spike.

Virtual desktops, however, can solve this issue. It can do so by masking the device’s native OS with the OS of the virtual machine. Of course, the VM’s OS needs to be capable with the operating system with a virtual OS that’s capable with the applications needed.

Advantages of application streaming

The key advantages of application streaming are as follows:

Application streaming allows the users to download only those features that they actually need. The other features can be stored on a remote server and accessed as and when required. As application streaming does away with the use of unnecessary programs, it makes the systems run much faster.

Application streaming is particularly useful for mobile users in that they can access an application in any location using any machine of choice.

As the users need just a single copy of the application, managing or updating it becomes quite simple. Users can sign into a remote server and download the latest version of the application on their system.

Application streaming is also cost-effective as it brings down licensing fees as there is no need to buy more licenses. Also, the user can easily upgrade to a newer version of the app merely by logging in

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