Last week, Citrix announced its plan to acquire App-DNA, specifically touting the benefits of App-DNA’s AppTitude application management software as a complimentary tool for the Citrix Desktop Transformation Model and process. In short, by automating many of the manual tasks associated with application compatibility testing and migration, organizations can significantly expedite their paths toward virtualization.
How Might This Affect Your Virtualization Plans?
For companies that are already fully virtualized, there are no direct, immediate implications. However:
- If you’ve only virtualized a portion of your end users, Citrix/App-DNA may help you more swiftly get any remaining user segments on board.
- If your organization is planning an acquisition or merger, you may use the features offered by Citrix/App-DNA to more quickly analyze acquired user applications, and determine which can and cannot be virtualized.
For companies that have yet to adopt virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), this is welcome news to help overcome a significant stumbling block on the path to adoption — application compatibility. Although App-DNA has been around for some time, its acquisition by a trusted name in virtualization provides legitimicy for its tools — and VDI in general — for use within enterprise organizations, where the functionality can really be a time- and money-saver.
Regardless of VDI experience to date, IT professionals need to know the implications of Citrix’s App-DNA acquisition to fully take advantage of the technology available, and make informed virtualization decisions moving forward.
Automated End-User Segmentation and Analysis
At MCPc, we’ve believed for years that end-user segmentation is a critical first step in both physical and virtual desktop deployments. Why? To determine which applications will or will not exist in your new environment, and how to deploy them, you need a clear understanding of your user population. Consider:
- What Applications are in use or planned for roll out
- How Applications are utilized across different departments or end-user groups
- How the Applications work and inter-operate with each other
- How all end users use the Applications to connect to their data sources
After understanding the user base and preferred applications, the next step for VDI deployments is application testing for compatibility, remediation needs, packaging or repackaging for virtual environment support, etc. App-DNA’s product line is primarily used to support these and related functions, and to help IT professionals more efficiently manage and migrate applications into a virtual environment.
In essence, information provided by App-DNA does much of the end-user segmentation and related analysis for you. It helps IT professionals easily understand which users and applications are good virtualization candidates, and which are not, quickening the pace toward virtualization.
Here’s an analogy: Say I have to make bread for 5,000 people. If I make it by hand, kneading the dough is going to take a long time, but it’s a critical step in the process. If I have a Hobart machine that will do the kneading for me, the job will be completed a lot faster, meaning the bread will be ready sooner. App-DNA is like the Hobart machine for virtualization projects — it kneads the dough for you.
The Power of Collective Knowledge
In addition, there’s an added benefit of the collective knowledge stored in App-DNA’s data bank. In a fully manual assessment, your team may come across an application that it’s not familiar with from a virtualization standpoint, for which it would have to run manual compatibility tests and determine the migration potential through trial and error.
When using App-DNA, however, it’s likely that one of the thousands of users before you had experience with that application. Thus, the software has stored data on whether it can be virtualized, and how to handle the migration.
Technical Training Needed to Leverage App-DNA
Before this new toolset can reach mass adoption and potential, Citrix engineers must become familiar with it. Though the majority of engineers I know have gone through the segmentation > compatibility testing > remediation > planning process, most have not had a convenient toolset to do it with.
I don’t know what Citrix’s long-term plans are for this acquisition, but its historical approach with smaller products and tactical solutions like App-DNA has been to integrate them into an existing product set, rather than creating a separate standalone product.
Therefore, I suspect that Citrix will likely include App-DNA in a set somewhere, either within XenApp or XenDesktop, and add App-DNA training to its existing Citrix course curriculum.
In the meantime, make sure that your IT staff understands App-DNA’s capabilities, and when it makes the most sense take advantage of the solution.
What do you think about Citrix’s acquisition of App-DNA? Does it make your decision to virtualize easier, or help you convince an executive team that its time to make the move? Share your thoughts and questions in the comment section below.
Andy Jones is Senior Vice President of Sales. He has more than 15 years of IT industry experience, and is an expert on cloud, virtualization and managed services solutions. Connect with Andy on LinkedIn.
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