Centralize Application Management Across All Desktop Environments
Hybrid work styles have become mainstream in recent years. While cloud-hosted desktops and technologies are critical to support remote and hybrid IT architectures, physical endpoints remain a foundational element of modern workforces. Some employees and organizations cannot work remotely due to the nature of their work (e.g., clinical workers). Other organizations, while able to support hybrid work are opting to revert to fully on-site operations. While we have covered Cloudpager’s value for hybrid scenarios extensively in the past, it would be remiss if we did not also address use cases where employees are 100% on-site.
Before we go any further: YES, Numecent technologies bring modern provisioning to enterprises with end users strictly utilizing physical endpoints. We’d like to dispel the sentiment our technologies are strictly for virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and desktop as a service (DaaS) environments, though enabling applications to seamlessly run on virtual desktops is a core use case for many of our customers.
Enterprises Must Change Their Approach Multi-Site Organizations
When I think about the large enterprises I worked for in the past, I immediately think about how complex their architectures were. This complexity was due to the many requirements IT had to address when managing applications across different office buildings, hospitals, and other types of work sites. We required dedicated server infrastructure at each site and a complicated network configuration and topology. At times this was not optimal for application delivery and support, as application packages would need to be distributed across multiple sites before deployment could occur. Each site server would require patching and maintenance and the fluid nature of enterprise network configuration could lead to latency and connectivity issues at certain sites that could hurt the performance of application delivery.
I also think of my employers acquiring other companies and slapping together a solution to get new employees the applications they needed during the transition amid consolidation of their Active Directory (AD) sites, which often requires site-to-site VPNs, leading to sudden network drops due to bandwidth constraints and other highly disruptive issues. This is just one significant challenge. While I could go on, I’m sure those reading this who have worked in larger enterprises are already all too familiar with the challenges of managing applications at enterprise scale. So, how about we change tact and talk about solutions for overcoming the challenges?
Why On-Site Workloads Need Cloud-Native Application Management
Delivered as a fully managed software as a service (SaaS) solution, Cloudpager offloads on-premises infrastructure requirements for application provisioning and management, effectively eliminating the issues that arise with complex network configurations. It operates over HTTPS, requiring minimal configuration in the firewall. Since HTTPS is universal, it should also eliminate the need for relying on VPNs for at least the purposes of application delivery.
While you may have full on Windows servers at each site to manage your applications today, you do not require dedicated servers when deploying your applications with Cloudpager. You can store your applications in our cloud. Alternatively, you could also use our multi-location setting to point to file shares on your corporate network. These can reside on your existing dedicated window servers at each site or on a more lightweight network share. By using Cloudpager and the multi-location setting, you can provide a greater level of resiliency by centralizing applications in the cloud together with on-premises ,optimized storage and Cloudpaging application containers advanced cache management features you can experience improved speed and performance of application delivery with a fail-over to the cloud when needed (e.g., if there is an issue accessing your network share, the client can get the applications from cloud storage instead).
Traditional Tools Hinder Application Deployment Success and Speed
When I think of using traditional on-premises deployment tools, I think of slow application deployments with high failure rates. A large part of the failure rate is the fact that those deployment tools were managing applications in the legacy XP era of package formats. By moving to application containers and orchestrating your application containers with a modern container management platform, you get a modern provisioning solution with a high rate of success.
Application containers mitigate common deployment problems like application conflicts, application corruption, failed application updates, unclean uninstalls, and more.
Another factor – of course – is network complexity. Laptops may roam from site to site and may not even be connected to the correct corporate network at times, which can lead to significantly slowed or failed application deployments. By using Cloudpager and HTTPS for delivery, applications and updates are dynamically delivered to end user desktops if the machine is online and the entitled user is logged in. If offline use is required, applications can also be made available offline for roaming users. Policies within Cloudpager enable administrators to provide offline access indefinitely or for a defined period, providing additional flexibility and a layer of security when line of sight to a device is lost.
Accelerate application launch times between 20X to 100X compared to traditional deployment tools
One of the challenges of application management in a large enterprise is speed of deployments. If you need to react to an urgent situation, such as fixing a broken application or deploying a new version of an application to patch a critical security vulnerability, the last thing you want is a process that takes 10+ minutes just to deploy the package to different content shares, meaning it could be hours or even days before applications are deployed to your machines. With Cloudpager the process of adding applications and application updates is streamlined. You can edit application metadata while the application is uploading. Since applications are delivered via our cloud-based content delivery network, application deployments are quick at scale. To be more specific, deployments range from 20X to 100X faster than traditional tools (read how PTC accelerated application deployments from more than 25 minutes to less than 2 minutes).
Application Containers Can Remove Inefficiencies
If I had a dollar for every closed support ticket I’ve read where the notes stated the issue was resolved by reimaging a desktop, I would have enough to go on a nice trip to Hawaii. It would be easy to lambast field techs and support teams for reimaging desktops so often as a fix for an application issue, but the reality is many of those teams are measured on efficiency and productivity. If an issue cannot be resolved within 15-30 minutes, they may have to resort to re-image a desktop to get the affected employee back up and productive.
In some large organizations, they may have some field techs who work across multiple sites, meaning those types of support tickets may be addressed slowly due to resource constraints.
Moving to application containers enables you to take a proactive approach by eliminating many of the issues that plague enterprise windows applications relying on dated packaging technology. By nature, they mitigate application conflicts and enable dynamic application provisioning, updates, rollbacks, and recalls. You can be confident if you need to completely reset a specific application – or even all managed applications for a given user – this can be done quickly and cleanly. Fixes can be implemented in minutes rather than hours or days.
For Administrators using ControlUp as a single pane of glass for managing desktops and supporting users, you can now benefit from new Script Based Actions available in the ControlUp Script Library to streamline management and support of your application containers on your enterprise Windows desktops.
For ControlUp customers we have also created some Script-Based Actions to help too!Learn More
Many organizations are turning to modern provisioning for applications in lockstep with a new remote or hybrid work style. Often folks assume technologies supporting these modernization initiatives are tailored strictly to virtual desktops. The truth is every organization, regardless of working styles and desktop types, will benefit from adopting a modern container management platform. For all the reasons listed above, a move to Cloudpager will result in a better experience for administrators managing enterprise applications deployed to physical endpoints and a superior application experience for the end users.
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