Why Enterprises Need to Extend DevOps Capabilities to the Management of Windows Desktop Applications

Welcome to the Office of the Technologist. My name is Rory Monaghan, Senior Technologist at Numecent.

Today, let’s talk about managing remote physical endpoints, hybrid work style management, and the challenges of managing both roaming physical endpoints and cloud desktops.

We talk to a lot of customers who are either hybrid by design or hybrid while migrating to a full cloud approach for their desktops. Managing applications across their physical desktops on the corporate network, on a corporate network via VPN, remote off the corporate network on people’s home networks, and their virtual desktops running in the cloud make it complicated to efficiently manage Windows desktops at scale.

Retire Traditional Application Management Tools

Traditional application management tools for physical endpoints are not optimal for managing applications on endpoints that are connected to VPNs or non-persistent virtual desktops in the cloud. The most widely used cloud-based modern provisioning solutions are also not without their challenges. There is substantial slowness when deploying applications, which is inadequate for managing business critical applications across all desktops. What’s more, the underlying package formats being deployed using these tools are also not ideal for deploying to modern desktops or for current work styles. Windows Installers and EXEs were designed for a bygone era. They cause problems like application conflicts, unclean uninstalls, install related reboots, slowness at login, and more. These issues are further exasperated on remote physical endpoints. These installers may require updates to desktop images for non-persistent desktops in the cloud, which often leads IT teams to use disruptive desktop provisioning methods for deploying application updates.

Containerize Everything

So, what is the solution? Containerize everything. We’ve already seen what infrastructure and development teams have done in the tech space with the likes of Kubernetes. Why stop there?

Look at the direction Microsoft is headed with MSIX, their latest application container format. Containers enable IT to package applications into a virtual sandbox, preventing application conflicts, ensuring applications uninstall cleanly when removed, virtualize on a per user basis, and can be rapidly restored to their original state without major disruption to users.

This drastically simplifies general Windows application management, providing a simpler and more agile mechanism for Administrators to manage applications.

Dynamically Manage Applications Like Infrastructure

Containers have helped developers move away from the old problem of “well, it worked on my machine”; which was encountered when a developer would ship a product that simply did not work because some configuration present on their own work machine was not included in the package. Infrastructure teams have been able to scale services like databases, web services and application services instantly as needed to account for dynamic user growth.

By containerizing everything, EUC teams can dynamically manage applications in the same way DevOps teams manage infrastructure. Containerizing everything enables dynamic provisioning, updating, rolling back, recalling and metering of your entire application estate across physical and virtual desktops in a highly automated fashion. Better yet, no need to wait for a user to log out and log in or reboot their machines to get an application update or to completely remove an application.

Container Enhance Desktop Security

These capabilities directly enhance desktop security, which is obviously paramount for today’s enterprise IT teams. Containers prevent exposing application components the way traditional locally installed applications do. Containers can also be encrypted at the desktop and prevent copying to and from the local device. The average security vulnerability is exploited within 7 days of public disclosure, requiring vendors to push application updates more frequently than ever. Thanks to how containers can be dynamically delivered, removed, and rolled back to a clean or previous state, they are perfect for securely expediting application updates.

EUC Teams Deserve the Power of DevOps

Containers are also beloved by DevOps teams, as they are designed to be built and managed programmatically. Which means in most cases, packaging applications and application updates can be automated end-to-end when using containers. Extending container coverage to Windows desktop applications provides a way to securely automate application updates in an enterprise IT environment. That said, the enterprise security benefits I already mentioned – such as rapid application rollbacks – would mean nothing without speed of deployment. In this fast-paced modern work environment we live in, where employees expect the applications they need, when they need them, and NOT A SECOND LATER, any modern application management solution worth its salt must deliver applications quickly. “Modern provisioning” solutions that carry over legacy deployment tool features and dated package formats are not fit for purpose. Containers, on the other hand, are the key to truly modern provisioning from the cloud because they help accelerate the delivery of applications, which is currently lacking with other cloud-native modern provisioning solutions.

Conclusion: It’s Time to Containerize Everything

It is for these reasons and more that Microsoft is moving towards container management for Windows desktops and why containers are the foundation End User Computing’s future.

Thank you so much for watching. Follow for more and visit Numecent.com to learn how YOU can containerize everything.

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About numecent

Numecent is an award-winning cloud technology provider headquartered in Irvine, California. The company’s technology portfolio, built upon 64 patents (and counting), simplifies the mobilization and management of Windows applications across modern desktop and multi-cloud environments. Enterprises around the world – including the largest Fortune 500 companies, cloud service providers, and MSPs – leverage these technologies to package and deploy thousands of applications to millions of end-users in a friction-free manner every day.

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