In this blog post, I'm going through FSLogix 2.0, which is a truly unique product. They are tackling the difficulty of managing applications in an Enterprise environment in a way that nobody else has and you know what?...it works great!!
Right now you might use App-V or ThinApp. You may be virtualizing your applications and then streaming those applications to your users with the apps running in an isolated manner. This means going to the effort of re-packaging an application and some times even reverse engineering how they work in order to get them to work properly when isolated. Isolation with products like App-V and ThinApp have great benefits, particularly for RDSH environments but in order to get those benefits you go through a hell of a lot of work. It can require a lot of time and money.
In the end if successful you have applications which are ready to stream dynamically to whatever users you've assigned the apps to. All seamless and working great. In VDI, the more applications you can get to work when virtualized, the fewer images you need to manage. You also streamline the delivery of those applications, perfecting the concept of Software as a Service. BUT the journey can be painful.
With FSLogix, you can cut out all of that repackaging\virtualizing effort. You can create one unified base image. Just install all of your applications on your Gold image and then use FSLogix to manage what applications your users can see and use. It works awesome. For a really easy to understand and quick introduction. Check out this video:
In this post, I'm going to first show the simplicity of setting up FSLogix and also the simplicity of creating and applying the rules to hide the applications. I also created my own video, which does not show the install\setup but does show examples of creating rules for regular applications and also an example of how to use this product for managing Java. So make sure you take a look at that video.
Here's the walk through of the setup, how to create rules and apply them.
Enter your product key, check the checkbox to agree to the license terms and conditions. Click Install.
There's a pretty simple overview screen on launch which you can dismiss
Pick a location and name for your ruleset
Browse to the directory of your application
FSLogix gathers paths from the application
Select which users\groups should this ruleset apply to
Save that sucker. You can copy the saved files to the rules directory under c:\Program Files\FSLogix\Apps\Rules. Once you ensure the files exist in that directory on your users machines, the rules will apply. Simple, eh?
Check out my video for more on this and a real world example of the benefits of FSLogix, as well as the joy that is FSLogix JavaRulseSets!
FSLogix couldn't be easier to use. I must admit, I have yet to use it in a large scale Enterprise environment. My own question marks would be what would the day to day management experience be like? I would also wonder if a unified base image would suit all needs.
Luckily, I know the guys at FSLogix have embraced using this with App-V, which I feel would be an ideal fit. In VDI or RDSH, I would prefer to sequence what I can and possibly mount those applications and then use FSLogix to hide whatever applications require global publishing as well as using FSLogix to handle any applications that I could not successfully sequence....it's really great because without FSLogix, in the past if an app could not be sequenced it meant the possibility of having to create a new image for the users that needed that one app which was inefficient, costly and annoying. Now, I can add any app to my Single Gold image and then hide it!
For some info on using this with App-V, check out Duncan Murdoch's blog post: HERE. I also plan to cover my own method for using both together in a future blog post. So keep your eyes peeled for that!
I only scratched the surface with this blog post. FSLogix also tackle profile management with their profile containers. This could have all kinds of great benefits in a VDI\RDSH environment. Also, from personal experience, something like this would be great for managing a multi-tenanted environment. Really, I can't say enough about FSLogix. You owe it to yourself to try it out and see just how easy managing your applications can be!