Some days ago, I posted an overview of application virtualization which contained a list of several solutions. Some readers referred to additional tools and so I created a new list. I suspected that there might be more of them than the four I was aware of, but I was quite surprised by how many different application virtualization solutions there actually are. Virtualization.info compiled a more comprehensive list. However, it contains solutions that are not available anymore in this form, because they have been purchased and altered by their new owners. Thus, I created a new list and added a short comment to each product.

I moved my original list to this post and modified some of my comments.

Ceedo ^

Ceedo offers an Enterprise and a Personal edition. The latter is for storing applications on portable devices and the Enterprise edition allows multiple applications to be virtualized together in a virtual environment. It seems Ceedo comes with its own Start Menu, where you can launch the applications of your virtual environment.

Ceedo

Citrix XenApp ^

Citrix offers a client-side and a serverside application virtualization solution. With "server-side" they just mean what was formerly called Citrix Presentation Server (and before that Metaframe, and before that Winframe). The application is executed on the server, and its user interface is displayed on the client using the ICA or the RDP protocol. The client-side application virtualization works similar to the other tools in this list and supports application streaming. Citrix Provisioning Server for Desktops is another virtualization solution that allows application streaming. However, it streams a complete virtual OS to physical desktops, so I think that this product is not really an application virtualization solution.

Citrix XenApp

Endeavors Technologie Application Jukebox ^

Endeavors Technologie claims to be the first company to deliver application streaming. What I find interesting about this solution is that they also have a SaaS edition (Software as a Service). Ever since I first read about application virtualization, I always wondered if this technology might be an alternative to web-based apps and RIAs (Rich Internet Applications).

Endeavors Technologie Application Jukebox

InstallFree Virtual Applications ^

This application virtualization solution has a couple of interesting features, such as an encrypted user data file, bi-directional streaming, and Active Directory integration. The user data file is external to the virtual application and contains all changes a user makes (user files, configuration changes, user installed add-ins, etc.). This user data file can also be used for multiple users. Bi-directional streaming allows real-time synchronization of the user data with the data center. The InstallFree Bridge extension enables you to assign applications to users listed in Active Directory.

InstallFree Virtual Applications

LANDesk Application Virtualization ^

LANDesk which belongs to Avocent for more than two years now, doesn’t have an own application virtualization solution. They just licensed VMware ThinApp (see below). If you work with LANDesk’s system management tools, then it might make sense to have a look at the OEM version of ThinApp.

LANDesk Application Virtualization

Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) ^

Microsoft acquired Softgrid a while back and renamed their product Application Virtualization. Actually, Softgrid was the first application virtualization solution I ever heard of. I just learned that there is a new abbreviation for it: App-V. I guess this is an innuendo at Hyper-V. The fact that App-V is only available for Software Assurance customers is certainly a downside. Considering how many competitors there are in this area, I doubt somehow that they can keep up with this policy. I think this also shows that Microsoft believes App-V to be a product for enterprise customers only. Version 4.5 Beta is currently available at Microsoft Connect. I have already heard from two sources that they had serious problems getting Microsoft Application Virtualization to work.

Microsoft Application Virtualization

Ringcube MojoPac ^

There is a corporate version (MojoPac Enterprise Suite) and a free edition (MojoPac Freedom). MojoPac Freedom is for running applications from a portable device. MojoPac Enterprise Suite consists of mojostation and mojodrive. Mojostation provides a virtual workspace for desktops and laptops and mojodrive is for portable drives. The MojoPac Enterprise Management Tools offer central management.

Ringcube MojoPac (website no longer available)

Symantec AppStream and Altiris Software Virtualization Solution Professional ^

Altiris is a well-known player in the OS and software deployment area. They belong to Symantec now, which makes this solution more interesting, in my view. Symantec also bought AppStream, a company that was focused on application streaming. This makes sense, because their solution depends on a virtualization solution such as the one from Altiris. I suppose that, in the future, there will be only one application virtualization product from Symantec.

Symantec Altiris Software Virtualization Solution Professional

Trigence AE ^

There are two things that distinguish this solution from the others in this list. First, Trigence offers a Windows and a Linux/Solaris edition. Second, this application virtualization solution is for server environments and is not like the others for desktops. I didn't figure out what "AE" stands for. My guess is "Application Environment". Trigence has no downloadable demo, but they have nice online screencasts, which give you an idea about their products.

Trigence AE

Trustware Bufferzone ^

The focus of Trustware Bufferzone is on security. In a way, this product comes from the opposite direction than the other solutions in this list. The idea here is not to let admins isolate and deploy preconfigured virtual applications. Instead, Bufferzone provides kind of a sandbox for end users, where they can execute potentially dangerous applications. For example, if a user opens an email attachment or downloads a program from the Web, then Bufferzone will make sure that no system changes will occur by running these apps in a sandbox. There is a home and an enterprise edition. The latter can be managed centrally via Group Policy. The FAQ also mentions a free version, but I wasn't able to find a download page for it. The version for Windows Vista is only available as beta at the moment.

Trustware Bufferzone

VMware ThinApp (Thinstall) ^

Since VMware is the market leader in virtualization technology, it is probably the first place to go to get acquainted with this application virtualization. They acquired Thinstall some months ago and renamed it now to ThinApp. Version 4.0 was just announced a couple of days ago. The main new features are "Application Link" and "Application Sync". Application Link allows sharing for common data such as.Net or Java runtime and Application Sync streams byte-level updates to users.

VMware ThinApp

Xenocode Virtual Application Studio ^

I just learned about Xenocode a couple of days ago. In the meantime, I tested and reviewed Xenocode. A representative from Xenocode contacted and assured me that the problem I had with installing Virtual Application Studio on Vista probably was a red herring. They have never seen this error. Since the installation ran through without problems when I tried it a second time, this is most likely correct. During my tests, I found out that the virtualized application is not totally isolated from the host system. However, the degree of isolation is configurable. It is possible to totally block the host device.

Xenocode Virtual Application Studio

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Did I still miss an application virtualization product? Please share your experiences if you have tried one of these products. I certainly won't find the time to test all of the tools here, but I am planning to review one or two of them.

15 Comments
  1. dude 14 years ago

    Trustware Bufferzone sounds similar in concept to SandBoxie (sandboxie.com), which works really well. I know there are other sandbox type applications out there as well, so this list might get pretty long if you are going to include those as well. Great list tho!

  2. Michael Pietroforte 14 years ago

    Yeah, I wasn’t sure if I should include Bufferzone. I think I have to try it first to see if it really fits in this list. I included it because it was in the list at virtualization.info.

  3. Ed 14 years ago

    You might want to include Kidaro. They were aquired by Microsoft and the product is not available yet. It allows VirtualPC images to be created and then integrates the applications inside the VM with the host machine. So you could run IE6 on Vista in this manner. You can even do things like configure certain websites to open in a virtual IE6 app and other sites to open in the native browser on the host machine.

  4. saurin 13 years ago

    We are using graphone’s go-global, its very nice and easy to use.

  5. Jurien 13 years ago

    You might want to include ZAV. Zen Application Virtualization. Have been testing a little bit with it, it looks promising.

  6. Michael Pietroforte 13 years ago

    Thanks a lot for mentioning these additional tools. It is amazing how many different application virtualization solutions are available. I wonder how many of them will survive.

  7. BayCrew 12 years ago

    You may want to include Cameyo, free application virtualization: http://www.cameyo.com.
    Seems to be a good, free alternative.

  8. Jumpin Jane 12 years ago

    Sandboxie (sandboxie.com) deserves to be here if Bufferzone is. Why? Because it works very well and because they offer a much less crippled freeware (nagware) version for which they deserve a lot of credit. Bufferzone seems much more focused on using the free version to up-sell you.

  9. Jelle Pieneman 12 years ago

    Evalaze is a application look a like Thinapp.
    http://www.evalaze.de

  10. Hector Ruiz 11 years ago

    This is a very comprehensive and detailed list. Thank you for the information.

  11. Paolo Maffezzoli 5 years ago

    It was a well done and interesting article. Is there an updated list of Application Virtualization products currently available on the market?

    • Author
      Michael Pietroforte 5 years ago

      Paolo, thanks. I can’t believe that is already 10 years since I wrote the article. I am not aware of a new list. It’s been quiet around application virtualization lately. I think container technologies are are stealing the show.

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