Application streaming

Hi Experts !
 I want users able to access applications from any PC in the intranet
or remotely. Can any one please suggest me a cost effective solution
for application streaming. Please give me information like which softwares can I use for performing this task ?
Hardware considerations which should be taken into account
Advantages and Disadvantages ?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
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We're a Citrix shop, so I'll tell you what I know, though it will have a Citrix slant.  Application streaming is sending an application, bit by bit, from a source server to a user's workstation.  Citrix provides application streaming via their XenApp product (4.5 and 5.0).  XenApp provides hosted desktops, hosted applications and streamed applications.

The great thing about streaming applications is that you have the ability to manage updates from a single source.  The downside is that streaming is not a WAN technology.  It works great when used on a strong local network, though sending what amounts to complete application installs over a WAN is not feasible, especially to home and traveling users.  

If you are dealing with remote users then I don't recommend streaming applications.  Instead, you might look in to a hosted desktop/application solution, such as Citrix XenApp, Citrix XenDesktop, Terminal Server, Quest, etc.
By application streaming i believe you mean the process in getting applications to users screen rather than the new xenapp functionality of application streaming which allows applications to be run with out a connection to the server.

There are 2 main solutions used in production environments.

Citrix and terminal services, citrix has to be purchased where terminal services comes built into your windows server OS. Now the advantages and disadvantages of the two is beyond the scope of the answer i have posted a link to a brilliant document outling citrix vs terminal services.

It all depends on the amount of users, the number of applications, the number of sites you have and hardware availability.

Citrix allows better managability and bandwidth limitation which is a must if you have remote sites, so like i said it depends totally on the above variables. If you only have a few users, ones site and a few apps i would go with TS but if you have a large user base i would go with citrix xenapp

Kind Regards

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Noor228379Author Commented:
Thanks Amichaell and Chris for your valuable solution.
I would also like to know about App V.
And what are the things that I should be considering I want to start using Citrix Xen App or any other application from the scratch.
Is there any difference between Application streaming and Application Virtualization
Application virtualization is what I refer to as application hosting.  With application hosting the user clicks on the Word shortcut (just using Word as an example) on their desktop.  The shortcut points to a Citrix XenApp published application (just using Citrix as an example.  Other options, such as Terminal Services and Quest, are available) running on one or more XenApp servers.  The application launches allowing the user to type away.  It is fairly seamless for the most part.  

A streamed application is similar.  Same shortcut.  Same server source.  There are a couple of key differences, though.  With application hosting all of the processing is done on the server.  The user's workstation sends and receives mouse and keyboard input/output and screenshots, though all of the application's RAM and CPU needs are handled by the hosting server.  A streamed application, however, is copied to the user's workstation upon launching, which means the user's workstation now handles all CPU, RAM and HDD requirements.  Application streaming can also be set for offline mode, which is especially handy for traveling users.  Say the user comes in on Monday, attaches to the network and launches a streamed instance of Word.  Word is copied down to the user's laptop and since it can be used offline the user can disconnect and still use Word.  The downside is that streaming is NOT a WAN technology since you are having to copy down large amounts of data.

Citrix XenApp can be a bit of a learning curve.  From a technical point of view I would start with reading the admin guide.  You'll want to do some testing to ensure all of your applications behave in a Citrix environment as well.  Most do, though I've ran across some cranky apps before.  XenApp is a server solutions, so you'll need at least two (two for redundancy) servers and perhaps more depending upon the number of users who will be utilizing XenApp.  There are also licenses involved.  With XenApp you'll need to purchase XenApp licenses and Microsoft Terminal Server licenses.

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