Best Practices Application Layering Strategy
With any new technology there is often a mad scramble to establish best practices within the enterprise. One of the questions that has come up as of late with respect to app layering is around the enterprise application strategy of creating these layers, specifically how many applications should be included within the layers.
Opinions vary, and one of the suggestions proposed early on has been to add many applications into a single app layer. Although on the surface this seems like a good idea, there are a number of short and long-term challenges with this approach.
The following list represents a few of the different scenarios to address these challenges:
Multi-App Layer is the process of including multiple random applications within an Application Layer. Although technically possible, this approach has challenges with respect to management and logistics of updating the individual applications within the layer. The long-term organizational overhead could be daunting with respect to this approach
Single App Layers, like the name implies, is the process of redirecting individual application installs into a FlexApp Layer. The ability to manage and update the corresponding applications within the FlexApp layers allows for a more streamlined logistical approach.
App Layer Suite is when vendor or enterprise home-grown application suites are included within a FlexApp layer. With up front analysis and testing, this approach could be extremely beneficial for enterprise environments. Simply reducing the install / configuration time of the application suite for each deployment is worth its weight in gold.
Departmental App Layers are similar to the Multi-App Layer scenario. The primary difference centers on the pre-determined cohesion of a subset of applications installed across endpoints within a single department. Significant testing and analysis often goes into the configuration of these application environments. So conceptually redirecting that cohesive application environment to a FlexApp layer is a plausible use case.
The Micro Isolation feature within FlexApp transforms this technology into a truly dynamic and flexible Application Layering platform. There is no longer any need to stack multiple applications within a single layer if that is not the required approach. Instead you can create a single layer for each application, which allows for ultimate granularity in assigning apps to users, groups and machines. It also makes updating applications very simple by updating a single package for a single app rather than dealing with cumbersome multiple application layers. Lastly the Micro-Isolation feature within FlexApp makes packaging applications and deploying them much easier and straightforward than dealing with conflicts manually!