Configuration Manager 2012 - Any App, Anywhere, Anytime

By Arrettrl
Posted in Virtualization
On April 18, 2012


Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) 2012 kicked off Monday in Las Vegas. 5000+ attendees descended upon the Venetian anticipating sessions on System Center, Windows 8, and Windows Cloud Services. The mood was enhanced by Microsoft releasing System Center 2012 to RTM on April 3.

I was focused on Microsoft’s Configuration Manager 2012. One of the day’s highlights was the session on Advanced Application Deployment for Configuration Manager 2012. The need to deliver a consistent user experience presents unique challenges to IT. Configuration Manager 2012 addresses these needs by giving administrators the ability to deploy applications in a number of different ways, including physical installs; virtual installs using App-V or XenApp; and mobile installs on Windows 6/6.5 and Nokia SIS platforms.

Configuration Manager’s Application Management model allows IT to target the user experience based upon the device they are using. Utilizing User Device Affinity (UDA), Administrators can create a single application package and then deliver that application based on requirement rules.

An MSI package can be targeted as a direct install on the user’s primary device. The user’s primary device can be defined along with conditions that qualify the installation as a physical application install. Then the Application Virtualization deployment type can be created and targeted to all users. If the UDA shows that the system is not a primary device or if defined conditions (e.g., drive space or OS version) are not met for the system, Configuration Manager installs the application utilizing Microsoft’s App-V package.

A very impressive part of the App-V deployment is the delivery of the App-V client. Creating a dependency on the targeted application installs the App-V client and then loads and launched the App. The same deployment can be configured for Windows Mobile devices.

Configuration Manager’s Application Management model goes a long way in helping to ensure a consistent user experience across all platforms. Providing an easy solution for an old IT pain point is another reason why System Center Configuration Manager deserves some attention.

It truly allows you to deliver an app anywhere, anyway, anytime!