Candidates for Virtualization

I have felt like i have written the same email about applications that are not suitable candidates for virtualization in App-V more than a dozen times over the past week. And I wanted to throw up a table that i tend to use to help highlight some of these.

I often use the MSIT case study as a great example of what to look for an how to identify and set up a process/strategy and how to evaluate the software catalog.

Sequencing Strategy

To help minimize the costs associated with application management, an organization should follow a specific sequencing process to help reduce the costs of packaging applications.

The process can be categorized into several distinct phases that begin with evaluating the current software catalog, continue with building the sequencing workstation, and then finish with performing the sequencing tasks. The following sections discuss considerations for each phase.

Phase 1: Evaluate the Current Software Catalog

When determining which applications are suitable virtualization candidates, Microsoft evaluates the potential candidate and places the application into one of three categories:

  • Ideal Candidate. Applications meet all of the possible candidate criteria and have no identifiable roadblocks to success.
  • Possible Candidate. Applications do not meet disqualifying criteria but may require additional research or validation.
  • Not a Candidate. Applications are more expensive to virtualize than the benefits achieved from virtualization. This category also includes applications that technically cannot be virtualized because of current limitations.

To assist with identifying applications that are not a suitable candidate for virtualization,

Table. Provides information to consider.

Application type Definition Examples
Applications with drivers

Applications that install and rely on a system-level driver, such as an application that installs a print driver or a universal serial bus (USB) device driver.

Some applications may allow for the drivers to be installed independent of the other components of the application. As a workaround for this scenario, the driver portion of this application can be installed locally on the client system, allowing the other components of the application to be virtualized.

OEM hardware utilities
Applications that integrate closely with the operating system

Some applications, such as the Windows Internet Explorer® browser, are closely tied to the operating system. As such, these applications cannot be sequenced.

These applications can be started from within a virtual environment, thus having access to all of the components and configuration settings related to that virtual environment. This is a common technique used for Web-based applications that may require specific ActiveX® controls or need extended security settings.

Windows Media® Player

Internet Explorer

Applications with shell extensions Microsoft Application Virtualization does not support shell extensions that contain a custom dynamic-link library (DLL). This would require providing access to the virtual environment to Windows Explorer. Shell extensions are in-process Component Object Model (COM) objects that extend the abilities of the Windows operating system. WinZip
COM+ applications COM+ is dynamic; it happens at run time. Hence, there is no way (currently) for the Sequencer to capture this information in a "static" form within a sequence. COM and DCOM, by contrast, are recorded in component services and are static. BizTalk®
Applications with background or headless service “boot-time” App-V 4.5 supports the virtualization of services; however, they must be started from within the virtual environment. An example of this would be virtualizing PCAnywhere, which installs a service in the background to provide the PCAnywhere server functionality.


Firewall Client for Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server

eTrust AntiVirus
Applications that integrate with many other applications

Applications with complex or unknown integration with other applications or operating system components need to be fully evaluated to identify and define interaction requirements.

After the issues are defined, an organization can determine whether application isolation will provide a benefit over locally installing the application.

A workaround for this may be to sequence multiple applications into one “suite” that would allow them to communicate within the isolated virtual environment.

Microsoft Office 2007 suites

Microsoft Office Live Meeting 2007

Microsoft Office Communicator 2007

Applications with licensing enforcement tied to a computer Applications where the license is tied to system hardware or to the system’s media access control (MAC) address. Computer-aided design (CAD) software
Applications or suites of applications that, when sequenced, will result in an .sft file greater than 4 gigabytes (GB) App-V 4.5 does not support sequences larger than 4 GB. Microsoft Flight Simulator X
























Evaluating and developing a software catalog before undertaking application sequencing tasks helps to determine where Dynamic Suite Composition or Local Interaction may be beneficial to help ensure application functionality and efficiency.

Please have a read of the full case study here

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