How application virtualization works
Although there are multiple ways to virtualize applications, IT teams often take a server-based approach, delivering the applications without having to install them on individual desktops. Instead, administrators implement remote applications on a server in the company’s data center or with a hosting service, and then deliver them to the users’ desktops.
To make this possible, IT must use an application virtualization product. Application virtualization vendors and their products include Microsoft App-V, Citrix XenApp, Parallels Remote Application Server, and VMware ThinApp or App Volumes — both of which are included with VMware Horizon View. VMware also offers Horizon Apps to further support app virtualization.
The virtualization software essentially transmits the application as individual pixels from the hosting server to the desktops using a remote display protocol such as Microsoft RemoteFX, Citrix HDX, or VMware View PCoIP or Blast Extreme. The user can then access and use the app as though it were installed locally. Any user actions are transmitted back to the server, which carries them out.