Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Zakia Bouachraoui

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Containers Expo Blog

@CloudExpo: Article

EC2 & Windows: Windows Application Streaming on Amazon EC2

Windows Application Streaming on Amazon EC2

Reuven Cohen's Blog

Software deployment via streaming is perfect for remote delivery across the Internet because it streams only the application functions that an end user actually needs and only when those functions are needed.

I just got off a phone call with Mike Culver at Amazon. During the call we discussed some of limitations of the use of Windows based AMI's during which I had an epiphany.

First of all the the traditional ideas of an AMI Bundle have been dropped because of Microsoft licensing limitations. For traditional EC2 Linux users, a local file system image can be bundled as an AMI in order to be used on Amazon EC2. This provides a direct migration path between the cloud and your data center. If you are unfamilar with the concept of of AMI bundling process it first compresses the image to minimize bandwidth usage and storage requirements. Then the compressed image is encrypted and signed to ensure confidentiality of the data, and authentication against the creator. The encrypted image is finally split into manageable parts for upload. A manifest file is created containing a list of the image parts with their checksums. This is one of the great parts of using EC2, I can move my local machines to and from the Amazon Cloud. But for EC2 Windows users, you will need to re-install all your applications, configure the new remote copy of windows and finally copy any required data from your local machine. For a one off EC2 Windows installation this might be ok, but for larger more dynamic, flexible application deployments, this could pose a huge problem.

Well, I think I found a solution. Application Streaming, (A.K.A. Application Virtualization) The basic concept of application streaming is that only specific parts of a computer program need to be available for any Windows EC2 instance in order for the end user to perform a particular function. This means that a given program need not be fully installed on a EC2 instance, but instead parts of it can be delivered over a low bandwidth network if and when they are required.


There are a number of notable solutions that enable Application Streaming including Citrix XenApp, Vmware Thinstall, Microsoft Application Virtualization and Symantec AppStream. Most of these plaforms also double as software license management platforms, automatically enforcing and ensuring compliance with software licenses and preventing piracy, while simultaneously maximizing the value of software assets and optimizing the delivery of future software updates along with there associated licenses.

Software deployment via streaming is perfect for remote delivery across the Internet because it streams only the application functions that an end user actually needs and only when those functions are needed. Rather than delivering the entire application in advance, this approach allows for the ultimate hybrid cloud computing environment spanning multiple cloud providers and traditional data centers. The most obvious use case could be in conjunction to a business continuity solution or cloud based failover environment.

Cloud based Application Streaming may very well be the ideal model for anyone looking to manage Windows applications in the cloud.

-------
As a side, note I'll probably be trying this approach in the coming days. If anyone is interested in learning more about this approach, please get in touch.

More Stories By Reuven Cohen

An instigator, part time provocateur, bootstrapper, amateur cloud lexicographer, and purveyor of random thoughts, 140 characters at a time.

Reuven is an early innovator in the cloud computing space as the founder of Enomaly in 2004 (Acquired by Virtustream in February 2012). Enomaly was among the first to develop a self service infrastructure as a service (IaaS) platform (ECP) circa 2005. As well as SpotCloud (2011) the first commodity style cloud computing Spot Market.

Reuven is also the co-creator of CloudCamp (100+ Cities around the Globe) CloudCamp is an unconference where early adopters of Cloud Computing technologies exchange ideas and is the largest of the ‘barcamp’ style of events.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Microservices Articles
Lori MacVittie is a subject matter expert on emerging technology responsible for outbound evangelism across F5's entire product suite. MacVittie has extensive development and technical architecture experience in both high-tech and enterprise organizations, in addition to network and systems administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning technology editor at Network Computing Magazine where she evaluated and tested application-focused technologies including app secu...
Using new techniques of information modeling, indexing, and processing, new cloud-based systems can support cloud-based workloads previously not possible for high-throughput insurance, banking, and case-based applications. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, John Newton, CTO, Founder and Chairman of Alfresco, described how to scale cloud-based content management repositories to store, manage, and retrieve billions of documents and related information with fast and linear scalability. He addresse...
Adding public cloud resources to an existing application can be a daunting process. The tools that you currently use to manage the software and hardware outside the cloud aren’t always the best tools to efficiently grow into the cloud. All of the major configuration management tools have cloud orchestration plugins that can be leveraged, but there are also cloud-native tools that can dramatically improve the efficiency of managing your application lifecycle. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, ...
The now mainstream platform changes stemming from the first Internet boom brought many changes but didn’t really change the basic relationship between servers and the applications running on them. In fact, that was sort of the point. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Gordon Haff, senior cloud strategy marketing and evangelism manager at Red Hat, will discuss how today’s workloads require a new model and a new platform for development and execution. The platform must handle a wide range of rec...
Containers and Kubernetes allow for code portability across on-premise VMs, bare metal, or multiple cloud provider environments. Yet, despite this portability promise, developers may include configuration and application definitions that constrain or even eliminate application portability. In this session we'll describe best practices for "configuration as code" in a Kubernetes environment. We will demonstrate how a properly constructed containerized app can be deployed to both Amazon and Azure ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DatacenterDynamics has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. DatacenterDynamics is a brand of DCD Group, a global B2B media and publishing company that develops products to help senior professionals in the world's most ICT dependent organizations make risk-based infrastructure and capacity decisions.
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true ...
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
CloudEXPO New York 2018, colocated with DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term.