Release: Microsoft App-V 4.6

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Almost seven months after the launch of a public beta program, Microsoft finally released App-V 4.6 as part of the Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) 2010.

The new application virtualization platform introduces support for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 (including 64bit editions), as well as the upcoming Office 2010.

The last point is particularly important because the new virtualized version of Office 2010, dubbed Click-To-Run, depends on this version of App-V.

App-V 4.6 also introduces a new feature called Read-Only Cache Mode, which is particularly useful in VDI environments. Ruben Spruijt offered a detailed analysis of the feature:

App-V 4.6 now supports the ability to configure the App-V client to use the package cache as a read-only file. This capability was added to support multiple App-V client machines access to a single package cache this functionality is very useful in Server Hosted Virtual Desktops (VDI) and Remote Desktop Services (Terminal Services) scenarios. With VDI there is a big impact on (central) storage. The IO and capacity increases while using vDesktops. Storage needs much attention while designing and maintaining a VDI environment. Microsoft App-V shared cache functionality will decrease the storage capacity impact.  The App-V package cache normally exists inside of a file with .FSD filename extension.

The FSD file must be placed in a location that can be accessed by the vDesktops; the location of the package cache should have read-only access and should perform well.  Direct Attached Storage (DAS) or central (SAN) storage will meet the storage criteria…

Microsoft updated its Infrastructure Planning and Design Guide to include information about App-V 4.6 new features.