We were pretty sorry to hear about Symantec’s decision to end support for their Workspace Application Streaming product. Several of our engineers worked on most of the components of SWS and gained a great appreciation for the amount of effort and technology that went into both the streaming and virtualization components of SWS. While SWS may have reached its End of Life, several of us continue to be passionate about bringing many of the same features to the OpDesk Resource and System Management application distribution suite. While its impossible to duplicate the exact functionality of SWS due to time and patent infringement issues we believe we can replace all of SWS’s main features.
|Feature||Symantec Streaming||OpDesk RASM|
|Active Directory User Associations|
|Active Directory Computer Associations|
|Local user and user group associations|
|Local computer and computer group associations|
|Application streaming||Block based||File based using Vhd(x) mounted Virtual Volumes|
|Virtualization***||Used to isolate applications (JRE)|
|Just in time installer*|
|Filter Driver Architecture||Legacy||New Mini Filter|
|Web administration console||Java and C++||4.5 .Net|
|Package types||XPF, XPA||OPK, APPV, MSI, EXE, (XPF via conversion tool**)|
|Pre advertised shortcuts|
|Pre/Post Install scripts|
|User Self Provisioning|
|Workstation Agent||XP – Win 10||Win 7 – Win 10|
|File Type Associations|
|Basic Computer Inventory|
|Basic Tasks||Scripts, Deploy Agent etc|
|Quality Assurance Management|
|Backend Load balancing components||FE, DA etc||Microsoft DFS|
|Virtual Roaming Profiles|
While it would be great to continue to use SWS indefinitely, at some point Microsoft is planning on disallowing legacy filter drivers from loading on their newer operating systems. The Symantec Workspace Streaming relies heavily on its FSLX.SYS legacy driver to function. From what we have been told, Microsoft plans on first adding a registry switch to turn off the loading of all legacy drivers, then in a future release, change this switch to be ON by default. Finally they plan on releasing a version of Windows 10 that disallows all legacy drivers by removing the registry switch altogether. See this OSR reference for more information. Our RASM.SYS driver is built from the ground up to work with the Microsoft approved Mini filter driver model.
We continue to work with our customers to add features and enhancements to meet the needs SWS currently meets. Please try out our product and let us know we can continue to improve the OpDesk RASM product suite to improve upon your experience with SWS.
* Just In time Installer – This is a new technology developed by OpDesk that relies on watching the launched process to tell our driver to install the files and registry settings as they are first needed. Once installed, all subsequent file/registry read requests are handled normally. This results in much quicker install times (over MSI) without the performance degradation experienced with some virtualization approaches that require the driver to process every file/registry open request.
** XPF conversion – We provide a free command line utility called RasmPkgrCmd.exe that will convert XPFs to our package format (OPK). The RasmPkgrCmd get installed with the Standalone Agent as long as you choose to install the packager feature. The utility supports wild cards so you could potentially convert all your XPF packages with a single command, for example: C:\Program Files\OpDesk\OpDesk Agent\RasmPkgrCmd.exe -XPF2OPK c:\temp\xpf\*.xpf c:\temp\OPK. You can also simply recapture any applications that don’t convert easily.
*** Virtualization – We use virtualization only when an application needs to be isolated from other applications. Sometimes customers need to be able to install multiple versions of the same application at the same time. For example being able to install multiple versions of the JRE so end users can use older Java applications or browse to web pages that require a specific version of Java. See our Isolation page for more detail.