Benchmarks: App-V vs SVS vs ThinApp vs XenApp

While the virtualization community is still intensely discussing the benchmarks around XenServer, ESX and Hyper-V used for VDI scenarios, provided by Ruben Spruijt / Jeroen van de Kamp and confuted by VMware, a new study surfaces.

This performance analysis, committed by VMware, shifts the focus from VDI to application virtualization, comparing Citrix XenApp 5.0, Microsoft App-V 4.5, Symantec SVS Pro 2.1 and VMware ThinApp 4.0.1.

The measurements were performed using the Devil Mountain Software (DMS) Clarity Suite: the Clarity Tracker Agent is deployed on the benchmarked Windows machines, the Clarity Studio produces workload simulation, and the results are uploaded for further analysis to the Exo Performance Network.

The conclusion are rather interesting:

  • Application virtualization solutions that use an embedded virtualization model (ThinApp) deliver the best application throughput. Only ThinApp delivers the combination of excellent raw performance plus low overall CPU utilization, making it the better solution for organizations seeking to minimize the performance “hit” typically associated with virtualization technology.
  • By contrast, solutions that employ a kernel-mode driver or service (App-V, SVS, XenApp) introduce additional layers of software complexity – including significantly higher kernel-mode activity – which translate into runtime overhead that slows the application and/or places an additional burden on the CPU. These agents also consume a considerable amount of memory, both directly – as part of the agent’s process – and indirectly, through expansion of the application’s working set.
  • Agent-based solutions also introduce a new and potentially catastrophic single point of failure (kernel mode execution) that IT organizations must factor into the testing and certification of their desktop computing stacks. Functional limitations, such as the lack of support for locked-down environments and/or inability to run on specific Windows versions (x64), further complicate the application virtualization equation, forcing IT shops to invest additional resources into designing infrastructure around these planning and deployment hurdles.

Read the whole document here.