With Horizon Mirage application layering and ThinApp VMware has now two options to deploy applications to endpoints. The big difference between both products is that ThinApp is an application virtualization solution and Mirage Application Layering is not.
While this is the main difference there are still many, many differences between both products in terms of functionality and deployment options. In the following table I tried summarizes most of the differences.
|Functionality / Product||Mirage application layering 4.0||ThinApp 4.7|
|Application isolation (running multiple version of the same application, prevent DLL conflicts, etc.)||No||Yes|
|OS independency (possibility to build a package on another OS version than it runs on)||No||Yes|
|Run different versions of the same application||No, only if application supports this natively.||Yes|
|Supports Internet Explorer virtualization / running multiple Version of IE||No||Yes|
|Supports application with (kernel) drivers||Yes||No|
|Supports applications with native shell extensions||Yes||No|
|Support for 64-bit applications||Yes||No|
|Require agent on the end point||Yes||No|
|Requires additional components on the end point||Yes, Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5||No|
|Endpoint is required to be managed by Mirage||Yes||No|
|Optimized deployment method for WAN environments||Yes, dedupe, compression and so on||No|
|Methods to deploy application updates||Yes, create new applayer with newest application build.||Yes, multiple options.|
|Change application after capturing||No||Yes|
|Deploy updates without user interruption||Yes||Yes|
|Application updates need reboot||Yes||No, but you need to restart the application for the update to be applied|
|Optimized deployment method for applicaliton updates for WAN environments||Yes, dedupe, compression and so on||Yes, when using AppSync (only block level delta are transfered)|
|Easy application rollback||Yes||Yes, but depends on the used update method|
|Easy application break fix||Yes||Yes, delete sandbox|
|User-based application deployment||No||Yes|
|Machine-based applicaton deployment||Yes||Yes|
|Restrict application access based on Active Directory groups||No||Yes|
|Sandboxes user settings||No||Yes|
|Run scripts on application start and stop?||No||Yes|
|Run script after application is deployed on the system?||Yes||No|
This table only compares Mirage application layer version 4.0 and ThinApp version 4.7.x.
I hope this table may give you a better understanding on the differences between both products. If you found another point in which these products work or behave different you’re welcome to post a comment and I will update the table with your feedback.
If you want to learn more about Mirage application layering and ThinApp and how they compare please vote for our VMworld US 2013 session: 4863 Dare to compare: Mirage application layering and ThinApp