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Application virtualization

A virtualized application is installed separately from the client computer that is accessing it. Organizations can in a centralized way manage and provision applications to users that are entitled to use them without installing the application locally.

Applications can be installed, patched, and upgraded once for an entire environment, instead of for each individual client computer. From a user perspective, virtual applications appear and behave the same as locally installed applications.

There are two types of application virtualization: remote applications and streaming applications.

  • Remote applications run on a server, and the users access their applications over the network. The network connection must be constantly maintained in order for a remote application to function.

  • When a streamed application is requested by a user (on demand) it is downloaded to and executed on the client computer. Once completely downloaded, a streamed application can function without a network connection. When the application in closed, it is cleanly removed from the client computer.

The following application virtualization solutions are supported by Snow License Manager and SAM Core on Snow Atlas:

  • Citrix Virtual Apps

  • Microsoft App-V

  • VMware ThinApp

The challenge

Since the virtual application is not installed locally on the computer where it is run, software usage is used as basis for licensing. The Snow Inventory Agent for Windows continuously scans the user computers to meter usage of executed applications. Snow License Manager or SAM Core presents information on applications that have been used virtually, on which computer the applications have been run, and by which user.


  • Snow License Manager 8.0 or later, or SAM Core on Snow Atlas

  • Snow Inventory Agent for Windows 5.0 or later must be installed on all user computers that will utilize virtual applications.


Installation and preparation

Snow Inventory Agent for Windows must be installed on all user computers that will utilize virtual applications:

  • Support for metering usage of Citrix Virtual Apps and VMware ThinApp virtual application packages is provided in Snow Inventory Agent for Windows from version 5.0. The complete package content is not scanned, however, each file being executed is scanned as part of the software metering.

Presentation in the user interface

Snow Inventory Agent for Windows identifies all applications, both installed locally and used virtually. In Snow License Manager and SAM Core, all computers that have used a certain application virtually are indicated by the remark A (“Virtual application”) in Application details. A summary of license requirements and purchased licenses are presented as well.


To get a presentation of all virtually used applications that have been identified, use the standard report Applications per computer with the criteria “Virtual application” set to “Yes” in Snow License Manager or SAM Core. In the example below, the standard report with the added criteria has been saved as the report Virtual applications per computer.


Add the column metric from the Column selector in order to have the applications sorted on metric, or add criteria to, for example, filter out all applications that do not require a license.

In the report, click on a computer. On the Applications tab in Computer details, the virtual application is indicated by the remark A (“Virtual application”).

Click the arrow to the left of the application name to see the name of the user(s).