Web Filtering in Virtual Application Environments

Application virtualisation allows Windows applications to be accessed by individual users without the applications having to be installed on each end-user device. The applications are installed on a cluster of servers. Being centralised application virtualization simplies application deployment and management.

End users log in to application virtualization server to access the applications, thus the servers host multiple users simultaneosuly.

Application Virtualisation is widely deployed and products include Citrix XenApp, Parallels RAS, Microsoft App-V and VMWare.

This shared use of resources creates a challenge for certain web filtering approaches: all the user traffic appears from the same source IP address. This makes it very difficult to apply per-user policies or even get per-user web browsing activity for web filtering products based on DNS filtering.

Per-User Filtering & Monitoring

Proxy based filtering, such as that used by Rawstream Web Filtering, does not suffer from the problem. A local HTTP/S proxy running in each user’s instance can collect user browsing activity and apply policies per-user. Group-based policies are supported in Active Directory environments. A local web-proxy has the advantage of filtering on the server itself thus providing two additional advantages: unbeatable performance and full privacy.

Unbeatable Performance

With the browser connecting to a proxy running on the same machine, there is zero latancy and of course, no bandwidth limitations. The “extra hop” is local to the machine itself andm unlike cloud-based web proxies, does not add a network hop. With zero latency and smart local cachine, users’ web browsing experience is not affected.

Privacy

With Rawstream’s proxy-based approach all traffic is processed on the device itself. Web traffic does not need to be sent to third-party servers, indeed never leaves the device itself, to be filtered. This ensures the maximum possible privacy for the organisation’s communications.

Small Footprint

With multiple user sessions running on a server it is imperative that the end-point agent does not consume memory or CPU resources. With many users on each server resource consumption can add up.

The Rawstream Web Filtering agent is a light-weight and resource-efficient web proxy enabling scores of instances to be running on each Remote Desktop service instance.

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