I’ve had the chance to play with Rimo3’s cloud based app modernisation suite and I must say, it provides an excellent alternative to manual application compatibility testing and packaging. For any organisations who use multiple LOB applications, taking Rimo3 for a test drive should be high on the agenda. A lot of this content has already been covered in Dean Cefola’s excellent Azure Academy YouTube series, which is definitely worth a look. https://www.youtube.com/c/AzureAcademy
Weigh Your Options
Rimo3 offers both a cloud-hosted SaaS version, and a self-hosted PaaS offering. The former reduces complexity and allows you to test and validate application performance in a Rimo3 hosted sandbox. The latter allows you to plug the Rimo3 product into your Azure environment, allowing your test VMs or ‘Task Runners’ with full access to your network, domain and application services. This would obviously be beneficial for domain-integrated or multi-tier applications.
For my testing I was keen to get moving as quickly as possible, so I opted for the Rimo3 SaaS offering hosted at rimo3cloud.com
After logon, you are presented with your Rimo3 Modernise Dashboard, which contains the details for all tested apps, your current OS platform and your target OS platform for validation. Its important to mention here that while the Rimo3 platform provides a wide range of packaging features, a core use case is for ongoing application compatibility testing. If you are planning to roll out a feature update to Windows 10 for example, you can use Rimo3 to confirm application compatibility in the sandbox prior to releasing the update to users.
Rimo3’s dashboard is broadly divided into 3 areas:
- Migration Suitability – Will this app work as required on newer versions of Windows?
- AVD Suitability – Will this app work as required in Azure Virtual Desktop, including Multisession environments
- Modernise – convert the package to .MSIX format, and then validate functionality.
I chose to upload and test .MSI files, as the Rimo3 engine is able to automatically identify the name and installation parameters. This would also be true for App-V packages. I could also use executable files, however I would need to specify the installation details manually.
I chose 2 flavours of the Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop client (x64 and ARM). Obviously, I expect the ARM version to fail testing. Once imported, there is no obvious sign that the applications are being processed, however the progress can be seen under the Advanced > Sequences menu.
Once the apps have been fully imported, their status can be see on the main console…
The apps are first validated on the current OS platform, and the re-tested on the Target OS version to confirm compatibility. The apps are then automatically tested against the full range of Rimo3’s migration / AVD / modernisation workloads. Essentially, this is a ‘fire and forget’ process – upload your packages and walk away, then return later and review the output.
Once complete, the Migration Suitability dashboard will give you an overview of the results. As you can see, the x64 package passed both migration suitability and MSIX conversion tests, whereas the ARM package unsurprisingly failed the initial installation task.
We can investigate this failure with the built in tools, including both a video recording and console output. In the case of the ARM package, we can see the dreaded 1603 ‘fatal error’ message during the install process. No surprise here.
On the AVD Suitability page, we get a helpful summary of the Azure Virtual Desktop compatibility testing results. Here we can see that the x654 package passed the ‘as is’ test. While it feels a bit ‘Inception’ to install the AVD client on an AVD host, the install clearly reported a success for single session environments…
However we can see that the package reported a failure for multi-session environments. Again, we can used the helpful web-based console to discover the reasons…
Lastly, the Rimo3 engine automatically converted our application to a .MSIX package, which can be attached dynamically to AVD machines, avoiding the need to install the MSI into a master image or via tools such as InTune. This is a very handy feature, as the creation process for .MSIX packages can be complex, and involves the creation and assignment of certificates to the packaged applications.
As well as simply confirming packages work, Rimo3 offers a performance comparison. This is extremely useful as part of a migration exercise, because confirming that an application works does not necessarily mean that it works well.
By performing a reference install on the current OS platform, and then re-testing against the target OS platform, Rimo3 is able to validate that system performance is not compromised by the change, and can alert you via the console is anomalies are detected. The system performance during the install process is even captured for reference.
In the past, I have worked with organisations who employed an army of contractors to conduct app migration testing. I have no idea what the cost of this exercise was, but I doubt it was cheap! In Rimo3, we have a tool which can automate the whole process – and I do mean automate. Many tools offer automated processing, but require lengthy configuration in order to setup your routines. Rimo3’s SaaS offering requires zero configuration to return the results presented above. The service has a set of predefined objectives, and all are useful and relevant to migration projects.
So if you or your clients are looking to better manage the application and OS lifecycle, migrate to Azure Virtual Desktop / Windows 365, or even just make a move from Windows 10 to Windows 11, then Rimo3’s services could help to shorten timelines, improve visibility and reduce costs.