Sometimes you find extremely interesting information on the Internet. It usually corresponds to someone doing heaps of work and then reporting results for something you are interested in. The recent discovery came from the BrianMadden.com site about a report on Application Virtualization. Michael Keen introduced an application virtualization comparison document written by Sven Huisman and Matthijs Haverink of QNH Infrastructure BV.
The comparison document does a great job of capturing the current players and also their relative strengths and weaknesses and would be useful for people considering using application virtualization in their companies.
This is the kind of advice you would expect to be coming from a third party. Obviously any of the participant companies are not going to paint it the same way.
What I like is that Application Virtualization is becoming more main stream and obviously it is maturing enough that it is being followed this way. There is still room for improvement and hopefully we will be seeing some great strides in the next couple years.
There are people in the hardware virtualization camp that don’t see application virtualization as a serious threat. That could change and much faster than expected. Currently it seems like Windows is its own worst enemy and this is part of the reason why doing a full VM solution is sometimes necessary. Perhaps Microsoft will be considering some new architectures to allow for better decoupling between the applications and the operating system. There are some early indications that they might be thinking about it.
A new potential trend is having it so application developers make their applications virtual from the beginning. This would be possible with Xenocode without too much trouble. The value here would be that you would never need to install and that it would be fully supported by the software provider. Virtual applications are highly portable and if done well do not really care about underlying hardware or software. They leverage what lies beneath them but they also don’t get tangled up in depending on things in the base.
The message is still fairly new compared to the last round which could be called application streaming. Each new participant company brings more to the table and makes it that much more compelling.
Currently Microsoft seems to really have a following with the former Softricity product which is now called APP-V. This was highly obvious during BriForum 2008 in Chicago.
Last pitch is that the document is a great intro the application virtualization space and it would be worth reading even for a more advanced administrator.