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Misunderstanding Server Application Virtualization Made Simple

Enterprise applications – both desktop and server; homegrown or ISV – all need to be provisioned as quickly and easily as an app

One of the questions I get asked most frequently is, “How is AppZero different than App-V?”  Until somewhat recently the answer was pretty simple, “App-V virtualizes desktop applications; AppZero virtualizes server applications.”  Desktop …… big boy apps. We had a hallelujah moment here when Microsoft announced that App-V would be handling server applications.   After all, with Microsoft throwing its hat in our ring, they’ll also be throwing their marketing machine in right along with it.  Good news for us.  Right? Not so fast...

Perception shapes vision.  I remember as a kid in school, being bored looking at a black and white sketch of some woman sitting at her mirror.  It got more interesting when the teacher told us that it was really a picture of a death's head.  And instantly I saw a skull.* What you think defines what you'll see.

AppZero's bread and butter is the virtualization of server applications, not servers.  The challenge for the category is that server virtualization (hypervisors/VMs) and desktop application virtualization (think Microsoft App-V) shape most people's perceptions of what problems we solve and use cases we fit.

One of the questions I get asked most frequently is, "How is AppZero different than App-V?"  Until somewhat recently the answer was pretty simple, "App-V virtualizes desktop applications; AppZero virtualizes server applications."  Desktop ...... big boy apps.

We had a hallelujah moment here when Microsoft announced that App-V would be handling server applications.   After all, with Microsoft throwing its hat in our ring, they'll also be throwing their marketing machine in right along with it.  Good news for us.  Right?

Not so fast.  It turns out that Microsoft Server App-V is not a stand-alone product.  You can't buy it off the shelf or download it from Microsoft's volume license site because it is a feature of Microsoft's System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012.  So, 1) it's not a product 2) it's not available yet  and 3) when it is, it will only be for Windows (2008?) - marked destination Azure.  Contrast:  AppZero virtualizes Windows, Linux, and Solaris server applications today  .... Leaving us in a category of one.

Speaking with so many cloud providers, ISVs, Fortune double digits, and technology giants on pretty much a daily basis, I sense a big shift underway.  The cloud and all of its potential has fueled a general hunger to exploit barrier free utilization of resources - whether in the cloud (federated or hybrid) or in the datacenter - in any combination, according to the needs of the business.

Enterprise applications - both desktop and server; homegrown or ISV - all need to be provisioned as quickly and easily as an app store.  Provisioned and seamlessly moved as often and to as many different types of destinations as needed to provide IT as a service, applications must be agile to add value in the days to come.

In a recent blog (Measuring cloud agility in lunches, not days), I concluded, "Lunch is agile.  Days are not."  An enterprise application travelling on top of a VM is in days territory, not a player in on-demand, barrier free resource utilization.  That same application, packaged as an OS-free AppZero VAA is suited up and ready to play with agility in the Elastic Enterprise.  (More on that one soon. )

For now, I'll make it simple:  server application virtualization is perfectly suited for:

1.    ISVs who want to do instant demos and PoCs, and who want a streamlined, customer-proofed way to distribute their applications

2.    Anyone who wants to move server-based applications to and from the cloud - any cloud.

* Link to: Skull or girl?

I am always looking for a way to communicate better and cut to the heart of any discussion. So, if you have thoughts on this subject drop me a line at GregO {@} Appzero {dot} com or tweet me at http://twitter.com/gregoryjoconnor.

Register to attend: "ISVs: win more deals with customer-proof demos and PoCs" When you sell software for a living, you are always on the lookout for ways to improve your win rate, increase revenue, cut costs and otherwise improve the bottom line.  AppZero is here with cutting-edge technology a business decision maker can love.  Join us as we clearly and briefly make the case for how we impact your business at each step in the sales cycle from initial demo and PoC through distribution, implementation, and on-going upgrades.  We make moving your applications easy and instantaneous with technology that makes a compelling business case. Join us on Thursday, Oct 27th @ 1pm EDT  Register now>>

More Stories By Greg O'Connor

Greg O'Connor is President & CEO of AppZero. Pioneering the Virtual Application Appliance approach to simplifying application-lifecycle management, he is responsible for translating Appzero's vision into strategic business objectives and financial results.

O'Connor has over 25 years of management and technical experience in the computer industry. He was founder and president of Sonic Software, acquired in 2005 by Progress Software (PRGS). There he grew the company from concept to over $40 million in revenue.

At Sonic, he evangelized and created the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) product category, which is generally accepted today as the foundation for Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). Follow him on Twitter @gregoryjoconnor.

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