AppZero debuts server applications virtualization on Windows

AppZero 4.0 separates applications from the underlying operating system, making it easier to move apps between internal and cloud platforms

AppZero released on Wednesday a Windows version of its server application virtualization tools, handily beating Microsoft out the door with a technology designed to help users more easily move server applications between internal and cloud platforms.

AppZero 4.0 is part of small list of vendors offering application isolation and encapsulation technology, which separates the application from the underlying operating system.

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Users can package the application with all its relevant parts and lift it off its existing underlying operating system and link it to a similar  operating system running in the same or another environment.

Microsoft last week demonstrated similar technology it is working on, but it has not announced a ship date, what the software will be called or how it will be packaged as a product.

AppZero (formerly Trigence) already has versions of its software for Linux and Solaris, but despite the 4.0 version number, AppZero for Windows is the company's first support for the Microsoft platform.

With AppZero, users create a VAA (Virtual Application Appliance) that basically includes all the software and configuration fields that make up the application and the associated data. The application can then be moved to another environment without the user having to write any code. The VAA contains nothing from the operating system so users don't have to consider Windows licensing issues.

The AppZero XML Creation Editor is used to build the VAA and a Snapshot tool, which helps create a template for creating a VAA.

What users end up with is a library of application appliances that can be deployed nearly on-demand.

"You have to see this in terms of IT shops moving toward the cloud," says Rachel Chalmers, an analyst at The 451 Group. She says IT directors are faced with departments that are comparing the weeks it typically takes for IT to get a server up and running internally to Amazon's EC2 cloud environment and looking at "five seconds and a credit card."

"That is one driver pushing IT directors to build cloud infrastructure internally, but they are also looking at being able to provision applications either to an internal server or with a cloud provider," Chalmers says.

That is where AppZero fits in along with similar competitors, such as rPath, Cohesive Flexible Technologies, Enomaly and Fast Scale Technology

"There is no move verb in application virtualization infrastructure," says Greg O'Connor, president and CEO of AppZero. AppZero 4.0 offers 64-bit infrastructure support for Windows 2003 and 2008 servers, and pricing starts at $500 per VAA.

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This story, "AppZero debuts server applications virtualization on Windows" was originally published by Network World.

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