Microsoft announced the release of Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5 (formerly known as SoftGrid). This is the first Microsoft-branded release of the product, which includes new capabilities that make it easy for enterprise IT organizations to support large-scale, global application virtualization implementations.
Microsoft Application Virtualization is now available in a public beta on Microsoft Connect and will be generally available through both the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack and Terminal Services in Q3 CY2008.
Dynamic Virtualization: Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5 allows the flexibility to control virtual application interaction. Administrators wanting to consolidate virtual environments, and enable faster, easier administration, can use the product’s Dynamic Suite Composition, which sequences and manages packages for middleware applications separately from the main application. It shrinks potential package size by eliminating redundant packaging of middleware, allowing, for instance, multiple web applications to communicate with the same single instance of a virtualized .NET Framework or Java Runtime Environment (JRE). Updates for the common virtual middleware are simplified as well as one virtual application is updated instead of several. This “many-to-one” capability greatly reduces the cost of updates. It also makes it easier to deploy and manage applications with multiple plug-ins and add-ins, and improves management of plug-in distribution to different user groups.
Extended Scalability: Choose among three flexible deployment modes:
System Center Application Virtualization Management Server, which ships as part of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack and Microsoft Application Virtualization for Terminal Services packages, enables dynamic streaming including package/active upgrades, and requires Active Directory and SQL Server;
System Center Application Virtualization Streaming Server, a lightweight version which also ships as part of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack and Microsoft Application Virtualization for Terminal Services packages, offers application streaming including package/active upgrades without the Active Directory and database overheads, and enables administrators to deploy to existing servers or add streaming to Electronic Software Delivery systems; and
Standalone mode allows virtual application execution without streaming and is interoperable with Microsoft Systems Management Server/System Center Configuration Manger 2007 and third-party ESD systems.
New features that enhance manageability include improved diagnostics and reporting on the client and server; health monitoring for System Center Application Virtualization Management Server; integration with System Center Operations Manager 2007; auto-load (pre-cache) options; and support for Microsoft Update for all application virtualization components (except virtualized applications). This release also adds support for Windows Server 2008 32-bit Terminal Services (Microsoft Application Virtualization for Terminal Services only).