Microsoft is working on application virtualization technology for the server that is designed to provide administrators the flexibility to quickly deploy infrastructure and even stream applications on-demand.
The capabilities would be similar to the application virtualization capabilities available in the client side via Microsoft Application Virtualization (formerly SoftGrid).
SoftGrid, which Microsoft acquired when it bought Softricity in May 2006, lets users package applications into "containers," store them on a server where they can be centrally managed, and then stream those containers to desktops, devices or shared PCs. It also can be used for on-demand delivery of patches and upgrades.
The benefit is that each application has a properly configured operating environment tailored to its needs. It also ensures applications don't interfere with each other, such as running different versions of Office on the same desktop.
"We are working to move server applications into stateless environments so applications don't need to go through the install process; they can be copied on top of the operating system," said Microsoft senior vice president Bob Muglia in his keynote address at the company's annual Microsoft Management Summit.