The concept of software virtualization, in some form or another, has been around since the 1960s. However, it has taken the IT industry decades to begin to realize the potential of application virtualization. People are now catching on, and major developments are being made.
Microsoft threw some weight behind application virtualization when it acquired Softricity back in July 2006. From this acquisition comes Microsoft® SoftGrid, a solution for application virtualization. With SoftGrid, applications are served from a datacenter or another network location and run locally on remote clients in a virtual environment. The virtualized applications run in silos and operate independent of the operating system and other applications on the local desktop.
Simplified Regression and Compatibility Testing By running multiple versions of the same application in parallel on a single machine without conflicts, you can dramatically reduce the complexity, time, and costs associated with testing and deploying new applications.
- Benefits of application virtualization
- Overview of the SoftGrid architecture
- Streaming software packages
Easier Systems Management IT has great control over the environment in which these applications run, making it easier to maintain the ideal desktop environment.
Fewer Help Desk Calls With better managed desktop environments and fewer conflicts (thanks to virtualized apps running in a controlled silo), users require fewer calls to the help desk.
Enhanced Desktop Security Applications are never installed on the OS, improving overall OS security. Apps are only provisioned to authorized users, thus preventing unauthorized access. And most apps are rendered under standard security context.
Free Seating Experience User preferences (profile and other settings) are stored on the network, thus allowing users to access their applications, preferences, and controls from any PC.
Improved Fault Tolerance and Disaster Recovery Applications are turned into data files that can be stored and replicated like any enterprise data. Applications and their updates can be synchronized automatically between live and Bulk Copy Program (BCP) sites using third-party tools, enabling instant access to applications in case of a disaster.
Ultimately, these characteristics ease the burden of system administration, reduce costs, and allow your organization to adopt new technologies more quickly and reliably. Now let's look more closely at just how SoftGrid works.