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March 2, 2009

Virtual application appliance could speed cloud

Preconfigured virtual images ready for deployment

By CBR Staff Writer

AppZero will today launch a set of software tools that virtualise server-side applications in a way that makes their provisioning to a physical or virtual server almost instantaneous.

The start-up’s AppZero software is used to create, control, and maintain a virtual application appliance.

It effectively packages a server application with all of its dependencies, but no operating system component and is said to be good for movement of server applications both in the data centre and in the cloud.

Virtual environments are great for provisioning virtual machines, and there are plenty of tools for virtualising desktop applications, but server applications face a different set of challenges, said CEO Greg O’Connor.

The company said that AppZero extends the already widely used concept of a virtual appliance or VA to the application layer, encapsulating it with all its dependencies in a pre-integrated, self-contained unit. 

Unlike other VA systems, which generally package applications with just enough operating system to get the job done, an AppZero VAA will package applications with zero operating system.

The result is that applications can be moved from one environment to another, and as quickly as business circumstances require.

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Under-pinning AppZero’s VAA toolset is some pre-existing isolation and encapsulation technology used for multi-platform data centre virtualisation processes.

AppZero used to be known as Trigence, a company which built software for encapsulating Solaris server applications that proved useful for moving applications between versions of the Sun Microsystems’ operating system without having to rewrite or recompile them.

AppZero’s first public demonstration of its eponymous VAA technology will be later today at the DEMO 09 Conference in Palm Springs California, and will show a live production application provisioned in seconds to on an Amazon EC2 cloud, and moved in less than one minute to a GoGrid cloud computing environment. 

The VAA toolset is priced from $500 per virtual application appliance.


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