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Application Virtualization

Application virtualization uses some of the key technologies used in server virtualization to achieve redundancy, encapsulation, host independence and avoid some of the resource contention problems we see with traditional application deployments.

Application virtualization consists of the following areas.

  • The installed application
  • Host application for failover or clustering technologies
  • Access to applications creating an anywhere access policy
  • Underlying desktop operating system

Encapsulated Applications

Applications exist as installed instances on machines with operating systems and they utilise the underlying operating system to execute their functionality. Therefore they can have a great impact on the operating system that is presenting the underlying resources available to them.

An operating system will be at its most stable with the minimum amount of applications actually installed on it so the requests to the operating system itself are kept to the minimum. This is why the model of a server for each key application has become so common place, as traditionally applications do not like to share the demand of the available resources.

Technologies now exist to actually encapsulate applications within their own working set of the underlying operating system without the actual need to install them on the Server or PC presenting the required resource.

Application host independence

Key applications residing on servers can be presented to users in a virtual presentation that hides the real source of where the application is hosted; clustering could be viewed as a virtualization methodology.

Applications exist that actually monitor the status of the key application and if the failure conditions are met will transfer control of the application to another host, be that physical or virtual, that is capable of continuing the delivery of the application and the underlying data.

Application Access

The actual source of the delivered application can be made inconsequential to the end user and can be configured to provide dynamic load balancing to ensure that the user experience is the most optimized when handling the requests.

Equally applications can be enabled to be presented in a secure method for access via public services such as the internet to allow anywhere working on key centralized applications.

Desktop encapsulation

Much in the same way as the key technologies deliver virtual servers it is possible to create encapsulated virtual instances of the actual operating system that is running on the desktop machines that enables standard desktop configurations to be created efficiently without the need to be concerned with the underlying hardware being presented.

permalink [Permalink] - Updated: Tuesday, March 28, 2006

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