Altiris virtualisation sotfware looks to ease DLL hell

Altiris will formally take its first step in the software virtualisation arena in March with the release of its Software Virtualization Solution (SVS).

Altiris SVS places applications and data into managed units on a client machine that can be activated, deactivated or reset based on a business's or user's requirements.

Unlike the virtualisation products that run at the operating system or hardware layers, Altiris works at the application layer.

SVS only affects how application files and registry settings are installed, not how they are consumed or run, which preserves application supportability.

Managed from the IT department thanks to a small 1MB applet that is installed on the client machine, SVS allows administrators to turn applications on and off at a moment's notice.

Altiris manager for Asia Pacific Andrew Souter said the product, which is still in beta testing, helps avoid "DLL hell".

Because it is virtual, DLLs cannot talk to each other "so you don't have to worry about users breaking things," Mr Souter said.

When problems do arise with applications installed on users' machines: "You don't uninstall. You just deactivate," he said.

Souter said the product was also ideal for people who test, build or run applications. "You will never have a conflict with other systems because you are running in a virtual layer."

The product is due on 21 March. Souter said it will sell in the vicinity of $25 per seat. Home users will be able to download it for free.

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