Vendors virtualize Microsoft environments

Symantec's Altiris unit updates software to virtualize and stream Windows operating systems; Trigence expands platform to support Windows

Software vendors this week at TechEd are taking the opportunity to update their application virtualization products to support Microsoft environments including Vista.

Altiris, now a business unit of Symantec, is expected this week to unveil upgraded software that the company says helps customers more easily migrate existing Windows operating systems to newer versions such as Vista.

Altiris Software Virtualization Solution (SVS) 2.1 now includes the ability to stream applications and vary software delivery models based on end-user desktops. SVS 2.1 uses tools to install software on desktop machines that can be remotely controlled by the administrator, hidden from users until needed and restricted from resources that can cause conflicts with other applications. The software lets customers create a virtual software package that can be provisioned and removed from an end-user client without lengthy install and rollback processes, the company says.

"SVS simplifies application compatibility and on-demand computing," said Steve Morton, vice president of product marketing and strategy for the Altiris business unit at Symantec, in a company press release.

SVS uses server and distributed client software. The server includes an application-packaging tool that IT managers use to create the virtual software application packages to roll out to user machines. The client software includes a filter, which when a virtual application is rolled out can direct traffic, or calls, to and from the application to avoid conflicts with other applications.

SVS software works on its own or as an integrated component of the Altiris Client Management Suite, which competes with products from CA and LANDesk. SVS also competes with similar technology from Softricity, which Microsoft acquired and developed into its SoftGrid Application Virtualization that is sold as part of its Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) for Software Assurance.

Altiris SVS 2.1 costs about US$30 per node. The professional version of the product, which includes streaming capabilities, costs about $55 per node. The free-for-personal-use license of SVS 2.1 is expected to be available shortly and can be downloaded at , , and .

Separately Trigence announced Trigence AE 3.0 for Windows, a new release of its application virtualization offering that the company says provides cross-platform application virtualization. Now the vendor says its software can help customers create application "capsules" that can be relocated within Solaris, Linux and Windows operating systems depending on business needs.

"Application encapsulation is a critical component of a dynamic utility computing model that allows enterprises to achieve dramatically higher performance from their IT infrastructure," said David Roth, Trigence president and CEO, in a company press release.

Trigence AE (Application Environment) 3.0 for Windows software containerizes applications so they can be more easily deployed and redeployed. With Trigence AE, users can discover, provision, redeploy, monitor, scale and move multiple Unix and Linux applications across existing servers and data centers as needed.

The product is being tested by beta customers and will be generally available in the fourth quarter of 2007. Pricing will be determined at that time.

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