Whitepaper: To Install or Not Install

Duglas Brown wrote a very good paper about application virtualization, covering Softricity SoftGrid 3.2 and upcoming Citrix codename Tarpon:

With the emergence of numerous virtualization technologies like VMware and Softricity SoftGrid, the release of Citrix Presentation Server 4.0, and Citrix’s announcement of Project Tarpon, the age old challenges around operating system and software installations are being brought to the forefront. Solutions like VMware and Microsoft Virtual Server address issues with operating system rollouts. You now have the ability to separate your operating systems from your hardware by creating a level of indirection or an abstraction layer between the physical hardware and the operating system. This technology is being widely adopted to overcome rapid server deployment as well as driver conflicts, disaster recovery, and many other issues.

Now that we have a solution for overcoming operating system to hardware installation and deployment issues, the critical questions become:

  • Is there a better way to install and run applications?
  • Can we solve application conflicts, application installations, and application management issues in the way VMware and Microsoft Virtual Server have addressed similar problems with operating systems and hardware?

In this paper, I will detail the problems that IT departments face deploying and supporting applications. I will identify the pros and cons of various technologies that are designed to address these issues. We will explore server-based computing (including Citrix’s new application isolation feature), electronic software distribution (ESD), and on-demand virtual application computing, which includes new comer Citrix.

I recommend reading it while expecting the Altiris release of Software Virtualization Solution.