Review: InfoWorld compares application virtualization platforms from Microsoft, Altiris and Thinstall

InfoWorld published a comparison between the three most popular application virtualization platforms: Microsoft SoftGrid 4.2, Symantec SVS Pro 2.1 (acquired by Altiris) and the just released Thinstall Virtualization Suite 3.2.

Winner is Symantec SVS with a score of 7.5/10 but other products received very similar ratings. Bottom lines for each one are:

  • Symantec SVS Pro 2.1
    SVS gains in partner AppStream a much needed streaming capability to support its already robust virtualization layer. The combined solution allows applications to be launched from a Web browser, and headless services are supported. However, the level of integration between the OEM components is imperfect and simple deployment tasks require too many steps, not to mention the slow initial response time for virtualized applications. Still, it’s the closest thing to “click ‘n run” on the market today.
  • Microsoft SoftGrid 4.2
    SoftGrid has changed little since our previous review. Strong points are tight integration with Active Directory and a well-optimized streaming model. However, it still suffers from usability quirks and an overly complex sequencing process, and it lacks support for headless services. Nevertheless, Microsoft’s acquisition of SoftGrid, and its decision to de-couple the client from the server, point to an important role for the underlying technology in future Microsoft products and services.
  • Thinstall Virtualization Suite 3.2
    Thinstall continues to deliver a no-frills solution that makes the process of packaging and deploying virtualized applications almost trivially simple. The completely self-contained virtualization environment requires no client agent or back-end server, and it delivers excellent runtime performance. However, the acquisition of competitors Softricity and Altiris has left Thinstall as the lone pioneer in a rapidly maturing market. Previously overlooked deficiencies, like the lack of client-side caching and the inability to stream over non-SMB connection types, will become magnified in the light of this newly competitive landscape.

Read the whole comparison at source.