VMware acquired an application virtualization firm?

virtualization.info has learned from different sources that VMware just acquired an application virtualization vendor.

There is no confirmation at the moment so what follows is pure speculation.

Among the many listed in the Virtualization Industry Radar, one company seems the best candidate for this acquisition: FastScale.

FastScale doesn’t provide application virtualization and streaming solutions like Softricity (acquired by Microsoft in 2006), Thinstall, Endeavors Technologies and others, but introduces a new approach: through its Composer, FastScale is able to track down which libraries and OS components an application requires, and assemble them in an autonomous package, freeing the software from the operating system dependency.

Only available for Linux systems at the moment, VMware is adopting the startup’s technology since a long time, much earlier than the official launch date in August 2007.

On top of that FastScale Advisory Board includes a VMware veteran, Al Pappas, former CIO, and VMware seems to prefer acquisition of former employees (Akimbi, Determina).

While VMware is not an application virtualization company, FastScale acquisition would fit its strategy, much focus on virtual appliances.

While the idea of a modular data center, through virtual appliances, is interesting and would bring in some notable benefits, it woudl also lead to some major issues. Most of them are related to security and manageability issues.

FastScale capability to deliver incredibly low-footprint virtual machines, tailored around a self-sufficient guest application, would solve part of the security problems, while the just launched Update Manager (integrated into VirtualCenter 2.5) would solve part of the management ones.

Update: While the rumors were right virtualization.info speculation was not. VMware just announced the Thinstall acquisition.