Release: Symantec Workspace Virtualization 6.1

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After what appeared to be an endless timeframe, Symantec finally updates its application virtualization platform acquired from Altris in January 2007 and once called Software Virtualization Solution (SVS).

The product name changed from SVS to Symantec Workspace Virtualization (SWV) and jumped from version 2.1 to version 6.1.

This first public build of the platform (6.1.4108, dubbed as Maintenance Pack 1) introduces a number of interesting features:

  • Layer isolation granularity
    The administrator can define what portion of the real OS can be seen inside each virtual layer
  • Reset Point
    Like in hardware virtualization with virtual machines snapshots, the administrator can define checkpoints and revert to them if something goes wrong inside the virtual layer. The changes made after a reset point can be integrated back into the persistent part of the virtual layer.
  • Cloned layers and dependent layers
    Both the persistent part and the customizations of a virtual layer can be cloned on demand.
    Like in hardware virtualization with clones and linked clones, the cloned virtual layer can depend on its parent.
  • Layer Patch
    Updates for applications inside a virtual layer can be delivered without repackaging and reshipping the virtual layer.
    The update happens through a Layer Patch which is the delta between the original virtual layer and the updated virtual layer.
  • Autorun from Layer and Deactivate on Last Processes Exit
    Any real application can be obliged to run inside a virtual layer every time it starts.
    The changes that are produced by the user during its use can stay inside the virtual layer or can be destroyed by resetting the virtual layer as soon as the real application is terminated.

The product is made of two components: the Workspace Corporate Server, which supports Windows Server 2003 32 and 64bit, and the Client Workstation, which only supports Windows XP 64bit.

Worldwide customers will appreciate that Symantec saved the Free for Personal Use edition, which is not timebombed despite you must download it from the Trial Ware section of the website.