Quoting from the VMware official announcement:
VMware, Inc., the global leader in software for industry-standard virtualized desktops and servers, today at VMworld 2006 announced it is launching a marketplace and certification program for virtual appliances. Customers can evaluate or in some cases purchase from a collection of more than 300 virtual appliances available in the Virtual Appliance Marketplace
ISVs certify their appliances through the VMware Virtual Appliance Certification Program that provides them with technical best practices for performance and usability, validation testing and implementation feedback. The program also ensures that the ISV fully supports the entire virtual appliance environment. Current ISVs offering certified virtual appliances include Astaro, B-hive Networks, CohesiveFT, LoadBalancer, PortWise, ProofPoint, Red Hat, Reflex Security, SpamTitan, Ubuntu, Zeus and Zimbra. Certification details can be found here…
On the corporate blog, The Console, VMware top management heartily endorsed the adoption of virtual appliances in corporate environments:
- Steve Herrod, Vice President of Technology Development, tracked the trend about virtual appliances, which are becoming the most flexible and open way to deliver complex applications.
- Dan Chu, Vice President of Emerging Products and Markets, noted how virtual appliances (based on Linux OS) free customers from Microsoft slavery, avoiding risks of sudden changes in licensing policy but avoiding at the same time complexity of Linux adoption.
- Raghu Raghuram, Vice President of Datacenter and Desktop Platforms, predicted how ubiquity of hypervisors within few years will be the key to allow industry to rely on virtual appliances, drastically reducing delivery time and management, increasing portability to unexpected levels.
- Karthik Rau, Vice President of Product Management, underlined how the operating system role is doomed to change in a virtual appliances-driven world, moving from most critical tier to a mere extension of applications.
- Srinivas Krishnamurti, Director of Virtual Appliances, detailed benefits for ISV and customers which can offer and use more stable applications, cutting away the biggest part of management efforts.
The virtual appliance philosophy seems pretty good. So good that even Microsoft decided to embrace it with its new VHD Test Drive program.
But while all mentioned reasons about virtual appliances are surely valid and I agree on them, there is much more unsaid about the approach which customers should carefully evaluate before starting adoption.
I’ll write a detailed essay this month about the topic. Stay tuned!