VMware is working on a major evolution of its virtual appliance marketplace.
The ambition of the virtualization vendor now goes well beyond providing a catalog of ready-to-install applications for its vSphere platform: together with IT Structures, VMware is working to allow the streaming of the virtual appliances directly inside a customers’ web browser.
To do so IT Structures is rolling out a feature called App on Demand for some existing VAs in the marketplace as part of a beta phase. Over time the feature will be applied to the other VAs.
IT Structures believes that its technology will make easier to evaluate virtual appliances without the hassle to download and deploy them.
Maybe. Maybe instead an enterprise customer wants to spend a long time analyzing the enterprise application that plans to deploy in production. If so the need for a quick access to the VA doesn’t exist (in any case an average VA starts from 300MB and any enterprise in the world can download such a big file in a matter of minutes).
Regardless of the efficacy of this scenario, if VMware and IT Structures can allow the access to one or more virtual machines through a browser, as the press announcement states, then there is a big opportunity. But this would mean that they are going to compete against those companies that offer web access gateways, like Microsoft and Citrix.
What the enterprise customers may really want then is to use this streaming technology with their own virtual machines, which they have time to configure, customize and test inside the company before showing them to someone else browser.