Thursday 15 October 2009

App-V Versus Altiris SVS

I was asked today to comment on the differences between Microsoft's App-V and Altiris' SVS virtualization solutions. I thought, aha! A blog posting for Thursday! Here are my initial thoughts. Note, I have heavily referenced a report published by PQR and so have included a reference to their more complete evaluations of currently available virtualization products on the market.

Altiris SVS leverages two technologies to deliver virtualized application environments to the user:
  1. Virtual distribution—streaming allows the user to acquire applications from any endpoint, while minimizing bandwidth requirements and optimizing license consumption.
  2. Virtual execution—layering applications on disk ensures that each application includes all of its appropriate resources, eliminates conflicts with other applications and the base operating system, and enables instant repair.
  3. Rule based application and licensing management
Microsoft’s App-V environment provides a virtualization platform that delivers;
  1. Application virtualization: Enable applications to be deployed an run without the need to visit a desktop, laptop, or terminal server.
  2. Applications are no longer installed on the client—and there is minimal impact on the host operating system or other applications.
  3. Dynamic streaming delivery: Applications are delivered, on demand, to laptops, desktops, and terminal servers. In some cases a small portion of the application is downloaded to the client in order to launch the application. 
  4. Centralized, policy-based management (AD): Virtual Application deployments, patches, updates, and terminations are more easily managed via policies, and administered through the App-V console or via your ESD system.
A comparison between the two Virtualization Technologies (for my boss) would include;
  • App-V is the most complete, best managed virtualization system on the market today
  • SVS offers a local execution, layered virtualization technology that App-V does not
  • App-V is fully integrated into Microsoft Active Directory management platform
  • SVS experiences technical challenges when dealing when dealing with middleware (i.e. JAVA)
  • App-V experiences difficulty with IE6 and some .NET packages.
  • App-V sequencing  and SVS capture technologies are both relatively immature

1 comment:

Gene Kupfer said...

Hi Greg,

I’m with the Symantec Endpoint Virtualization product team. I came across your article and thought I could drop a note here with a few comments. We’ve actually had a significant number of changes since that PQR report was published (July ’09). Our latest version SWV 6.1 SP1 contains a ton of new and improved functionality. Some of the highlights include…

- Three different levels of isolation
- Improved layer start-up times
- SWV can run multiple version of Java on the same box.
- SWV can also virtualize different version of IE.

SWV is also part of the Symantec Endpoint Virtualization Suite which includes SWS 6.1 SP2, the streaming product. With the SEV Suite you will find all the backend management any enterprise would be happy with. You have centralized deployment, complete control over license management and package distribution based on licenses available. Of course, all this can be integrated into Active Directory.

If you consider the complete suite and all the functionality that is built into it, I think you may find that what Symantec offers is a very competitive solution. If you have some time, please download a free trial and give it a run. See what you think. I would be happy to answer any questions for you. Here are a few links you can check out for more details. The trialware link is there too.

Oh on a related note, Symantec Endpoint Virtualization Suite has been nominated for the Virtualization Journal “Readers’ Choice Awards” 2009. This is the second year in a row now.

Product Info: (click Trialware at upper right)
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Gene Kupfer
Symantec EndPoint Virtualization