Well, to say that my time in Las Vegas at MMS 2011 was well ... Spent... Would be accurate.
Whether it was well spent - is another question. That said, I was able to meet up with the Microsoft App-V team (thanks Sean, Lidiane and Angie) and we were able to chat a little about the next version of App-V (version 5) and also spend some time on the new release of Microsoft's server application virtualization product - Microsoft Server App-V
There is a "release update" blog posting from the Microsoft Application Virtualization team blog, where you can read about this cool server-based virtualization product here:
This is a pretty detailed posting about the features of the Server App-V product with some important optimizations which include;
- State persisted to local disk
- Windows Services
- IIS Applications
- Text-based Configuration Files
- WMI Providers
- SQL Server Reporting Services
- Local users and groups
The key bits here are that I am interested in are the state persistence, COM+DCOM and services support. From what I understand, the Server App-V does not take a bubble or isolated approach to virtualizing each application - from what I understand it's more a "layer" approach. Where the application is installed on the target platform - but isolated from the server build.
This approach has a couple of benefits :
- COM+/DCOM applications are likely to work
- Services support - a key benefit for server platforms
- Reduced virtualization application compatibility potential - More apps will work!
There are a few downsides to this approach;
- You may get application level conflicts
- Middleware dependencies and components may require a little more thinking/planning
My favourite bit about this whole approach is that you can "Pause" an application - save that state and then move that application (with it's saved state intact) and move it to another platform. This is a killer feature and should make Server App-V a big hit with the data-center boys.